I've been trying to consolidate my digital music purchases over the last 20 years (gulp). Here's where we stand with the big three services I've used.

Amazon: I cannot download any music from a web browser, except one album at a time. Still don't have my purchases. I'll have to spin up a Windows machine I think.

Google: had to request an archive. When it arrived, half of my music had no metadata? MusicBrainz got some of it.

Apple: zero issues from a Mac. Download and go.

Interestingly, I appear to be able to just pop the files onto a USB and run it right from my car.

No playlists, but it's nice not to get algorithm'd while I'm driving. I'm quite close to rehabbing my iPod and going old school- I can't take the horrible "radio" choices the streaming services make anymore!

I'm hoping to find a happy medium in "sync my purchased songs with my Android phone", as it would give me playlists. Can't figure out a player/manager combo that does playlists, though.

I could use Jellyfin, but I want offline sync- I hate using data I don't need (plus security).


Here's my ideal scenario:

1. Purchase music for download (or rip from CDs).
2. Create playlists, etc on my computer.
3. Sync music, along with playlists, with my Android phone, in a way that lets me listen offline.

So... basically what I had with my T-Mobile G1 back in 2010? Or my iPod in 2005?

@vkc the music app i use for offline music is called Vinyl; it's on F-Droid i believe. it also supports importing and exporting playlists as m3u files.

maybe you could sync between your computer with something like syncthing? i personally am trying to find a decentralized alternative to it but it works well for my notes and photos.

@reese @vkc

m3u + syncthing would work well. Make sure the m3u are using relative paths

@reese Syncthing is the next route I'm imagining. m3u has always been buggy with me on the desktop side, but admittedly it's been a bit.

@vkc lmk if / how well it works if you do go that route!

@reese nice solution! will try! I use Syncthing for all manner of purposes already similar to you. Tired if streaming services. They're feeling more shady by the day. I want my own non-DRM, local copies!

@vkc There's plenty of ways to sync files between devices. m3u is the flat file playlist format https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M3U Any one Android player with m3u support and any desktop player with m3u support should be able to pick and play an m3u synced alongside your music files.

@vkc VLC for Android supports m3u. I haven't been able to find any information if Simple Music Player does or not. https://www.simplemobiletools.com/

@vkc Mawahaha! My Prius 2014 still does MP3 CDs. Man when that car dies I'm going to really miss the ability to just burn a disc with hours upon hours of music/podcasts on it, toss it into the magic disc eating slot, and listen until the next Friday rolls around and burn over the stuff on the CD-RW.

The biggest benefit? No ads, no subscriptions, no tracking, no data usage, no draining my phone battery. It this what being old means?

@vkc I don't have playlists, but I sync my music from the NAS to my player with Syncthing, and it works great.

There are a lot of different player apps, Musicolet (in the Play store) is my current go-to.

@vkc If you have a Plex server, Android (not sure about iOS) has music-focused app called Plexamp, which can stream music and playlists, or download them for offline play.

@spicytamazon Plex is on the radar to evaluate, but also a bit heavier for my taste (I'm hoping to do away with a central server at this point).

That's fine for a while, until you run out of space. But until then: SyncThing + Vanilla Music Player (F-Droid) / VLC

On your computer: QuodLibet (player) + Syncthing + MusicBrainz Picard

QuodLibet allows you to write plugins. For example: only copy favorites songs to the synced folder to save space in your android. Or export an M3U of each playlist in QuodLibet.

I'm working on exporting playlists and ratings to MusicBrainz server too, but the API is very meh.
Anyway, QuodLibet + scripts

@vkc I do this now. Subsonic server to serve the songs and DSub for Android to download offline versions of the songs. It's not quite the same but I totally prefer it to streaming.

@vkc I actually do just that. So when I connect my phone to my car for Android auto/ navigation I can have advertising free music even when in the sticks and mobile connection is dead

@vkc I used to curate my music like that. But it's just sooooo much work. I understand if you're offline a lot though.

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