Do you sync you know the answer?
May 14, 2012 1:41 PM   Subscribe

Help me manage my music library! I have circa 25GB of music, and I would like to know the best (least effort) way of keeping it up to date across my devices including syncing my playlists.

The devices in question are:
  • Windows 7 desktop PC (music currently in iTunes, legacy of a long-abandoned iPhone)
  • MacBook with Snow Leopard
  • Android phone, currently a HTC Desire
The main issues with the current setup are that any additions to the primary library on the desktop have to be manually transferred to the laptop. Files aren't a big issue but when I mess around with playlists is where it really gets to be a pain. I am particularly attached to my playlists and having to make them twice over for the two computers is more than slightly annoying.

In addition to this, the HTC Sync software's communication with iTunes is somewhat iffy. It only likes to sync either all audio files (doesn't distinguish between podcasts and music for example) or selected playlists.

Bonus question: I like to walk through the door listening to music and turn on my PC. It would be fantastic to have playback seamlessly switch from my phone to computer. Any software out there known to do this effectively?
posted by fearnothing to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
What about using Dropbox to sync across computers? You could follow an approach like the one here.
posted by golden at 1:50 PM on May 14, 2012

Are you prepared to pay for Spotify? That syncs playlists as long as they have your music in their database. (not normally a problem unless your taste is a bit obscure or your music has lots of disorganised metadata).
posted by KateViolet at 1:58 PM on May 14, 2012

I'm not sure about seamlessly transferring playback between devices, but for hassle free syncing I recommend subsonic. It's like a privately hosted Google Music or iTunes Match, for free.
posted by gd779 at 2:20 PM on May 14, 2012

It's probably expensive, but look at ReQuest Audio's products. I know it'll do what you want but I'm not sure exactly which of their products you need.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 2:23 PM on May 14, 2012

Try DoubleTwist.
posted by zeikka at 3:10 PM on May 14, 2012

I use Subsonic to serve music + playlists from my home fileserver to my home desktop, work desktop, multiple laptops, my Roku set-top box, and my Android phone. All you need is an internet-facing server to host your files and some free time to get it all wired together.

The server itself is free although the Android client costs $20.

It's pretty wonderful though I'm not sure what level of geek you have to be in order to get it all working.
posted by Sauce Trough at 3:50 PM on May 14, 2012

Response by poster: To keep any future answers on the right track...

- I don't want a solution that involves me subscribing to a service, so Spotify and Dropbox are not appropriate (looks like a really good guide though golden)
- Google isn't getting any more of my data than I can help
- ReQuest looks superb quality, and also major major overkill
- I'm not asking for simple solutions because I'm not tech savvy, I'm asking for them because I'm lazy.

I'll look in to both Subsonic and DoubleTwist, have a bit of a play and let you know what happens!
posted by fearnothing at 4:06 PM on May 14, 2012

Ok. You either need your computers rsyncing over your network and keeping your data synced, or streaming your music to your devices, or you need a way to keep files in sync across devices (not gonna work on your phone), aka you're going to need to use some sort of cloud service.

Keeping your playlists and files synced automatically answered here and here. Substitute your non-dropbox implementation. Btw microsoft is currently giving 25gbs of their skydrive syncing option for free right now.

So by subscribe, do you mean pay for? The two streaming services which will go a long way are google music and amazon music. Both will work with your android phone really well. But they won't sync playlists across iTunes. There are other options like audiogalaxy and mspot that provide similar functionality.
posted by stratastar at 11:17 PM on May 14, 2012

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