I’ve stopped doing business with streaming music services. Songs became an endless churn without sense-memory, the algorithm was a feedback loop, and the idea of renting the same songs every month felt ludicrous.

But nowadays, tending to an mp3 collection feels like trying to retrofit an 8-track player. I’m spending an increasingly significant portion of my lifespan wrestling with Apple Music. Sync issues. Playback issues. And many of the songs I’ve purchased from Bandcamp or ripped from vinyl tell me I’m living in the wrong region or country and refuse to play.

The problem of managing a digital music library seemed like it was solved twenty years ago, and I’m not sure why it feels like a problem again. Can anyone recommend a solid alternative to Apple Music that will sync my mp3s with my desktop and telephone? So far, I’m leaning towards Vox, but there must be something better.

TM404 – 202 / 303 / 303 / 303 / 606 / 606

TM404 | Kontra-Musik, 2013 | Bandcamp

Here’s an all-time favorite album from Andreas Tilliander that I’d love to play on all my devices at the same time, if possible. Absolutely flawless machine bliss.

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Mario Villalobos
6 months ago

I’m not sure if this is “better,” but when I got fed up with Apple Music, I turned to Doppler on both my iPhone and Mac. It doesn’t have an automatic sync feature, but it does allow you to wirelessly and easily send music from your Mac to your iPhone (right click on the music in the Mac app and click “Send to iPhone”). You’ll have to open Doppler on your iPhone and allow the transfer, but the transfer takes seconds. What I do is manage all my music in the Mac app first, then I send it to my iPhone later. Over time, I’ve gotten really quick at this and it beats ever having to use Apple Music or any streaming service.

6 months ago

For me, it’s Evermusic. Streams and allows for offline play, also has an iPad app. Not quite as aesthetically pleasing as Doppler, admittedly, but it’s definitely not the worst… 😉

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