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  • Coles226
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Advice on Syncing & Managing Audio Library
Looking for some advice on how to manage syncing my music library across multiple devices.  I currently have an MP3 library on my PC of about 12,000 songs.  I listen to music about 90% of the time on my Android phone and the other 10% on my PC.  I have a microSD card in my phone that can support my entire library.

My objective is to have my music synced between my Android phone and PC.  This would include ALL music as well as playlists.  So if I were to get a new Android phone, I could plug that in to my PC and grab all music and playlists from there without having to start fresh on the phone.  Any advice on what would be needed (software, etc) to use to achieve this? 

It would be a bonus if I could also have my playlists and music synced with Google Play Music.  The kicker for me is that I do not want to be limited to streaming music from Google Play Musicif I am driving in my car (in which case I want to be listening to the same music locally on my phone (so I do not consume cell data).

Thank you for the advice in advance.

  • Daeron
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Advice on Syncing & Managing Audio Library
Reply #1
If you have no storage limitations, you might as well just use something like BTSync to mirror your library across all your devices.
  • Last Edit: 06 March, 2015, 07:29:08 PM by Daeron

  • lothario15
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Advice on Syncing & Managing Audio Library
Reply #2
Following on from Daeron's advice, I would also recommend the use of a synchronisation tool to keep your library mirrored across your phone and PC.  As well as BTSync, there's also the free and open-source SyncThing.  But be warned, they may be all well and good for ensuring the music files are mirrored but they may not address the other problem: playlists.

See, corporations know that by holding a user's playlists or metadata hostage there is a greater barrier for exit from their music service or eco-system.  By making it difficult to export or transfer a user's playcounts, ratings and/or playlists, it is hoped that the user will not bother with the effort of moving to a competing service.  Most of them seem to do this to varying degrees.

With Android, Google appear to have designed the system to store playlists in a database in the data partition.  It appears to do this with playlists created in the system media player, as well as with any playlists that are copied to the device storage.  They are then read by apps which request details from the playlist media store.  This makes things a little more difficult than simply copying a playlist file from one location to another.  Apparently, PowerAmp (playlist export) can liberate system playlists but I have no experience of either of those apps.

Personally, I resolved a long time ago not to have my data held hostage by any programme so I liberated my playlists by re-creating them in .m3u format.  Since m3u playlists are simply text files listing songs, they can be created and edited in any text editor on any device.  If you choose to do this, just be sure to make the first line is #EXTM3U, as in this example:
Code: [Select]
#EXTM3U
./Path/To/Song.ogg
./Mr. Blobby/The Blobby Song.ogg
./Even/More/Silly/Song.ogg
./Runtlethrop & The Lust Maggots/Breakfast Jihad/Uncle Potato.ogg
./And/So/On.ogg

Save the file as NameHere.m3u, and Bob's your mother's fraternal relative.

I popped a copy of the m3u playlists in the music folder of your SD card.  So, while Android will read these playlist contents and re-create them in the media store, they can still be synced along with the music files themselves.  Also, you can transfer playlists as easily as popping the card in a new device.

The downside to this approach is that editing playlists is a little more fiddly than simply dragging songs; instead new entries must be typed into the m3u text files.

Alternatively, explore whether DoubleTwist for Android solves your problem.  Again, I have no experience of it but apparently it can sync.

  • Coles226
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Advice on Syncing & Managing Audio Library
Reply #3
Thank you both for the advice.  I looked into BTSync (aka "Sync") and noticed the free version cannot sync unlimited folders.  I have tons of folders in my library, so dont think this will work as I want to keep this a free solution.  I could still check out Syncthing, but syncing playlists is really a big part of what I want to achieve.

I am OK with sticking to just one media player to make this work.  I do use MediaMonkey for a number of things on my PC and noticed that there is a sync option for Android:  http://www.mediamonkey.com/wiki/index.php/..._Android_device.

Do you think if I resigned to using MediaMonkey as my only Android media player that this would take care of the playlist and library syncing wish I have?  I also looked at DoubleTwist (have not tried it) but perhaps the syncing would be no different than described with MediaMonkey?

  • Daeron
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Advice on Syncing & Managing Audio Library
Reply #4
Are you sure you didn't misunderstood something about BTSync?  You MIGHT have 10 'shares' total (IF that's even true) but I'm fairly sure one share may contain an infinite or most likely very high number of folders/files. From where did you get your info?

  • Coles226
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Advice on Syncing & Managing Audio Library
Reply #5
Well I found two softwares when searching for BTSync (please tell me whcih you are referring to):

1. BTSync (https://www.btsync.com/en/):  This only works as a 14-day trial then requires a quarterly fee.  So based on the fee part, I am not interested in that solution.
2. BitTorrent Sync (https://www.getsync.com/features):  There is a free version that has a limitation on folders to sync and then a paid "Pro" version that allows for unlimited folders.  You can see the comparison of each product at the bottom of page from the link

And as lothario15 mentioned, I would have to do the manual playlist thing to make this work (typing in new entries).  This seems really cumbersome, and if a software like MediaMonkey will sync both playlists and libraries as long as I commit to that software, then this seems alot easier to me.  Perhaps I will give that a shot unless a free Sync program would be easier.

  • Daeron
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Advice on Syncing & Managing Audio Library
Reply #6
The first link is just a cloud hoster who happens to use the Bittorrent Sync tech, not relevant (but obviously they knew what domain to go for). The second is what I was referring to, but seems like you got pretty unlucky. From what I've gathered they very recently updated their version to 2.0 which introduces the pro subscription and the 10 folder limit on free users that previously didn't exist. I wouldn't be surprised if 1.4 (or whatever the old version was) still allows unlimited folders for free, though.

But yes, if you also need to sync playlists, the problem becomes much more troublesome than just syncing the library. Coming from foobar I simply create and dispose playlists on the fly, the days when I would care about exporting static playlists are long gone, but that's just me. Which means I can't really help you on that front, sadly.
  • Last Edit: 09 March, 2015, 05:34:22 PM by Daeron

  • 37KDeep
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Re: Advice on Syncing & Managing Audio Library
Reply #7
I want to do EXACTLY what Coles226 has suggested. I want to sync all of my music and playlists across all devices (PC, android, iPad). So there is no FREE, EASY way to do this? Sad.