Alternative to Ubuntu One’s Music Streaming Solution

I found Martin Albisetti’s blog announcing the new music streaming features for Ubuntu One’s music store to be some what funny.

The streaming feature will be part of Ubuntu Ones payed plan. So I ask myself “Why would I want to pay for something I can do for free”. I personally prefer to use Ampache to stream my music collection to my desktop and laptops.

In Martins blog he mentions stream music to your phone:

In Ubuntu 10.04, we released the music store, and to compliment that, we will be allowing you to stream any music you have in your Ubuntu One account to your iPhone or Android mobile phone.”

So what’s the big deal? Ampache has been able to stream music to the android phone since the release of Karmic!

There is iAmpache for iPhones, Ampache Moble for the Palm Pre, Amdroid for the Android phone, and Ampacheberry for the blackberry. Not to mention if you want to run Ampache as a virtual appliance there is VMampache and ISOampache

There are also two lightweight players for Ampache Quickplay, and Viridian-player. The Viridian-player will hit the archives as soon as the upstream developer finishes the logo.

It is really easy to add your $HOME/Ubuntu One folder to your Ampache instance.  From the web UI go to Admin ->Add a Catalog and provide the path to your Ubuntu One music folder, then click create catalog. Done.

Ampache can also be used as a backend for ShoutCast, MPD. Amarok, and can be used with python-coherence to be the backend for rhythmbox

To install Ampache simply do:

sudo apt-get install mysql-server ampache



23 Responses to “Alternative to Ubuntu One’s Music Streaming Solution”

  1. nnonix Says:

    Ampache is painful and ugly (regardless of the theme). Aside from that I think you’re completely missing the point. People use services like this to avoid having to setup something like Ampache. They want to purchase their music and have it available everywhere. This new feature allows that.

    • ampache Says:

      Wow apt-get install mysql-server ampache is to painful?

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

      If using and paying for services such as this is your thing then please by all means use it. But for those folks who are unable to pay for such a service an ALTERNATIVE method is being explored.

      No! I believe you are missing the point. This is and ALTERNATIVE to the ubuntu one music store streaming solution just like KDE is an ALTERNATIVE to Gnome.

  2. Stefan Says:

    I don’t think the announcement is funny, or the service useless. Running your own ampache is cool of cause, but that only works if you have a server running somewhere and a bit of free time to set up the ampache instance.

    The Ubuntu One service is not something that can not be reproduced by other people, but a solution that needs very little work on the user side.

    Could I buy music from Amazon? Sure. Could I use rsync & cron to spread the music, the files, contacts, bookmarks to all my computers? Sure. Can I buy a server with 2GB (50GB)? Sure. Can I set up ampache to stream to my phone? Sure.
    Is it still cool to have a working service that does all this and most of it for free? Sure.

    • ampache Says:

      No, I did not say the service is useless. You are entitled to your opinion, but I thought it was funny.

      Yes you can set up Ampache on a traditional server setup, but you can also run it on your Gnome desktop setup to. I do it all the time.

      Yes I agree the ubuntu one service will probably be very useful for those willing to pay for it. However for those unable (such as myself) or unwilling to pay for the service, an ALTERNATIVE method is being explored.

      I believe you are incorrect in this statement “Is it still cool to have a working service that does all this and most of it for free? Sure.” Yes it may be cool, but the streaming solution is part of the paid plan, and I quote from Martins Blog “This feature will be bundled as part of the paid plan, although we are planning some re-structuring to that, yet to be announced.” AFAICT there have been no other announcements stating otherwise.

  3. Francois Says:

    And everybody has a server to install it? Please remember that most people turn their computer off 🙂

    • ampache Says:

      No not everyone has a dedicated server to set it up on, however you can run it on your desktop setup like I do. The point is you can set Ampache on a traditional server or use it locally your choice.

      I to turn my computer off.

  4. skunkyjay Says:

    I think the point was that it’s built in a ready to use. I can setup my own webserver, but I would much rather pay for it and have someone else do that for me. Pay for the service or do it yourself.

  5. skunkyjay Says:

    Oh, and I wonder, does it stream from your computer or their servers. Hence, if their servers, you don’t have to have your own computer on or accessible from the net.

  6. Oli Says:

    You *are* somewhat missing the point. You’re paying for a service, not just a feature.

    Setup of Ampache is pretty simple if you know what you’re doing but something that requires you keep your machine on all the time, accessible through a domain (if your IP changes) and with enough upstream bandwidth to upload the audio. And if you don’t know what you’re doing, paying somebody to do it for you makes things a lot simpler.

