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OwnTone is forked-daapd's new name. Linux/FreeBSD DAAP (iTunes) and MPD media server with support for AirPlay devices (multiroom), Apple Remote (and compatibles), Chromecast, Spotify and internet radio.

OwnTone (previously forked-daapd)

OwnTone is a Linux/FreeBSD DAAP (iTunes), MPD (Music Player Daemon) and RSP (Roku) media server.

It supports AirPlay devices/speakers, Apple Remote (and compatibles), MPD clients, Chromecast, network streaming, internet radio, Spotify and LastFM.

It does not support streaming video by AirPlay nor Chromecast.

DAAP stands for Digital Audio Access Protocol which is the protocol used by iTunes and friends to share/stream media libraries over the network.

OwnTone was previously called forked-daapd, which again was a rewrite of mt-daapd (Firefly Media Server).

Looking for help?

Before you continue, make sure you know what version of OwnTone you have, and what features it was built with (e.g. Spotify support).

How to find out? Go to the web interface and check. No web interface? Then check the top of the log file (usually /var/log/owntone.log).

Note that you are viewing a snapshot of the instructions that may or may not match the version that you are using. Go to references to find instructions for previous versions.

If you are looking for help on building OwnTone (not using it), then please see the file.


Getting started

After installation (see do the following:

  1. Edit the configuration file (usually /etc/owntone.conf) to suit your needs
  2. Start or restart the server (usually /etc/init.d/owntone restart)
  3. Go to the web interface http://owntone.local:3689, or, if that won’t work, to http://[your_server_address_here]:3689
  4. Wait for the library scan to complete
  5. If you will be using a remote, e.g. Apple Remote: Start the remote, go to Settings, Add Library
  6. Enter the pair code in the web interface (update the page with F5 if it does not automatically pick up the pairing request)

Supported clients

OwnTone supports these kinds of clients:

Like iTunes, you can control OwnTone with Remote and stream your music to AirPlay devices.

A single OwnTone instance can handle several clients concurrently, regardless of the protocol.

By default all clients on 192.168.* (and the ipv6 equivalent) are allowed to connect without authentication. You can change that in the configuration file.

Here is a list of working and non-working DAAP and Remote clients. The list is probably obsolete when you read it :-)

Client Developer Type Platform Working (vers.)
iTunes Apple DAAP Win Yes (12.10.1)
Apple Music Apple DAAP MacOS Yes
Rhythmbox Gnome DAAP Linux Yes
Diapente diapente DAAP Android Yes
WinAmp DAAPClient WardFamily DAAP WinAmp Yes
Amarok w/DAAP plugin KDE DAAP Linux/Win Yes (2.8.0)
Banshee   DAAP Linux/Win/OSX No (2.6.2)
jtunes4   DAAP Java No
Firefly Client   (DAAP) Java No
Remote Apple Remote iOS Yes (4.3)
Retune SquallyDoc Remote Android Yes (3.5.23)
TunesRemote+ Melloware Remote Android Yes (2.5.3)
Remote for iTunes Hyperfine Remote Android Yes
Remote for Windows Phone Komodex Remote Windows Phone Yes (
TunesRemote SE   Remote Java Yes (r108)
rtRemote for Windows bizmodeller Remote Windows Yes (

Web interface

You can find the web interface at http://owntone.local:3689 or alternatively at http://[your_server_address_here]:3689.

Use the web interface to control playback, trigger manual library rescans, pair with remotes, select speakers, authenticate with Spotify, etc.

You can find some screenshots and build instructions in

Using Remote

Remote gets a list of output devices from the server; this list includes any and all devices on the network we know of that advertise AirPlay: AirPort Express, Apple TV, … It also includes the local audio output, that is, the sound card on the server (even if there is no soundcard).

OwnTone remembers your selection and the individual volume for each output device; selected devices will be automatically re-selected, except if they return online during playback.


  1. Open the web interface
  2. Start Remote, go to Settings, Add Library
  3. Enter the pair code in the web interface (update the page with F5 if it does not automatically pick up the pairing request)

If Remote doesn’t connect to OwnTone after you entered the pairing code something went wrong. Check the log file to see the error message. Here are some common reasons:

You did not enter the correct pairing code

You will see an error in the log about pairing failure with a HTTP response code that is not 0. Solution: Try again.

