Is there a way to get the currently playing item in the vlc media player using command line or python in ubuntu ?

  • I recall seeing somewhere that you can communicate with VLC via sockets. Maybe looking at this code might help you.
    – Joseph R.
    Apr 15, 2013 at 20:58

1 Answer 1


VLC has a mini web server included that supports macros that you can use to query the current item, time left, etc.

Read here.

Although this is far from perfect, VLC ships with a little HTTP server integrated. It is used both to stream using HTTP, and for the HTTP remote control interface. To start VLC with the HTTP interface, use:

% vlc -I http (--http-src /directory/ --http-host host:port)

To get the current playlist item and time position, Try creating an html file containing this :

<vlc id="value" param1="stream_length" />
<vlc id="foreach" param1="pl" param2="playlist" />
  <vlc id="if" param1="pl.current" />
     <vlc id="value" param1="pl.uri" />
  <vlc id="end" />
<vlc id="end" />

The method to get the current URI is really dirty, but I don't think we have a better one at the moment.

Place this file in the HTTP interface path (/usr/share/vlc/http, or /usr/local/share/http probably, or share/http in the source tree if you're running an uninstalled version).

Then, you can use

wget http://vlc_streamer:8080/your_file

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.