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I'm looking for a simple and reliable way of syncing music playlists between Ubuntu and an Android smartphone. Some time ago I was using Banshee, but then it suddenly stopped working. My understanding is that Banshee still puts *.m3u files to Music/Playlists folder but the smartphone does not see them. I tried to use Rhythmbox instead but it also does not seem to work.

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4 Answers 4

Spotify allows you to sync your local files to a mobile device (no subscription required). Of course this requires the desktop client installed on a computer and the app installed on a mobile device. Once your local files are downloaded to the device, you can listen to them whenever and wherever you want. It also does not require a data connection (after downloading).

*Note: the later versions of Android client have had issues with this. Give it a shot anyway! The only workarounds are to install an older version of the Spotify app and then download your playlist.

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Please add a link to the app. :) –  Sid Jul 13 '13 at 0:12
Links added (though googling it should be enough for most people). –  filoxo Jul 13 '13 at 1:37

Did you take a look at Google Play Music?

It can sync your local music and you will have access on your android phone.

There is a python library that is meant to sync your playlist to play music. Take a look here:


You will need basic python/programming skills and it probably will not keep them synchronized.

But if you dont refuse using google play it is a very uncomplicated way of keeping your music organized and synchronized between several devices.

Heres an example of how the library should work:

from musicsync import MusicSync
ms = MusicSync()
# Will prompt for Email and Password - if 2-factor auth is on you'll need to generate a one-time password
# The first time you use this (or another script that uses gmusicapi) you will be prompted to authenticate via an OAuth browser window - you will need to copy paste the URL (be careful - under Windows sometimes spaces are inserted into the copy/paste at new lines)

# To sync a playlist

# To sync a playlist including removing files that are no longer listed locally
ms.sync_playlist("/path/to/playlist.m3u", remove_missing=True)

# To delete a song from the cloud (provided only as convenience - must know the song ID)

The code is not complicated and should be editable for beginners too.

Good luck, and i would be happy to here if and how you managed to make it work!

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And that does work with Ubuntu? How? Any desktop-couterpart needed – and if so, where to get it? Apart from that: OP didn't ask for syncing music, but just the Playlists (*.m3u – i.e. not the music files themselves). –  Izzy Apr 24 at 10:49
you're right, sorry about that. i found a python lib you could use: but it seems like its only usefull if you want to sync it once from ubuntu to google play. and it will require basic python/progrmming skills. –  Chris K. Apr 24 at 13:46
Though that would require all your music files being uploaded to Play Music (which I personally would rather avoid), that sounds more like it – good find, Chris! Would you mind to edit your question, and include that (with a few more details on what it is)? –  Izzy Apr 24 at 13:58

I have a friend who used Ubuntu at work & he used to swear by Amarok. It is a powerful music player for Linux and Unix, MacOS X and Windows with an intuitive interface. It may well help assist you.

Alternatively for full collaboration between Ubuntu & Android devices, checkout Ubuntu For Android.

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Thank you, @Simon! But is it able to sync playlists? The following article says that it can only copy the audio files:… –  Alexander S. Kulikov Dec 13 '12 at 17:02
Sasha I have never used it myself, I just remembered that a friend used to go on about it, as he was an avid ubuntu user, so I thought I would suggest it...hopefully someone else will be able to help :) –  Simon Dec 13 '12 at 17:34
I see. Thank you once again! –  Alexander S. Kulikov Dec 14 '12 at 9:28

You can use Android app called Dropsync to automatically sync your playlist folder to your phone. Then use PowerAMP to read those playlists. Then you are good to go. You could also sync your music, but that's not what you asked for.

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