Anyone used Subsonic?
January 25, 2010 1:09 PM   Subscribe

Anyone had any luck with Subsonic on an Android phone? I can't find any in-depth reviews, so I turn to the Green.

I'm considering a move to an Android phone and was wondering if anyone has any stories, good or bad, about using Subsonic with them. I've got quite a bit of .flac, and there being no support for that format on Android at the moment, streaming my library from my computer sounds even more awesome than it would anyways.

Cell coverage is great in my town, strong 3G signal basically everywhere, but my internet connect kinda sucks. Like 3Mbit/sec up and 1.5Mbit/sec down. Is that going to be enough?

I'm running Windows 7 on a Core i5 if that's going to make a difference.
posted by valkyryn to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Not quite an answer to your question, but for what it's worth:

I have no idea what Android phone you are using, but there are custom builds of Android that include FLAC support. I use a CyanogenMod build (for the HTC Dream/Magic)that does, and I can confirm that it does work.

I would be surprised if FLAC support is not incorporated into builds for other Android phones as well.

Or, I suppose, you could roll your own.
posted by hoboynow at 2:25 PM on January 25, 2010

As noted by hoboynow, yeah, there's FLAC support for Android, depending on what you do.

But yeah, I'm running Subsonic on my computer (Windows 7, nothing fancy) at home, and stream to my work computer and occasionally phone (G1/Dream). It works decently well for streaming to the phone. I can't vouch for the FLAC performance, since I don't use FLAC. I have it set to transcode (generally) V0 MP3s down to 96kbps when serving things to my phone, and haven't had any problems on 3G. (And it sounds decent.) I imagine as long as your computer can handle the transcoding horsepower, then it would be the same. Occasionally it takes an extra second or two to start a song, but no serious issues.

A buddy runs Subsonic, and has a large FLAC collection. Never accessed it on my phone, but works great when listening from my computer.

I think my home bandwidth is similar to yours, though to be honest I'm not sure off the top of my head (I've bounced around different comcast specials so much, I don't know what I'm on right now).

So the big issues I think are (a) how low you want to transcode the music. (b) transcoding horsepower at home. (c) keep in mind that if your internet provider sets a monthly bandwidth limit, you've got to be a little careful how much you stream. Could add up quick, even at 96kbps.
posted by inigo2 at 2:58 PM on January 25, 2010

The Subsonic forums were decent when I was trying to set things up (never asked any questions, just searched existing posts). Looked like the author was pretty involved.

One other thing to note -- the Android streaming is apparently only a 30-day trial. After that, you need to donate to Subsonic to get a license key for your server in order for it to work.
posted by inigo2 at 3:00 PM on January 25, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks guys.

I've got it up and running. The client/server part works great. My ISP sucks, but that's a different issue.

So, for the record, if you want to have this work at listenable bitrates, you're going to want a lot more than a 3Mbps connection.

Gonna have to make a call about that...
posted by valkyryn at 6:02 AM on January 26, 2010

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