Alternative to Subsonic?

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Alternative to Subsonic?

Postby arctica » Sat Nov 27, 2021 9:47 am

I have been a paying user for Subsonic för some 10 years now.
I noticed that it is time to pay for another year again. While I am mostly happy with using Subsonic and AVSub for my iPhone and Carplay, I have a feeling that Subsonic nowadays is "abandonware" and nothing new will ever happen with the product. I know that one could say "OK, what are you missing then?", and I am not sure if I can answer with something in particular. But I still like to use a streaming solution where I know that there are still things being developed and actively being modernized.
So, the question is: What would the best alternative be for Subsonic?
I am using Plex on my TV's and computers for Video, but haven't explored it so much for audio. I have understood it that the app Plexamp will solve that I can use Carplay and iWatch. Anyone tried that and compared it to something like AVSUb?
Are there other good alternatives, any Open Source solutions that is as good as Subsonic and with an active developer community?
Of course, if Sindre would reply and say that there are some good things coming and Subsonic is actively being taken care of, I wouldn't hesitate to stay :D
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Re: Alternative to Subsonic?

Postby Jägs » Sun Nov 28, 2021 2:55 am

So, I migrated away from Subsonic—though I still run it as a backup—and investigated a number of alternatives (Funkwhale, Supysonic/Unsonic—Python-based Subsonic "clones", Koel, Ampache—which I used prior to Subsonic, but didn't want to get back into LAMPS, etc.), but focused on three:

- Airsonic
- Emby (like Plex and what I was already using for video)
- Navidrome

The challenge with most *sonic alternatives is that they are tag-based, not directory based like Subsonic. Such is the case with Plex, Emby, and Navidrome (and others). While I liked Navidrome—open source, active development, supports the Subsonic API (so you can use your favorite apps with it)—it was still a bit unpolished when I tried it so I ended up going with Emby, for a few reasons:

- Again, I'm already using it for video, so it offered an opportunity to unify my digital collection—including pictures—under one roof.
- It is under active development and also supports the "composer" tag (great for those of us with large classical music collections).
- Because I had to switch to a tag-based solution, it made sense to go this route with Emby, though I'm having to retag a large portion of my collection.
- Given the latter, I can always switch to Navidrome.

Now, Emby is not perfect—it's much slower than Subsonic when it comes to searching, likely due to my other collections—and would be well served by something like PlexAmp, but it was pretty easy to port over my Subsonic playlists and has been working pretty well.

Also, if you are interested in a more open source experience like Plex or Emby, check out Jellyfin. It's a port of Emby before the latter went (partially) closed source.
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Re: Alternative to Subsonic?

Postby acroyear » Sun Nov 28, 2021 2:48 pm

Navidrome is also tag-based only. It supports the musicDirectory API for compatibility but...it isn't the actual file structure. It is just artists -> albums -> songs only using the md's json format.

I dislike Plex for audio but i have my music in it for a back-up if my subsonic drops while i'm away from home. Plexamp doesn't help much when the problem is that you want a real reflection of how your files are organized, not just a better looking player. I dislike Plex because of how they got rid of public API support as part of their commercialization. I can't replicate the SubFire radio station idea in it.
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Re: Alternative to Subsonic?

Postby J_T_W » Sun Nov 28, 2021 5:07 pm

acroyear wrote:Navidrome is also tag-based only.


There is a file structure option in Navidrome: User Settings\Players\[your player]\"Report Real Path" - not perfect, but closer.

