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A pluggable playback queue service

Project description


See <>.


Noah Hummel <>


Tinnitus is a media player and playback queue.

It comes in two parts, service and remote. Once the tinnitusd service is running, the Python remote can be used to manipulate the queue and control playback. tinnitusd uses pluggable backends, which makes it easy to extend. Tinnitus is thread-safe, meaning it can be accessed by any number of remotes at once.

Running the service

After installing tinnitus, you can start the service with:

tinnitusd [port]

port is an optional parameter, by default, tinnitus runs on port 18861.

If you’ve installed tinnitus to a virtualenv, make sure to activate it first.


To use the remote in your own project, install tinnitus to the same environment you’re developing your project in.

You can then use the remote with the contextmanager protocol:

from tinnitus import remote

with remote() as r:

You can also configure the remote to use a different network configuration:

import tinnitus

tinnitus.configure(host="localhost", port=1337)

Supported actions are:

r.add(resource_id, mrl, backend)

Adds an audio resource to the queue.

resource_id is an int identifying each resource unqiuely.

mrl is a str containing the resource’s location (and protocol)

backend is the name of the backend which should handle the resource


Removes an audio resource from the queue.

resource_id is an int identifying each resource unqiuely.


Removes all resources from the queue.


Returns the resource_id of the currently playing resource.


Returns the resource_id s of all queued resources as a list.

Starts playback, if the backend is paused or stopped.


Pauses playback, if the backend is playing.


Stops playback, if the backend is playing or stopped.


Skips forward to the next queued resource and starts playing.


Returns the backend’s status as either PLAYING, PAUSED or STOPPED.

The Status enum is defined in tinnitus.Status

r.available(mrl, backend)

Returns a boolean indicating whether the resource specified by mrl is available for playback with the specified backend.

Note: This method does not indicate whether the backend is appropriate for the resource.

Note: This feature is optional, the remote may return NotImplemented if it is not supported by the backend.

Pluggable backends

Playback is handled by pluggable backends. Plugins are Python scripts and can be located anywhere.

Tinnitus by default comes with a simple backend using libvlc. It is both versatile and serves as an example for the plugin structure.

In order to create a plugin called my_backend, follow these steps:

If you haven’t set up a plugin directory before or want to create a separate one:

  1. Create a plugin directory anywhere on your system, for example ~/tinnitus_plugins/ .

  2. Use the included tinnitus-include command to point tinnitusd to your directory:

tinnitus-include add ~/tinnitus_plugins

You can use any number of plugin directories. To list all used plugin directories, use:

tinnitus-include list

To remove a plugin directory, for example ~/tinnitus_plugins/, from tinnitusd, use:

tinnitus-include rem ~/tinnitus_plugins

If you’ve created a plugin directory as described above, you can then create a file named inside your plugin directory.

Your plugin should expose the following methods, for it to be recognized by the service:


Called before the plugin is used for the first time.

Use this method to perform any initialisation, if needed.

callback is a method which your plugin should call once a resource has reached it’s end, save it somewhere.


Called when a resource is loaded for playback. It passes the resources to your plugin so that your plugin can perform any setup needed to play the resource with the given mrl.

mrl is the resources location (and protocol)


Called when your plugin should start playing the resource given by set_mrl.

Note: The method should be non-blocking.


Called when your plugin should pause playback of the resource.

Note: The method should be non-blocking.


Called when your plugin should stop playback of the resource.

Note: The method should be non-blocking.

Your plugin may also optionally expose any of these methods, to support more remote features:

available(mrl, backend)

Returns a boolean indicating whether the resource specified by mrl is available for playback. For example, if mrl points to a local file, your plugin should check if the local file exits.

This feature is exposed as remote.available(). If your plugin doesn’t implement this method, the return value will default to NotImplemented.

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