OCP stands for OpenVoiceOS Common Play, it is a full-fledged media player


OCP is a OVOSAbstractApplication, this means it is a standalone but native OVOS application with full voice integration

OCP differs from a typical mycroft-core audio service in several aspects:

  • Can run standalone, only needs a bus connection
  • OCP provides its own intents as if it was a skill
  • OCP provides its own GUI as if it was a skill
  • OCP skills have a dedicated MycroftSkill subclass and decorators in ovos-workshop
  • OCP skills act as media providers, they do not (usually) handle playback
  • OCP handles several kinds of playback, including video
  • OCP has a sub-intent parser for matching requested media types
  • AudioService becomes a subsystem for OCP
  • OCP also has AudioService plugin component introducing a compatibility layer for skills using "old style audioservice api"
  • OCP integrates with MPRIS, it can be controlled from external apps, e.g. KdeConnect in your phone
  • OCP manages external MPRIS enabled players, you can voice control 3rd party apps without writing a skill for it via OCP
  • mycroft-core CommonPlay skill framework is disabled when OCP loads
  • WARNING: this will be removed in ovos-core 0.1.0 or earlier
  • mycroft-core CommonPlay skills have an imperfect compatibility layer and are given lower priority over OCP skills
  • WARNING: this will be removed in ovos-core 0.1.0 or earlier

OCP Skills

Skills provide search results, think about them as media providers/catalogs for OCP

You can find OCP skills in the awesome-ocp-skills list

Skills Menu

Some skills provide featured_media, you can access these from the OCP menu

Homescreen widget

The homescreen skill that comes pre-installed with OpenVoiceOS also comes with a widget for the OCP framework.

File Browser integration

selected files will be played in OCP

folders are considered playlists

MPRIS integration

Sync with external players

Via MPRIS OCP can control and display data from external players, if using KDEConnect this includes playback in connected devices

See a demo here

demo video

This also includes voice intents, allowing you for example to voice control spotify

Manage multiple players

If OCP is set to manage external players it will ensure only one of them is playing media at once, if using KDEConnect this includes playback in connected devices

See a demo here (warning: contains black metal)

demo video



Some OCP settings are exposed via the GUI

Visualization can be either a wave or bars, just tap on it to change

Timeout settings, return to homescreen widget after 30 seconds


OCP contains an audio service plugin component that acts as a compatibility layer with MycroftAI CommonPlay skills framework.

in mycroft-core you can set OCP as default-backend, ovos-core is not required for OCP

For compatibility and historical reasons OCP reads its configuration from the "Audio" section

"Audio": {
    "backends": {
      "OCP": {
        "type": "ovos_common_play",
        "active": true
        // all values below are optional

        // plugin config
        // operational mode refers to the OCP integration
        // "external" - OCP is already running elsewhere, connect by bus only
        // "native" - launch OCP service from the plugin
        // "auto" - if OCP is already running connect to it, else launch it
        // you should only change this if you want to run OCP as a standalone system service
        "mode": "auto",

        // MPRIS integrations
        // integration is enabled by default, but can be disabled
        "disable_mpris": False,
        // dbus type for MPRIS, "session" or "system"
        "dbus_type": "session",
        // allow OCP to control MPRIS enabled 3rd party applications
        // voice enable them (next/prev/stop/resume..)
        // and stop them when OCP starts it's own playback
        // NOTE: OCP can be controlled itself via MPRIS independentely of this setting
        "manage_external_players": False,

        // Playback settings
        // AUTO = 0 - play each entry as considered appropriate,
        //            ie, make it happen the best way possible
        // AUDIO_ONLY = 10  - only consider audio entries
        // VIDEO_ONLY = 20  - only consider video entries
        // FORCE_AUDIO = 30 - cast video to audio unconditionally
        //                   (audio can still play in mycroft-gui)
        // FORCE_AUDIOSERVICE = 40 - cast everything to audio service backend,
        //                           mycroft-gui will not be used
        // EVENTS_ONLY = 50 - only emit ocp events,
        //                    do not display or play anything.
        //                    allows integration with external interfaces
        "playback_mode": 0,

