SomaFM Linux Clients

Updated 20-Sep-2023

Playing internet radio from the command line is quite a thing, especially the excellent Soma FM. Unfortunately there are some problems of late with various clients including:

The best approach is to fall back to an old David Moreno perl script.

My experience underscores the problem with NPM, Brew, and plain old make scripts for installing and removing applications. I could not get NPM to remove the package, and had to navigate to the directory to delete manually. After that, I tried to install the Rocky Madden script but make failed, and the homebrew installation options were tediously long and failed as well. We then turn back the clock to install a perl script and run it in short order.

sudo apt-get install libwww-perl mplayer
git clone
sudo cp somafm/somafm /usr/bin/
somafm --update

After this it is a matter of play your favorite channels, for example:

So many goodies, see the complete list.

SomaFM Command Line Commands

  • somafm -l: lists all stations
  • somafm -u: updates all stations (if a station is not currently present, or a seasonal station is not showing yet, such as the christmas stations).
  • somafm STATIONNAME: plays the station
  • ctrl-c (or whatever is set as the interrupt in the shell): stops playing

I usually create shorter script names to call the stations individually for my favorites.

Android App for SomaFM

The Alpha+ Player unofficial Soma FM client is a much better Android app than the official one, and also works well on Android TV.