My music streaming setup

Think Spotify, but self-hosted and not as good

Having a self-hosted, centralized music streaming setup has been on my todo list for the longest time. I’d initially tried using NFS, but mounting it on my phone was very inconvenient. Incidentally, a few days ago, the existence of Subsonic/*sonic became known to me.


I found gonic to be the simplest of them all, and proceeded to set it up on the RPi. There are other alternatives too, like Navidrome, which ships with a web player, or Airsonic. gonic stood out the most to me because it’s effectively headless, barring a simple web interface for configuration.

Setting it up was trivial. I did run into an issue — I noticed that only songs that were already in folders, sorted by album, were being picked up in the scan.

|-- Void Of Vision - Hyperdaze (2019)
|   |-- 01. Overture.mp3
|   |-- 02. Year of the Rat.mp3
|   |-- 03. Babylon.mp3
|   |-- 04. If Only.mp3
|   |-- 05. Slave to the Name.mp3
|   |-- 06. Adrenaline.mp3
|   |-- 07. Hole In Me.mp3
|   |-- 08. Kerosene Dream.mp3
|   |-- 09. Decay.mp3
|   |-- 10. Splinter.mp3
|   |-- 11. Hyperdaze.mp3
|-- Volumes - Disaster Vehicle.mp3
|-- Volumes - Finite.mp3
|-- Volumes - Heavy Silence.mp3
|-- Volumes - Hope.mp3
|-- Volumes - Interlude.mp3

So, in a directory tree like above, only the tracks inside “Void Of Vision – Hyperdaze (2019)” would get picked up, and all the “Volumes” songs wouldn’t — since it wasn’t in a subfolder of its own.

As a workaround — and a necessary cleanup of my music — I figured I’d give beets a shot.


beets is extensively documented, so I’ll skip the basics. In essence, it’s a music organization tool — fetches tags, sorts your collection, etc. Most of my music has been tagged already, so I skipped that. I only it all to be grouped by album. A bit of digging in the docs, and I found what I wanted: --group-albums.

And in my config.yaml, I specified my desired path format like so:

  default: $albumartist - $album%aunique{}/$track $title

Finally, running:

$ beet import --noautotag --move --group-albums path/to/dirty/music

$ tree ~/music

104 directories, 1108 files

Nice! gonic then happily scanned all my music.

actually streaming this music

On my laptop, I decided to just use the NFS share approach — primarily because I’d like to stick to cmus and desktop Subsonic clients like Sublime Music are very clunky.

On Android, there are quite a few options on F-Droid — I decided to go with Ultrasonic since it’s the only one that supports scrobbling.

All things considered, I think I’m pretty satisfied with this. ‘twas a good weekend.

Questions or comments? Send an email to ~icyphox/—my public inbox.