        // ordered list of audio backend preferences,
        // when OCP selects a audio service for playback
        // this list is checked in order until a available backend is found
        "preferred_audio_services": ["vlc", "mplayer", "simple"],

        // when media playback ends "click next"
        "autoplay": True,
        // if True behaves as if the search results are part of the playlist
        //  eg:
        //   - click next in last track -> play next search result
        //   - end of playlist + autoplay -> play next search result
        "merge_search": True,

        // search params
        // minimum time to wait for skill replies,
        // after this time, if at least 1 result was
        // found, selection is triggered
        "min_timeout": 5,
        // maximum time to wait for skill replies,
        // after this time, regardless of number of
        // results, selection is triggered
        "max_timeout": 15,
        // ignore results below min_Score
        "min_score": 50,
        // stop collecting results if we get a
        // match with confidence >= early_stop_thresh
        "early_stop_thresh": 85,
        // sleep this amount before early stop,
        // allows skills that "just miss" to also be taken into account
        "early_stop_grace_period": 0.5,
        // if True emits the regular mycroft-core
        // bus messages to get results from "old style" skills
        "backwards_compatibility": True,
        // allow skills to request more time,
        // extends min_timeout for individual queries (up to max_timeout)
        "allow_extensions": True,
        // if no results for a MediaType, perform a second query with MediaType.GENERIC
        "search_fallback": True,

        // stream extractor settings
        // how to handle bandcamp streams
        // "pybandcamp", "youtube-dl"
        "bandcamp_backend": "pybandcamp",
        // how to handle youtube streams
        // "youtube-dl", "pytube", "pafy", "invidious"
        "youtube_backend": "invidious",
        // the url to the invidious instance to be used"
        // by default uses a random instance
        "invidious_host": None,
        // get final stream locally or from where invidious is hosted
        // This partially allows bypassing geoblocked content,
        // but it is a global flag, not per entry.
        "invidious_proxy": False,
        // different forks of youtube-dl are supported
        // "yt-dlp", "youtube-dl", "youtube-dlc"
        "ydl_backend": "yt-dlp",
        // how to extract live streams from a youtube channel
        // "pytube", "youtube_searcher", "redirect", "youtube-dl"
        // uses youtube auto redirect https://www.youtube.com/{channel_name}/live
        "youtube_live_backend": "redirect"


Having trouble getting OCP to run properly and be exposed as an MPRIS media player? Check the following:

  • The DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS environment variable is what OCP uses to try to connect to dbus. On an OVOS system it will look something like unix:path=/run/user/1000/bus. To get the right user ID, run id -u.
  • If DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS is not set, the next place OCP checks is the DISPLAY environment variable. If this is set and looks similar to the value above, then you can probably exclude DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS, but if neither are set then use DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS.
  • Make sure your OCP settings in your config file like something like the following, taking note of the dbus_type value:
   "Audio": {
      "backends": {
         "OCP": {
            "type": "ovos_common_play",
            "active": true,
            "dbus_type": "session"
  • If your dbus_type is set to system then OCP will still work, but since it requires root privileges to read from the system dbus, external systems or programs without root privileges cannot read the MPRIS data there.

You can confirm if the OCP player is registered with dbus using the following command: dbus-send --session --dest=org.freedesktop.DBus --type=method_call --print-reply /org/freedesktop/DBus org.freedesktop.DBus.ListNames

The output should look something like the following, if it is working:

method return time=1691467760.293397 sender=org.freedesktop.DBus -> destination=:1.10 serial=3 reply_serial=2
   array [
      string "org.freedesktop.DBus"
      string "org.freedesktop.systemd1"
      string ":1.10"
      string "org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.OCP"
      string ":1.9"
      string ":1.1"

The important part is the org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.OCP value.

If the above steps do not work, please reach out to the OVOS team on Matrix for assistance.