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Utterly New: Questions About What Subsonic Can Do

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 4:59 am
by Malfarious

I'm hoping some of you fine folks can tell me if Subsonic can solve the following issue.

So I have a carefully curated mp3 collection since the days of yore (Napster) that I have recently swapped from iTunes to Musicbee. I have just created dozens of playlists and filled out all the album art and the details I care about for each mp3 (I think). So cool: it's all set on my laptop.

Unfortunately, I still use CDs in my car. *shudder*
I used to use Google Play Music on my phone but I found it awful. It doubled files a lot and made me recreate all my playlists, poorly.

Here's what I want Subsonic to do: I want to load it on my laptop and load the app version on my Samsung phone, which I think is straightforward. I want them to sync, so when I add new mp3s to my Musicbee library, which I will curate carefully, they will show up the next day in the car. When I plug the phone into my car, I want it to access the Musicbee library including all the playlists in a USER FRIENDLY way so I can hop about, choose some tunes, and get moving because I have two kids and am tired all the time. User friendly is key since this is why I quit Google Play Music. It just sucked to look after.

Summary points:
-App on phone always tracks to main Musicbee library
-App on phone allows quick access to pre-built playlists, simple sorting of library

If this is all good, I'm sold.

Re: Utterly New: Questions About What Subsonic Can Do

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:13 pm
by acroyear
Does Musicbee move your files around to a single 'root' (the way, say, iTunes does by default)? I don't know enough about it to say.

But so long as your files are under a single root folder or single small set of folders, it is easy to get Subsonic to see them. Playlists are a simple check a checkbox and "add to playlist" (I'm working on a more complex drag-n-drop based editor but it'll still be months away before I can feel comfortable releasing it).

On the app, playlists are their own page, easy to get to from the 'home', just click to load it, then click a song entry to start playing from that point.

If you cultivate your playlists in Musicbee, you should be able to export them as m3u and import them to create new playlists in subsonic. "should" - I can't say for sure. When you do, best to delete older playlists you don't need as you can't replace one's existing playlist contents; you can only create new ones.

Subsonic can auto-schedule refreshing the folders, though you can't update a playlist to add a new file until the folders have been refreshed and subsonic knows the file exists. So first you need to do a scan before you can upload a new m3u file.

Re: Utterly New: Questions About What Subsonic Can Do

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:30 am
by Malfarious
All mp3 files are in a single directory, yes.

Can Subsonic 'read' my playlists once installed in both locations and auto-create each one if the libraries are the same? One of the objectives is to not have to curate it on the phone, but the phone picks up all curations from the master Musicbee, as in, any changes to playlists, deleted playlists, new playlists, etc. Or do I basically make an 'imprint' of my current set up when I first install and load up, but then it doesn't keep up unless I actively add/delete/curate the playlists on the phone?

And thanks for your response.

Re: Utterly New: Questions About What Subsonic Can Do

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:49 pm
by acroyear
Playlists are stored in their "final" form on the server. Every app will see the list of playlists and be able to play them.

Playlists are not automatically generated in Subsonic in any way. You need to upload the m3u file to Subsonic with the physical file names, or create it by hand. That's why I was asking/suggesting if musicbee had an m3u export. That way you could do the work in musicbee, then export the m3u, import into subsonic (and delete any out of date playlists in subsonic), all at the browser.

Then a subsonic app on the phone would see the playlists and be able to play with just a couple of clicks. The whole point of the Subsonic service is one single view of your files and playlists - any app sees the same thing as your browser does. The only downloading that subsonic android and related apps (DSub) do is for caching performance.

Re: Utterly New: Questions About What Subsonic Can Do

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:28 pm
by phred
I think you're making it more difficult than it has to be. You can eliminate the 'middle man' by not using SubSonic at all.

MusicBee can sync directly to your Android phone via a wired USB connection, or via WiFi. Note that WiFi sync is in an early beta stage and currently for phones that use GoneMad or PowerAmp as the music player. Also note that iDevices are not supported by MB.

So if you're using Android, in MB go to Preferences > Device > Configure > Settings where you can set the playlist format that your phone app uses. And under Music, you can set which playlists you want to sync.

Further questions about this should be posted in the Portable Devices section of the MB forum -

Re: Utterly New: Questions About What Subsonic Can Do

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:33 am
by Malfarious
Thank you both.

Re: Utterly New: Questions About What Subsonic Can Do

PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:36 am
by Malfarious
After thinking a bit, I realize this isn't exactly what I'm looking for.