No response from Remote, possibly a network issue

If you see an error in the log with either:

Otherwise try using avahi-browse for troubleshooting:

+ ath0 IPv4 59eff13ea2f98dbbef6c162f9df71b784a3ef9a3      _touch-remote._tcp   local
= ath0 IPv4 59eff13ea2f98dbbef6c162f9df71b784a3ef9a3      _touch-remote._tcp   local
   hostname = [Foobar.local]
   address = []
   port = [49160]
   txt = ["DvTy=iPod touch" "RemN=Remote" "txtvers=1" "RemV=10000" "Pair=FAEA410630AEC05E" "DvNm=Foobar"]

Hit Ctrl-C to terminate avahi-browse.

To check for network issues you can try to connect to address and port with telnet.

AirPlay devices/speakers

OwnTone will discover the AirPlay devices available on your network. For devices that are password-protected, the device’s AirPlay name and password must be given in the configuration file. See the sample configuration file for the syntax.

If your Apple TV requires device verification (always required by Apple TV4 with tvOS 10.2) then you can do that through Settings > Remotes & Outputs in the web interface: Select the device and then enter the PIN that the Apple TV displays.

If your speaker is silent when you start playback, and there is no obvious error message in the log, you can try disabling ipv6 in the config. Some speakers announce that they support ipv6, but in fact don’t (at least not with forked- daapd).

If the speaker becomes unselected when you start playback, and you in the log see “ANNOUNCE request failed in session startup: 400 Bad Request”, then try the Apple Home app > Allow Speakers & TV Access > Anyone On the Same Network (or Everyone).


OwnTone will discover Chromecast devices available on your network, and you can then select the device as a speaker. There is no configuration required.

Local audio through ALSA

In the config file, you can select ALSA for local audio. This is the default.

When using ALSA, the server will try to syncronize playback with AirPlay. You can adjust the syncronization in the config file.

For most setups the default values in the config file should work. If they don’t, there is help here:

Local audio, Bluetooth and more through Pulseaudio

In the config file, you can select Pulseaudio for local audio. In addition to local audio, Pulseaudio also supports an array of other targets, e.g. Bluetooth or DLNA. However, Pulseaudio does require some setup, so here is a separate page with some help on that:

Note that if you select Pulseaudio the “card” setting in the config file has no effect. Instead all soundcards detected by Pulseaudio will be listed as speakers by OwnTone.

You can adjust the latency of Pulseaudio playback in the config file.

MP3 network streaming (streaming to iOS)

You can listen to audio being played by OwnTone by opening this network stream address in pretty much any music player:

http://[your hostname/ip address]:3689/stream.mp3

This is currently the only way of listening to your audio on iOS devices, since Apple does not allow AirPlay receiver apps, and because Apple Home Sharing cannot be supported by OwnTone. So what you can do instead is install a music player app like VLC, connect to the stream and control playback with Remote.

In the speaker selection list, clicking on the icon should start the stream playing in the background on browsers that support that.

Note that MP3 encoding must be supported by ffmpeg/libav for this to work. If it is not available you will see a message in the log file. In Debian/Ubuntu you get MP3 encoding support by installing the package “libavcodec-extra”.

Remote access

It is possible to access a shared library over the internet from a DAAP client like iTunes. You must have remote access to the host machine.

First log in to the host and forward port 3689 to your local machine. You now need to broadcast the daap service to iTunes on your local machine. On macOS the command is:

dns-sd -P iTunesServer _daap._tcp local 3689 localhost.local "ffid=12345"

The ffid key is required but its value does not matter.

Your library will now appear as ‘iTunesServer’ in iTunes.

You can also access your library remotely using something like Zerotier. See this guide for details.

Supported formats

OwnTone should support pretty much all audio formats. It relies on libav (or ffmpeg) to extract metadata and decode the files on the fly when the client doesn’t support the format.

Formats are attributed a code, so any new format will need to be explicitely added. Currently supported:

Playlists and internet radio

OwnTone supports M3U and PLS playlists. Just drop your playlist somewhere in your library with an .m3u or .pls extension and it will pick it up.

If the playlist contains an http URL it will be added as an internet radio station, and the URL will be probed for Shoutcast (ICY) metadata. If the radio station provides artwork, OwnTone will download it during playback and send it to any remotes or AirPlay devices requesting it.

Instead of downloading M3U’s from your radio stations, you can also make an empty M3U file and in it insert links to the M3U’s of your radio stations.

Radio streams can only be played by OwnTone, so that means they will not be available to play in DAAP clients like iTunes.

