Installing and configuring XMMS on OSX 10.4 Tiger

Ever wanted to have a lighter music playing app, that justs...well ..plays music? Well if thats your case, XMMS may fit your needs. What exactly is XMMS? According to the official site,

XMMS is a multimedia player for unix systems. XMMS stands for X MultiMedia System and can play media files such as MP3, MOD's, WAV and others with the use of Input plugins.

So what do you need to install this cool little app? You need to have installed and working on your Mac:

  • X11 from your Tiger DVD or Restore Disk.
  • Developer Tools, again from your Tiger DVD or Restore Disk, or you can get it on line @

You have everything installed, OK lets get started.

Go to and download Darwinports 1.2, you will have to enter your e-mail in order to get the download started, that been said they do have a nice disclaimer:  "Your email address will not be given out or used for unsolicited email."
That makes you feel better right?

Once the disk image has downloaded, the installer will automatically start. Accept the license agreement and just go right ahead and install it on your Hard Drive. Please note that during the installation process DarwinPorts downloads some necessary stuff from the internet, so don't panic if you see the progress bar halt when its "Finishing Installation". Depending on your Internet speed, you may not even notice the downloading taking place... I did, because my Internet speed sucks..:(

Right, so you installed successfully DarwinPorts, what now? Open up a terminal window (Do a Spotlight search for terminal, or go to the Utilities folder within your Applications folder). and once you have terminal up and running do the following command:

sudo port -d selfupdate

Enter your password, and just wait a bit..shouldn't take long.

Ok, now to install XMMS. Using the same terminal window, or open a new one if you already close the terminal, run the following command:

sudo port install xmms

You may or may not need to re-enter your password, hit Return and watch the magic happen. It may take a while to download and then compile/build and install all necessary components, put that Intel Core Duo on your MacBook Pro to the test..and just have patience..

Once it finish, and you will know because you will be greeted with these words..

--->  Activating xmms 1.2.10_2
--->  Cleaning xmms

Open up X11 by going to /Applications/Utilities. Go to the Applications menu up-top and select Customize menu.

Set it up as you see on the picture. The shortcut is up to you, in this case pressing Command + 1 will activate XMMS, again what you put under Shortcut is entirely up to you.

Run XMMS by doing your shortcut of choice, and look XMMS, congrats you made it! But..we are not done yet. Close it and go here:

Download the file unzip it to your desktop, open a terminal window and..

cd Desktop <hit Return>
cd xmms_osx_plugin-1.0 <hit Return>
./configure <hit Return> ..and wait a bit..
make <hit Return> ...and wait a bit..
sudo make install <hit Return> ...enter your password..and yes..wait a bit..

Right, so everything should be nice and set, time to finally configure XMMS.

Open X11, yet again and do your shortcut of choice for XMMS. Once XMMS is up and running hit Ctrl + P this will bring XMMS' preferences pane up. Click the box under Output Plugin as to see all the options available. Select  OSX Driver 1.0 from the 3 available. Hit OK.

Hit L and Select your MP3 file of choice and enjoy. XMMS also works with Shoutcast streaming radios, just point XMMS to the playlist .pls file on your Desktop.

What's missing? Well for one, XMMS will not play your AAC encoded music, so take that in account prior to trying this out. Although they are plugin available, I have been unsuccesful to get them to compile and work under OSX.

Finally, take in account that everything that was done here was done using OSX 10.4.7, and a PowerPC PowerBook 12-in. G4. I believe that intel powered mac users should have no issue with any of the stuff here, but then again I could be wrong.

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