Recently, I had to reinstall Windows. One of the things I had to set up was MPD, the Music Player Daemon.

This is a short guide on how to do this.

Step 1: get MPD and MPC

Download MPD (, replacing x.y.z with whatever is the current available version of this file) and MPC (mpc-x.y-win32-zip). I suggest using C:\mpd as your base path. This post assumes you actually used this value.

Put everything from the /mpd-x.y.z-win32/bin/ directory of the archive into your base path (C:\mpd). From the archive, take mpc.exe and libmpdclient-2.dll and put them there.

Step 2: create a config file

You need to create a configuration file. A sample one is included in /mpd-x.y.z-win32/doc/mpdconf.sample. Use the winmm output type.

Warning: Windows Notepad will not work, because it does not understand Unix-style line endings (\n instead of \r\n).

For db_file and log_file, I recommend a file in C:\mpd\data\. I also recommend saving your config as C:\mpd\data\mpd.conf (in fact, this is yet another assumption we make in this guide)

Multi Boot Corner: keep parts of the config the same

Because I have a dual-boot system, there are some directions for multi-boot users.

Your music_directory, playlist_directory and state_file must be the same on all the systems in your multi-boot environment. It is recommended to use the same db_file.

Your audio outputs must have the same names.

Step 3: test your configuration

Open up two Command Prompt windows. In the first one, run:

cd C:\mpd
mpd data\mpd.conf

If you see this message:

Failed to load database: Failed to open database file "<name>": No such file or directory

then you can ignore it. If you see another message, fix whatever it states. You may also use --stdout or -v to get more output messages.

Multi Boot path

If you followed the Multi Boot instructions correctly, you might be hearing music already. If you do not, use your other Command Prompt window and run:

cd C:\mpd
mpc play

If it outputs the name of a song, a [playing] line, all is well (if you cannot hear music, unmute your audio).

If you do not have a mpd database yet, use the Single path.

If MPD works, press Ctrl+C in the window where you ran ``mpd datampd.conf.``

Single path

In the other Command Prompt window, run:

cd C:\mpd
mpc update
mpc add "FILENAME"
mpc play

(FILENAME should be a name of a file in your music library. Make sure to keep the quotes.)

And now you should hear music. If you do not, try to unmute, then read the output of mpc and try to fix it.

If MPD works, press Ctrl+C in the window where you ran ``mpd datampd.conf.``

Step 3.5: test GMPC

Start the Gnome Music Player Client. Click Forward, Connect, Forward, Close and all should be well.

Step 4: create a Windows service

In order to run the daemon in the daemon mode, i.e. hidden, you need to perform some extra steps. You cannot use Startup in the Start Menu, you also cannot use the Run registry keys (this results in an ugly Command Prompt window running all the time that you cannot close or hide in the tray).

How to solve this problem? Just run it as a Windows service. That is very easy to do.

Open a Command Prompt window as an administrator (right-click on Command Prompt in the Start Menu/on the Start Screen and choose Run as administrator).

In that window, run one very easy command (make sure to copy-paste this exactly!):

sc create mpd binPath= "c:\mpd\mpd.exe c:\mpd\data\mpd.conf"

If it said:

  • [SC] CreateService SUCCESS, congratulations — you are almost done! Skip down to Service configuration.

  • [SC] OpenSCManager FAILED 5: Access is denied., you need an Administrator Command Prompt.

  • something else, check your spelling or Google the error.

Service configuration

That is the easiest part of this guide.

Start the Services console. You can get to it by typing services.msc into the Start Menu/Screen search (Run for XP or older).

In the tool, find the mpd service. Go to the Log On tab, choose This account: and enter your credentials there. Hit Apply and go to the General tab, on which you should choose the Startup type to be Automatic (Delayed Start). Finish by pressing Start. MPD should be running and configured properly. You can now hit OK and close the Services window, along with the command prompts you have open.

Warning: if you change your Windows password, you need to change your password in the Services console as well!

Just in case: uninstalling the service

First off, stop the service (in the Services console or through sc stop mpd in an administrator command prompt).

Then, run sc delete mpd.