I personally have Subsonic, Airsonic Advanced, Navidrome, and Plex running - not really using Plex for audio. Its great that Airsonic Advanced and Navidrome are both under frequent development/release, so they have become my focus on moving off of Subsonic. I primarily only use Subsonic/Subsonic-derivatives for the API, relying on apps/sonos/etc. for content delivery. Navidrome IMO isn't quite ready to take over - I have found a few iOS apps don't seem to communicate with the API quite as expected in the area of downloading/streaming/queueing/etc. (freeze on advance and truncated song only when using the Navidrome server source) and no Sonos support without a 3rd party proxy. Also a little surprised that isn't SSL out of the box, but works fine with a reverse proxy. AA has the advantage of API and Sonos support without needing to pay, but feels to me like a development effort supporting more features than what I want from a music streamer in 2021 (video, internet tv, internet radio, podcasts, etc. - great back in the day, better tasked-base apps now).
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Re: Alternative to Subsonic?

Postby timlance » Sun Nov 28, 2021 5:12 pm

I, too, became weary of doubting Subsonic's future. I looked into the derivatives but am too old to learn new tricks (i.e. not inclined when things get too techie for me). So tried Plex and was displeased with how it modified my file structures on disc. Sure, might have been an ignorant decision I made somewhere along the line setting it up. Their forums are replete with how Plex screws with album art/artists/albums.

I painstakingly restored my on disc file structure to how I like it (1.77 TB). Then I made a special backup. (I have a relatively good, multiple backup scheme but by the time I gave up on Plex said backups were FUBAR, too.) I then tried Emby and was much happier. Their iOS app could be better but at least they are very aware of its shortcomings. Their forums are robust and developer participation is prompt, supportive, and transparent. I exclusively used it for quite some time.

But once I was sure it could replace Subsonic if need be I returned to Subsonic. I absolutely LOVE my iOS app, play:Sub - so much better than Emby's.

Subsonic has two things I wish could better Emby (and Plex, for that matter). Both Emby and Plex use significantly less RAM, sometimes half, but in truth, it's never been anywhere close to bad enough to notice in real use. Subsonic updates its database once a day, whereas Emby and Plex update in realtime.
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Re: Alternative to Subsonic?

Postby Jägs » Thu Dec 02, 2021 2:58 pm

Timlance:

Make sure you check out this thread on the Emby Community:

https://emby.media/community/index.php?/topic/84005-standalone-music-app/page/3/

One thing I proposed to their devs is support for the Subsonic API. If they did that, you could use your favorite app to play music from Emby. IMHO, that would be a killer feature and would really open up their platform.
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Re: Alternative to Subsonic?

Postby arctica » Thu Dec 02, 2021 7:22 pm

Thanks everybody for the great replies.
I bought the lifetime Plex pass during Black Friday, even if I wouldn't continue using Plexamp and the audio part of Plex it is still worth it for watching video on other devices.
I will still keep Subsonic on my server and monitor what Sindre has in plans for the future. But I will not pay for a subscription again until I see some sign of life from the developer(s).
I will look into Emby, it looks nice and I will follow what happens with the other forks and versions of Subsonic.
And a BIG thank you to Sindre for Subsonic, what a great product it was some 10 years ago when I found it, so many years ahead of its time then. My friends thought it was magic, like I was having my own Spotify version going on :D
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Re: Alternative to Subsonic?

Postby timlance » Fri Dec 03, 2021 3:19 am

Jägs wrote:Timlance:

Make sure you check out this thread on the Emby Community:

https://emby.media/community/index.php?/topic/84005-standalone-music-app/page/3/

One thing I proposed to their devs is support for the Subsonic API. If they did that, you could use your favorite app to play music from Emby. IMHO, that would be a killer feature and would really open up their platform.


Yep. Chimed in there in August?

Support for the API would be so very wonderful.
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Re: Alternative to Subsonic?

Postby LRanger » Sat Dec 18, 2021 11:48 am

I switched to Supysonic a year or so ago, it's much easier on resources (python not java) and I haven't had many compatibility issues with clients.

If you're considering the Emby route then I would recommend you try Jellyfin, a fork of Emby with none of the subscription nagging.
Last edited by LRanger on Sat Dec 25, 2021 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Alternative to Subsonic?