I don't want to manually sync a bunch of playlists. I want to access the files from the cloud like Google Play Music did - actually access my collection so all changes are live on the spot. Since it doesn't seem like Musicbee does this, is there a program designed to access your collections from Cloud and withdraw playlists, ratings, etc. automatically from Google File Stream or equivalent? Then every bit of maintenance you do is auto-updated to the phone or whatever for use in the car.

Re: Utterly New: Questions About What Subsonic Can Do

PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:07 pm
by acroyear
What do you mean by "the Cloud"?

The point of Subsonic is to have your music, sitting on your home server, become available on the network. It makes a cloud server out of your home collection. The files never go anywhere; they stay where you put them on your home file system.

There's no 'sync' with phone necessary - i'm not sure what "maintenance" you are talking about.

The playlists sit on the server alongside the files (in the database), and the app loads them to stream them to the phone or other web client. It re-reads the list of playlists every time you hit the page. Individual music files are temporarily cached in the phone for ease of playback as they are asked for, but it isn't optimized for any kind of offline mode. everything else is in the database and the app sees it (if it cares to show it - i don't bother showing rating info in SubFire yet). It does not 'sync' with the phone app in any way - it only loads the song as the player needs to play it, preloading a few ahead based on the settings for speed.

If what you mean is that all your files are on Google Drive, not at home? There is no service I know of that pulls from Google Drive. Plex had it for a while but got rid of it.

There are ways to 'mount' a Google Drive or Amazon S3 store as a file system onto your local machine, but they are somewhat technical and out of scope for this group. Once mounted, Subsonic's server can scan them and serve them to the apps. However, it means it is reading from google drive all the time, and also will do a full scan of EVERY music file when it first is configured, which may blow your bandwidth limits or (for S3) add to your bandwidth costs. It also hits your home network hard because it is not streaming from the service directly - it is sending the file home, then sending it back out to your phone's client. I really don't recommend that.

Re: Utterly New: Questions About What Subsonic Can Do

PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:22 am
by Malfarious
Thank you, that was very helpful. I am very slow at this and may use the wrong words, etc.

By 'the cloud' I just mean what it seems Subsonic does: access to one root location from a remote source, like a car / phone in a car. Google Play basically scanned my drive, uploaded all my mp3s into the cloud, then the app on my phone just accessed them readily - but it was not user friendly, impossible to create playlists with, and they stopped supporting it. I basically want that same set up, only upon accessing this root directory the playlists and files come with it to the mobile device, updating as I change the root.

Above someone said Musicbee could maybe do everything for me... but I don't think it pulls from a directory like that. Or wherever. I could just sync files or playlists to my phone, but they would not auto-update as I update my root directory (add files, make new playlists, etc). Maybe Subsonic could be the portal I'm looking for? The app seems simple and user friendly.

Or perhaps what I want doesn't exist yet and I'm so clueless I can't even figure this out.

Bear with me! Tired dad!

Re: Utterly New: Questions About What Subsonic Can Do

PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:26 pm
by acroyear
Subsonic has its own clients. It doesn't 'sync' music or playlists to the phone: every time you start the app, the app refreshes the playlists from the server, and as you browse through the folders, you see the latest presuming you've done a 'rescan' on your server (and you can configure that to be automatic).

The whole point is to not have to worry about any of that. Whatever you do in Subsonic on the desktop version becomes available to every mobile Subsonic client (Android, IOS, or web) immediately. Just open the app on your phone, pick a playlist, and start playing. No additional work required.

(and yeah, Amazon music used to let you upload your own files to their service, and stopped that as well - it was part of the deal they needed to make with the labels to get the universal streaming spotify clones they've built.)

Re: Utterly New: Questions About What Subsonic Can Do

PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:42 pm
by G8DHE
On the Android clients you can choose to "Pin" the files in the cache, this saves on download bandwidth/cost and enables you to continue playing in the event of signal loss.

Re: Utterly New: Questions About What Subsonic Can Do

PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:38 am
by Malfarious
That sounds like what I'm looking for then. I'm not as worried about bandwidth (at least, not yet). I have many playlists, so to access them with that much ease would upgrade my music game in the car tenfold.

Re: Utterly New: Questions About What Subsonic Can Do

PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:55 am
by 3Dscrewer
If you are using iTunes before, are you Apple user? In that case iTunes Match might be the best choice. It is simply working, no hassle AND there is a support and continuous professionell development.
The only Limitation is 100.000 Tracks that you can hold in the Cloud and it costs 29.-€ p/A, but your Music is always online, no need for an Server running 24/7. I have 260.000 Tracks and thats the only reason why I fight with this buggy Server without support and development and the almost buggy iOS Clients. Same to Madsonic .....