In the next release of Subsonic the software is going closed source. This is a huge deal in the open source community, as a lot of people use it. To most users not invested in the open source community, this might not be a big deal. If you don’t really care about software licenses or freedom, you’ll likely go on using Subsonic as if nothing has changed.
Still, there’s a very passionate group of people out there who love and care about software freedom. They cringe every time a piece of software goes closed source, so it’s important to talk about these kinds of things. So what are some good freedom-respecting alternatives to Subsonic? Read and find out!
CherryMusic is a free and open source alternative to Subsonic. One of the main selling points to this software is its technology. The server is built upon Python and is based on CherryPy and jPlayer. With it you can manage your entire music library and stream it through your entire network in a very lightweight fashion. According to the developer (posting in a thread on reddit) it even runs “quite well on a Raspberry Pi.”
The main reason to use CherryMusic as opposed to the other pieces of software on this list boils down to one thing: simplicity. This program has a very user-friendly user interface, as well as having some interesting features like automatically fetching album art, creating accounts for friends, and sharing playlists. Though sharing isn’t something unique to this software, the implementation is done very well and would be perfect for those looking for something simple. It also sports an entirely HTML5 interface, meaning it easily works on any platform including a mobile web browser like Chrome on Android, Safari on iOS, etc.
Sonerezh: a web-based, self-hosted music solution released under the open source GPLv3 licence. On the surface it sounds a lot like like CherryMusic, as it focuses on being easy to use. Though you might get intimidated when you hear that it’s a “self-hosted, web based application,” it’s actually quite easy. Sonerezh prides itself on having a very easy-to-install process – one that only takes two clicks to deploy.
When you use Sonerezh, you’re getting Playlist management, a competent, simple and gorgeous HTML5-powered user interface. Since the UI is powered by HTML5, you’ll have no problem accessing all of your music on any of the various mobile platforms. Along with all of that, you have the ability to share music with your friends via the “user management system.”
If you’re looking for an easy alternative to Subsonic, consider Sonerezh.
For those who don’t like this new direction that Subsonic is going in but would love to stick with the features and settings that you’ve come to know and love over the years, check out Madsonic. Madsonic is “a web-based media streamer and jukebox fork of Subsonic.” It is powered by Java and can be run on multiple platforms.
When you use Madsonic, you’re getting basically everything you love about Subsonic already but with some tweaks here and there. Nothing has been removed or radically changed, so when you set this service up, you can expect to still get DLNA/UPnP support, Jukebox mode, and support for streaming Music and other forms of media.
Ampache is certainly formidable when it comes to replacing Subsonic. If you don’t want to go directly to a fork (like Madsonic) or something more simplistic (like CherryMusic or Sonerezh), Ampache might be just what you’re looking for. Like the others on this list you have the ability to access your entire music library remotely with the power of HTML5 and a web browser.
This program also allows users to sync local and remote music files and has a massive collection of community-developed clients on multiple platforms. Ampache is totally free and open source under the AGPLv3 license.
Subsonic, despite these changes, still remains the most advanced self-hosted music streaming service out there. It’s a shame when projects have to close up their code when things don’t go the way they envisioned, but it’s understandable from a software development perspective.
If these changes really truly bother you, consider any of these choices. They’re all great in their own way, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
Subsonic users: does this change to closed source bother you? Why or why not? Let us know below!