One Music Library to Rule Them All
December 3, 2013 6:18 AM   Subscribe

I currently use approximately four+ computers with all major OS'es (Mac, Windows, Linux-Ubuntu) between work and home. Plus an Ipod Classic for portable music listening. Problem is keeping my music library up to date on all machines, or synced together. If I create a playlist, or change ratings, genre, etc. the results also aren't propagated to the other machines. On Windows and Mac I've been using Itunes but I'm not necessarily tied to it, but it does work on 2 of the 3 OS'es. Any suggestions? There are some previous similar questions, but all look several years old.
posted by aarondesk to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
MediaMonkey works on Windows and WINE, so you'd have access from all three platforms, and it supports iOS 6 now, with support for iOS 7 in beta.

You can set it to automatically update its library information on a regular basis, as long as you keep it running. But I'd recommend only setting it to do that every day or so, late at night, as it can take a while if you've got a lot of tracks and uses a surprising amount of CPU time to do it.
posted by valkyryn at 6:28 AM on December 3, 2013

These days I use Google Play Music - you can upload 20,000 of your own songs for free, and it keeps everything in the cloud for you. The desktop player runs in browser, and I use it regularly on all three operating systems and my Android phone. They've just released an iOS app as well - I haven't used it, but I understand it works fine. If you're worried about mobile data usage, you can tell it to keep certain tracks/playlists/albums on device and only show you those when you're not connected to wi-fi.

The downside in your case is that it wouldn't work with your iPod. If you traded it in for an iPod touch you could download tracks over wi-fi and listen to them on the move, but there's not really an integrated solution for iPod classic.

For what it's worth, I used to use an iPod classic for most of my music listening and since I switched to Google Play Music it's been sat in a desk drawer doing not much, and I haven't really missed it. The pain of having to regularly update it from a central repository wasn't worth the convenience for me.
posted by spielzebub at 6:39 AM on December 3, 2013

This doesn't help you with your iPod, but if you're comfortable hosting an app somewhere, you can use Subsonic to serve your music collection to any device with a network connection. You'll have your playlists and ratings and complete collection everywhere.

It's what I do, and it's a super joy on road trips.
posted by Sauce Trough at 7:40 AM on December 3, 2013

I nth using a cloud music service. I use Spotify, but if you have a significant music library that isn't streamable from them then Google Play may be good.
posted by katrielalex at 8:03 AM on December 3, 2013

You might want to have a play with YamiPod.
posted by flabdablet at 8:05 AM on December 3, 2013

Response by poster: valkyryn - does MediaMonkey actually sync the files across computers, or just the details? It wasn't clear to me from their website.
posted by aarondesk at 8:30 AM on December 3, 2013

Since you're already using iTunes, iTunes Match will do what you want depending on the size of your library, but it's $25/year.
posted by FreezBoy at 8:44 AM on December 3, 2013

I have a similar setup minus Linux. For in-house music, I have one copy of the files and various players pointing to those files. (I use iTunes on Windows and OS X, XBox Music on Windows 8.1 and Google Music Manager). I've also used JRMediaCenter and Amazon Cloud pointed at the same files.

For remote music playing, I use Google Music to sync to the cloud, but you could just as easily use Amazon Cloud Player. Make sure you turn off any "automatic" organization, tagging or cover art features in the music players (iTunes does this).

If you do it this way, you only have to deal with changing the tags/files once instead of worrying about synching multiple copies in multiple places.
posted by cnc at 1:25 PM on December 3, 2013

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