Installing Playdar

A few people have asked me the steps to go through to  install playdar. Official instructions are here:  Playdar source code. This is what I did to get it running on my Mac:

  • Download and install XCode from Apple
  • Download build and install Erlang
  • Install MacPorts if you haven’t already done so
  • Download and install git
  • Install Taglib
  • Grab the latest Playdar source: 
    git clone git://
  • Build it by typing ‘make’ at the top level
  • Copy etc/playdar.conf.example to etc/playdar.conf
  • If you want to include the Echo Nest resolver do these bits:
    • Get an Echo Nest API key from here:
    • Download and install pyechonest (the python client for the Echo Nest library):
    • Add your Echo Nest API key to (at around line 22)
    • Make sure the is executable (chmod +x path/to/contrib/
    • Edit etc/playdar.conf and add the path to the resolver in the scripts list.   Line 22-26 should look something like this:
  • If you want to enable p2p sharing remove “p2p” from the module blacklist in the playdar.conf (around line 59)
  • start Playdar with:
  • To add your local music to playdar – in a separate window type:
    ./playdarctl start-debug
    ./playdarctl scan /path/to/your/music
  • At this point, playdar should be running.  You can check its status by going to:
  • Try Playdar by going to  Click the ‘connect’ button to connect to Playdar – then search for a track – if Playdar finds it, it should appear in the search results. Start listening to music. Then  visit Playlick and start building playlists.
  • If p2p is enabled you can add a friends music collection to Playdar by typing this into the Erlang console window:
    p2p_router:connect("", 3389).

That’s a long way to go to get Playdar installed – so it is still only for the highly motivated, but people are working on making this easy – so if you aren’t ready to spend an hour tinkering with installs, wait a few days and there will be an easier way to install it all.


  1. #1 by Max Howell on October 19, 2009 - 8:23 am

    You may as well install git through macports:

    sudo port install git

    And indeed, mac playdar package on it’s way! Followed by Windows.

  2. #2 by Tyler on October 19, 2009 - 4:02 pm

    1) download and install “”

    2) download and install “” by:
    ./configure –prefix=/usr/local
    touch lib/wx/SKIP
    sudo make install

    3) download and install “” by:
    ./configure –prefix=/usr/local
    sudo make install

    4) download and install playdar-core by:
    git clone git://

    5) configure it by:
    cp etc/playday.conf.example etc/playdar.conf
    emacs -nw etc/playdar.conf and:
    uncomment name and set it to something cool
    comment out p2p in the blacklist

    6) ./

  3. #3 by brian on October 20, 2009 - 4:21 am

    thanks tyler! though I am surprised you are using emacs and not pico for step 5.

  4. #4 by owen on November 4, 2009 - 7:35 am

    yes! i’m up and running :)

  5. #5 by James Wheare on November 14, 2009 - 5:32 pm

    If you have music in AAC/MP4 format (quite likely if you use iTunes), you’ll want to configure Taglib like this:

    ./configure –prefix=/usr/local –enable-mp4

    This will ensure that the Playdar scanner indexes all your mp4s.

  6. #6 by James Wheare on November 14, 2009 - 5:33 pm

    Note also that you’ll need a double dash in those options, the comment formatting is turning them into an endash annoyingly.

  7. #7 by Max Howell on November 14, 2009 - 7:38 pm

    Possibly the easiest way is with Homebrew, which has a playdar formula:

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