Sharing Music from Linux

Last weekend I finally got fed up with the movie player that came with Ubuntu for playing music and started looking for alternatives. It turns out Rythmbox is the music player that came with Ubuntu, but it wasn’t set as the default for opening audio files. It was rather easy to import my music directory into it, but about ten seconds into the import the ftp to my file server died and killed the import. I don’t know why it disconnected, but I figured there had to be a decent way to share the music directly from my server over the network instead of connecting with ftp and playing music from the file mount.

I finally got around to looking into that this weekend, and almost immediately found mt-daapd. Rythmbox automatically discovers DAAP servers on the local network on start, so I figured I’d try it. Supposedly, ITunes will discover DAAP servers too, so I’ll even be covered if I boot into Windows for some reason.

Mt-daapd was by far the easiest thing I’ve set up on my server. It installed with apt-get: sudo apt-get install mt-daapd. The installer even set it up to start on boot and started the service. Unfortunately, it didn’t have a clue where to find my music (since I don’t keep my music in my home directory), so I had to edit the conf file: sudo vi /etc/mt-daapd.conf and set the mp3_dir property to the directory all my music is in. At that point I restarted my server (to make sure the start on boot script was working before I forgot about it), opened Rythmbox, and everything just worked.

My only complaint now is that Rythmbox won’t let me search by genre, but it will let me sort by genre, so I can just select the set of songs from the list that I feel like listening to and add those to the play queue.

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