Support for iTunes Music Library XML format is available as a compile-time option. By default, metadata from our parsers is preferred over what’s in the iTunes DB; use itunes_overrides = true if you prefer iTunes’ metadata.

OwnTone has support for smart playlists. How to create a smart playlist is documented in

If you’re not satisfied with internet radio metadata that OwnTone shows, then you can read about tweaking it in


OwnTone has support for PNG and JPEG artwork which is either:

For media in your library, OwnTone will try to locate album and artist artwork (group artwork) by the following procedure:

{artwork,cover,Folder} are the default, you can add other base names in the configuration file. Here you can also enable/disable support for individual file artwork (instead of using the same artwork for all tracks in an entire album).

For playlists in your library, say /foo/bar.m3u, then for any http streams in the list, OwnTone will look for /foo/bar.{jpg,png}.

You can use symlinks for the artwork files.

OwnTone caches artwork in a separate cache file. The default path is /var/cache/owntone/cache.db and can be configured in the configuration file. The cache.db file can be deleted without losing the library and pairing informations.


The library is scanned in bulk mode at startup, but the server will be available even while this scan is in progress. You can follow the progress of the scan in the log file or via the web interface. When the scan is complete you will see the log message: “Bulk library scan completed in X sec”.

The very first scan will take longer than subsequent startup scans, since every file gets analyzed. At the following startups the server looks for changed files and only analyzis those.

Updates to the library are reflected in real time after the initial scan, so you do not need to manually start rescans. The directories are monitored for changes and rescanned on the fly. Note that if you have your library on a network mount then real time updating may not work. Read below about what to do in that case.

If you change any of the directory settings in the library section of the configuration file a rescan is required before the new setting will take effect. You can do this by using “Update library” from the web interface.

Symlinks are supported and dereferenced, but it is best to use them for directories only.

Pipes (for e.g. multiroom with Shairport-sync)

Some programs, like for instance Shairport-sync, can be configured to output audio to a named pipe. If this pipe is placed in the library, OwnTone will automatically detect that it is there, and when there is audio being written to it, playback of the audio will be autostarted (and stopped).

Using this feature, OwnTone can act as an AirPlay multiroom “router”: You can have an AirPlay source (e.g. your iPhone) send audio Shairport-sync, which forwards it to OwnTone through the pipe, which then plays it on whatever speakers you have selected (through Remote).

The format of the audio being written to the pipe must be PCM16.

You can also start playback of pipes manually. You will find them in remotes listed under “Unknown artist” and “Unknown album”. The track title will be the name of the pipe.

Shairport-sync can write metadata to a pipe, and OwnTone can read this. This requires that the metadata pipe has the same filename as the audio pipe plus a “.metadata” suffix. Say Shairport-sync is configured to write audio to “/foo/bar/pipe”, then the metadata pipe should be “/foo/bar/pipe.metadata”.

Libraries on network mounts

Most network filesharing protocols do not offer notifications when the library is changed. So that means OwnTone cannot update its database in real time. Instead you can schedule a cron job to update the database.

The first step in doing this is to add two entries to the ‘directories’ configuration item in owntone.conf:

  directories = { "/some/local/dir", "/your/network/mount/library" }

Now you can make a cron job that runs this command:

  touch /some/local/dir/trigger.init-rescan

When OwnTone detects a file with filename ending .init-rescan it will perform a bulk scan similar to the startup scan.

Alternatively, you can force a metadata scan of the library even if the files have not changed by creating a filename ending .meta-rescan.

Troubleshooting library issues

If you place a file with the filename ending .full-rescan in your library, you can trigger a full rescan of your library. This will clear all music and playlists from OwnTone’s database and initiate a fresh bulk scan. Pairing and speaker information will be kept. Only use this for troubleshooting, it is not necessary during normal operation.

Command line

You can choose between:

Here is an example of how to use curl with DAAP/DACP. Say you have a playlist with a radio station, and you want to make a script that starts playback of that station:

  1. Run sqlite3 [your OwnTone db]. Use select id,title from files to get the id of the radio station, and use select id,title from playlists to get the id of the playlist.
  2. Convert the two ids to hex.
  3. Put the following lines in the script with the relevant ids inserted (also observe that you must use a session-id < 100, and that you must login and logout):
curl "http://localhost:3689/login?pairing-guid=0x1&request-session-id=50"
curl "http://localhost:3689/ctrl-int/1/playspec?database-spec='dmap.persistentid:0x1'&container-spec='dmap.persistentid:0x[PLAYLIST-ID]'&container-item-spec='dmap.containeritemid:0x[FILE ID]'&session-id=50"
curl "http://localhost:3689/logout?session-id=50"


OwnTone has built-in support for playback of the tracks in your Spotify library.