    Why do you host your blog on You could host it from your home connection.

    • ampache Says:

      No I am *not* missing the point, I understand it’s a paid service, hence the first word in the title “ALTERNATIVE”

      Yes ampache is simple to set up, no you do not need to keep you computer on all the time, have you ever heard of dynamic dns, and yes if you don’t know what you are doing paying for the service would probably be simpler (if you can afford it)

      For two reasons a) I’m lazy b) I don’t blog enough to justify setting it up.

      • Oli Says:

        > no you do not need to keep you computer on all the time

        If your computer (where the files are) isn’t on, what do the clients connect to?

  7. romeosidvicious Says:

    Hosting your own ampache setup may be an alternative but for most folks it’s simply not a viable alternative. First and foremost, and this has already been mentioned, you have to have a number of things in place: a machine you are willing to leave on all of the time that’s exposed to the internet, the knowledge to set up ampache which is not trivial, and enough upstream bandwidth to stream music at a decent rate. If you have all of those things then it’s a different story. So I guess ampache is an alternative for a specific subset of users but it’s not an alternative in an of itself due to the barriers for entry. It’s only a free setup if your time has no value otherwise the time spent setting it up and maintaining it may well outweigh any costs incurred by using Ubuntu One. Not having sex is an alternative to getting a vasectomy but most folks won’t go that route either and I am pretty sure getting a vasectomy involves less pain than setting up ampache! If I were going to recommend a self-hosted alternative I’d personally recommend Subsonic ( if only because setting it up is so much easier than setting up ampache.

    • ampache Says:

      As mentioned before no you do not have to have a dedicated server to setup ampache. No you do not have to have your computer exposed to the internet (if you use it locally or on your lan), bandwidth wise when streaming it uses less than 1% of my network resources. Now to go along with this thinking if you setup subsonic, well you have to have a computer on all the time, have it exposed to the internet, and the knowledge to set it up. No different than ampache.

      Yes I agree Ampache is a viable solution for some users. Thats why I wrote the blog.

      Yes it is an alternative in an of itself.

      Well if your time is so valuable why are you responding to this crappy blog. You should be out doing fruitful work.

      Yes I agree not having sex is an alternative to getting a vasectomy. However, since you have done neither, setting up ampache or get a vasectomy, your opinion about the pain associated with either is null. So I will give you a little medical advice, men over 50 should have a colonoscopy, From looking at you photo you should probably get one ASAP.

      Can you sudo apt-get install subsonic NO
      Can you sudo apt-get install ampache YES

      Please, please, please take the .deb that is offered on the subsonic website and ask any MOTU or DD to upload it and see how far you get. You will have them rolling on the floor laughing. It violates Debian/Ubuntu policy in so many ways I don’t have the time or the energy to explain them all to you.

      • Aoirthoir An Broc Says:

        I agree with just about EVERYTHING you’ve said. Well ALMOST everything. The example Romeo used of a sex and a vasectomy had nothing to do with the discussion. However can we leave the ageist insults out of it and just stick to the point?

        “So I will give you a little medical advice, men over 50 should have a colonoscopy, From looking at you photo you should probably get one ASAP.”

        Otherwise you’re point on and a lot of people are demonstrating an incredibly degree of undeserved privilege. Yes a paid streaming music service is useful for some folks. But there’s a LOT of us out here who have to concentrate on things like, paying rent, feeding ourselves and our families (in my case four kittehs). So streaming for a fee just isn’t for everyone.

        You offered an ALTERNATIVE and a bunch of folks seem to have some objection to that as if you were saying ampache was the ONLY way to go. You didn’t and it’d be cool if they understood that.

        As the title says folks ALTERNATIVE.

  8. tutuca Says:

    All the above commenters are either newfags or ubuntu fanboys.
    Good tips, i didn’t knew about ampache and was using mediatomb and such, but I grow tired of configuring and they didn’t work as I spected.
    WIll take a look at this. Thanks again! 🙂

    • ampache Says:

      Your welcome. That is the whole point of this blog post, to let others know that there is something else out there to use.

  9. Jimmy Says:

    Can you say “ALTERNATIVE” a few more times?

  10. Pablo Says:

    Good post mate, bookmarked the blog. Also do you mind if I was to post some sections for my blog? I will give full credits to yours and a link back? Thanks keep up the good work!

    Great debate and comments above, I love Ubuntu and all its features so far but Im new so….Jury still out 🙂

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