Almost the perfect music stack

I used to be a person that perfecly could live without any music in my daily basics. That changed a lot last years. Now I have some use cases where the music is essential:

  • Developing
  • Training (it doesn't matter inside or outside)
  • In the shower
  • Cooking, traveling...

So I had a little problem with the playlists because they are difficult to be synced across multiple devices and different music players. It's a true nightmare if you want to have the same available all the time. But I guess it's posible and... free!.

On the desktop I'm used to play music with cmus - I think I've written about this before - because it's really light and it barely consumes computer resources. Ok, this is the only case where I have to build my playlists manually (or even that, continue reading). I've tried (and I have it installed) the unofficial Google Play Music Desktop Player and it's fine, but, far from being a battery drainer, it's not as tiny as cmus is. Desktop (and laptop) covers the "developing" cases, both, home and coffice.

On the mobile I was using VLC and some other players but in the end it was a waste of time to have to sync all the music all the time, update the playlists, etc... so in the end I decided to give a try to Google Play Music. As I was using it from time to time (the unofficial one) in Desktop, I have all the music there, so I can download to the phone the playlists I want to listen while I'm offline. That's perfect. The mobile covers all the other cases (training, shower, in the kitchen...) but the car (that's another history).

In brief:

  • All the music is in my Music/ folder, organized by folders, those folders are my local playlists because in cmus I treat the folders like playlists.
  • The Google Play Music watches the Music/ folder and uploads automatically all the songs that appears in any subfolder there (you need the Music Manager installed in your computer).
  • I have to tag the songs in it's playlists once they're uploaded to Google Play Music and that's it.
  • Extra step: I can download the playlists just in 1-click from the mobile if I run out of data connection.
  • Extra step 2: If the Music/ folder is synced via Owncloud/Nextcloud the music is available even across many other devices too.


  • This stack is free, well, limited to 50.000 songs (by Google Play) but that's, by far, as free for me.
  • On the other hand, the left one to be more specific :D, I have the Garmin Vivoactive HR, and there is a widget to control the Music Player of the smartphone, it runs really nice with the Google Play software, so with this extra feature, the stack is almost perfect for me.


  • I have to think twice which folder fits best for every song in my Music/ local storage.
  • I have no automatic/automagic solution for the car. I need to manually sync the Music/ folder to the USB drive I'm using there. Or just connect the smartphone to the AUX IN and see what happens (never tried, that thought just occurred to me as I write).

And I think that's all folks, how do you manage with this? Feedback is always welcome.

About the author

has doubledaddy super powers, father of Hugo and Nico, husband of Marta, *nix user, Djangonaut and open source passionate.
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