media-player-info is a repository of data files describing media player
(only USB Mass Storage ones) capabilities. These files contain information
about the directory layout to use to add music to these devices, about the
supported file formats, ... These capabilities used to be provided by HAL
in the 10-usb-music-players.fdi file but had to be moved elsewhere as part
of the big HALectomy.
The music player capabilities are now described in .mpi files (which are
.ini-like files) which you can find in media-players/. These mpi files are
used to generate an udev rule to identify these devices. This rule associate
an ID_MEDIA_PLAYER attribute to the media player devices. This attribute
specifies the name of the .mpi file to use to find out the device
capabilities. The .mpi can then be looked up in $XDG_DATA_DIRS/media-player-info
(see the XDG Base Directory Specification for more information about what
Both the mpi files and the udev rule have to be installed on the system.
Indeed, the udev rule only contain what is strictly necessary, ie it only
matches media player devices and set an ID_MEDIA_PLAYER udev property on
the device. This property contains the name of the mpi file. It's up to
applications needing detailed information about media players (like the audio
formats they support, ...) to parse this file and extract whatever is necessary
from it. The media player information isn't included directly in udev database
because not many apps need it, and because we didn't want to repeat the same
mistakes as HAL and include everything in its database.
If you encounter an USB Mass Storage device that isn't detected correctly,
please open a bug against media-player-info :
MPI FILE FORMAT
Each mpi file is separated in several sections:
- [Device] (only mandatory section)
The [Device] section contains information about the media player:
- Product: human-readable product (device) name
- Vendor: human-readable vendor name
- AccessProtocol: the way this device is accessed. For now the only
supported value is "storage" for USB mass storage devices.
- Icon: (optional) Icon name to use instead of the default "media-player".
For actually identifying a player from hardware information in /sys, there are
- DeviceMatch field: semi-colon separated list of "usb:<vid>:<pid>" values
(<vid> is the USB vendor ID, <pid> is the USB product ID). This lists all the
USB that are described by the current mpi file.
- A combination of "USBVendor", "USBProduct", "USBModel", and "USBManufacturer"
strings (which map to the corresponding sysfs fields). You can use the '*'
wildcard. See apple-ipod.mpi for an example.
The [Media] section describes in more details which media formats the player
supports. For now it only describes audio capabilities, but video or artwork
capabilities might be added in the future. Each entry in the Media section
is a semi-colon-separated list of media mime types (audio/mpeg, audio/x-wav,
- InputFormats: audio formats the media player can record to
- OutputFormats: audio formats the media player can play back
The [Playlist] section describes the player playlist capabilites. If it's
absent, it means the player doesn't support playlists (or that the information
contained in media-player-info is incomplete, in such a case, please email us
or file a bug).
- Formats: a semi-colon-separated list of the mime-types of the
playlist formats supported by the device
- FolderSeparator: separator between directory/file names in playlist files. If
not given, "Unix" is assumed, which uses '/'. Some players require
"DOS", which will use '\'. Other values are invalid and will be ignored.
- LineEnding: line separator in playlist files. This can have the values 'CR',
'LF', or 'CRLF', which correspond to 0x0D (\r), 0x0A (\n), and 0x0D0A (\r\n)
respectively. If not given, the default behaviour depends on the music player
The [storage] section describes the location where media files can be found and
have to be stored.
- AudioFolders: a semi-colon-separeted list of directories where audio files
can be found and must be stored
- PlaylistPath: describes where and how the playlist files can be found and
have to be stored
- RequiresEject: the eject ioctl is required to properly eject the media
- FolderDepth: this tells applications exactly how deep of directory
hierarchies files should be placed in. If the device does not have a
limit, do not set this property.
MPI FILES NAMING CONVENTION
The current naming convention for .mpi file is as follows :
- <vendor> is the official name of the device's manufacturer. If the same
usb id is used by different market names, use the manufacturer name from
usb.ids/lsusb. If vendor name has more than one word, words are separated by
- <device> is the official name of the device. If the same .mpi file matches
more than one device, you can separate devices with extra "_". If the .mpi
file matches a lot of different market names, you can use 0x1111 where 1111
is the product id of the device (in this case, use a generic name inside the
.mpi file (e.g. "Mobile phone", "Media player"). If device name has more than
one word, words are separated by '-'
Please note that these conventions are not absolute rules but we try to keep
the naming coherant.