Postby nrc » Sun Dec 19, 2021 5:42 am

Argh. Feature-wise, I don't even care that Subsonic hasn't been updated. It does what I want. But obviously not if I can't safely expose it to the Internet. :cry:

I mainly want something to use as a streaming player that will allow remote access to my music collection. I also planned to start updating my home audio with Sonos speakers so that made Subsonic ideal.

Looks like there's a hack to add Sonos support to Navidrome. Any others?

My files are well tagged so I don't mind a tag based app as long as it doesn't change anything.

I tried Plex some time ago and didn't care for it. It seemed to have a lot of commercial version nags.
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Re: Alternative to Subsonic?

Postby J_T_W » Sun Dec 19, 2021 4:44 pm

If you're looking for a very lateral move, consider Airsonic Advanced https://github.com/airsonic-advanced/airsonic-advanced - It is in active development with frequent snapshot updates https://github.com/airsonic-advanced/airsonic-advanced/releases . Same feature set as Subsonic (API, Sonos, etc.) with updated code. As it is open source, you also get all the features Subsonic Premium gives you, but for free. Minimal effort for installation (latest Java installed, then a command line shortcut to the war file - upgrades even easier with just a fast war file change).

If you're really more API focused, and looking just for a music streaming service, you might consider moving off the Subsonic family of servers altogether. Check out Navidrome https://www.navidrome.org/ . That product is primarily to supply the API with a completely new back-end, and refocuses to just support for audio (no video, podcast, internet radio, etc.). There is not yet built in support for Sonos, but you can find easy linking with something like Bonob https://github.com/simojenki/bonob. As with Airsonic Advanced, no subscription or fee to access the API. Navidrome does have a simplified web UI if desired.

Both products support running as a service with something like NSSM https://nssm.cc/ and IIS works great as a reverse proxy if you wish to run them as SSL.
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Re: Alternative to Subsonic?

Postby bupkis » Mon Jan 31, 2022 10:51 pm

I'm now moving to Plex/Plexamp full time. I used to curate my collection religiously but Plex does that very well, not only with pictures of the artist (remember them?) and even All Music reviews of albums. And it does it automatically. I used to source FLACs and then convert them to high bitrate mp3s or aac files in my library, making sure track names were correct and there was cover art. Now, just throw an album's worth of FLACs into the library source directory and Plex just deals with it.

I listen to a lot of music in the car and although Play:Sub works through CarPlay, the experience with Plexamp is just so much better. A million ways to generate playlists based on all kinds of criteria.

I had a long run with subsonic, but Plex/Plexamp have really taken things to the next level. I haven't stopped Subsonic on my server yet, but will be doing so shortly. Pity Sindre didn't feel Subsonic was something he could continue to develop, but I respect him for developing it in the first place and he'll always have my gratitude for software that was a revelation to me when I first set it up.
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Re: Alternative to Subsonic?

Postby Arniceous » Tue Feb 08, 2022 7:47 pm

arctica wrote:I have been a paying user for Subsonic för some 10 years now.
I noticed that it is time to pay for another year again. While I am mostly happy with using Subsonic and AVSub for my iPhone and Carplay, I have a feeling that Subsonic nowadays is "abandonware" and nothing new will ever happen with the product. I know that one could say "OK, what are you missing then?", and I am not sure if I can answer with something in particular. But I still like to use a streaming solution where I know that there are still things being developed and actively being modernized.
So, the question is: What would the best alternative be for Subsonic?
I am using Plex on my TV's and computers for Video, but haven't explored it so much for audio. I have understood it that the app Plexamp will solve that I can use Carplay and iWatch. Anyone tried that and compared it to something like AVSUb?
Are there other good alternatives, any Open Source solutions that is as good as Subsonic and with an active developer community?
Of course, if Sindre would reply and say that there are some good things coming and Subsonic is actively being taken care of, I wouldn't hesitate to stay :D
Why pay for year instead of lifetime ffs

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