You must have a Spotify premium account. If you normally log into Spotify with your Facebook account you must first go to Spotify’s web site where you can get the Spotify username and password that matches your account.

You must also make sure that your browser can reach OwnTone’s web interface via the address http://owntone.local:3689. Try it right now! That is where Spotify’s OAuth page will redirect your browser with the token that OwnTone needs, so it must work. The address is announced by the server via mDNS, but if that for some reason doesn’t work then configure it via router or .hosts file. You can remove it again after completing the login.

To authorize OwnTone, open the web interface, locate Settings > Online Services and then click the Authorize button. You will then be sent to Spotify’s authorization service, which will send you back to the web interface after you have given the authorization.

Spotify no longer automatically notifies clients about library updates, so you have to trigger updates manually. You can for instance set up a cron job that runs /usr/bin/curl http://localhost:3689/api/update

To logout and remove Spotify tracks + credentials make a request to http://[your_server_address_here]:3689/api/spotify-logout.

Limitations: You will not be able to do any playlist management through OwnTone - use a Spotify client for that. You also can only listen to your music by letting OwnTone do the playback - so that means you can’t stream to DAAP clients (e.g. iTunes) and RSP clients.

Via librespot/spocon

You can also use OwnTone with one of the various incarnations of librespot. This adds librespot as a selectable metaspeaker in Spotify’s client, and when you start playback, librespot can be configured to start writing audio to a pipe that you have added to your library. This will be detected by OwnTone that then starts playback. You can also have a pipe for metadata and playback events, e.g. volume changes.

The easiest way of accomplishing this may be with Spocon, since it requires minimal configuration. After installing, create two pipes (with mkfifo) and set the configuration in the player section:

# Audio output device (MIXER, PIPE, STDOUT)
output = "PIPE"
# Output raw (signed) PCM to this file (`player.output` must be PIPE)
pipe = "/srv/music/spotify"
# Output metadata in Shairport Sync format (
metadataPipe = "/srv/music/spotify.metadata"

Via libspotify

This method is being deprecated, but is still available if the server was built with it, libspotify is installed and use_libspotify is enabled in the config file. Please consult previous README versions for details on using libspotify.


You can have OwnTone scrobble the music you listen to. To set up scrobbling go to the web interface and authorize OwnTone with your LastFM credentials.

OwnTone will not store your LastFM username/password, only the session key. The session key does not expire.

MPD clients

You can - to some extent - use clients for MPD to control OwnTone.

By default OwnTone listens on port 6600 for MPD clients. You can change this in the configuration file.

Currently only a subset of the commands offered by MPD (see MPD protocol documentation) are supported.

Due to some differences between OwnTone and MPD not all commands will act the same way they would running MPD:

The following table shows what is working for a selection of MPD clients:

Client Type Status
mpc CLI Working commands: mpc, add, crop, current, del (ranges are not yet supported), play, next, prev (behaves like cdprev), pause, toggle, cdprev, seek, clear, outputs, enable, disable, playlist, ls, load, volume, repeat, random, single, search, find, list, update (initiates an init-rescan, the path argument is not supported)
ympd Web Everything except “add stream” should work

Running Multiple Instances

To run multiple instances of owntone on a server, you should copy /etc/owntone.conf to /etc/owntone-zone.conf (for each zone) and modify the following to be unique across all instances:

Then run owntone -c /etc/owntone-zone.conf to run owntone with the new zone configuration.

Owntone has a systemd template which lets you run this automatically on systems that use systemd. You can start or enable the service for a zone by sudo systemctl start owntone@zone and check that it is running with sudo systemctl status owntone@zone. Use sudo systemctl enable ownton@zone to get the service to start on reboot.


The source for this version of OwnTone can be found here:

README’s for current and previous versions of OwnTone:

OwnTone version 28.2

OwnTone version 28.1

Older versions from when OwnTone was forked-daapd:

forked-daapd version 27.4

forked-daapd version 27.2

forked-daapd version 27.1

forked-daapd version 27.0

forked-daapd version 26.5

forked-daapd version 26.4

forked-daapd version 26.3

forked-daapd version 26.2

forked-daapd version 26.1

forked-daapd version 26.0

forked-daapd version 25.0

forked-daapd version 24.2

forked-daapd version 24.1