How do you play and organize your digital music content?

I realized that for the past couple of years I entirely switched to online music streaming, first it was apple music then Spotify. CDs seem deprecated or few devices use it.

I stopped owning any of the music for a while. I was wondering how do you deal with digital music? Do you stream or purchase and own specific songs or albums mp3. What do you think are the pros and cons of stream vs owning in the digital world?


I think this is a great question and I find myself on a similar path. I used to work so hard in growing a media collection. I used to get music from all sorts of sources and had a library of like 40 GB or so. I remember back in my old flip phone days I also had a dedicated MP3 player that I would curate what I thought used all the time. But once I got a smart phone I did not want to carry around both of those devices and at least for me my early smart phones didn’t have the greatest storage capacity, but I had unlimited data so streaming was the answer.

I still have my 8500+ music files, but I haven’t added a new song in about 10 years and every now and then I listen to music on audacious, but I stream 90-95% of the time. I always organized by artist, then album which drove me up a wall with Apple since it insisted that music should be album first.


All of my music, photos, and movies reside on my RPI 4 LAN server.
The LAN server also has a minidlna server running in the background. minidlna allows me to listen to music, display photos, and watch mp4 movies on any device with a DLNA client. Which includes VLC or Rhythmbox on my computer, my SMART TV’s, my Yamaha audio video receiver, and anything else on the network with a DLNA client.

Of course, all my Data on the LAN server get’s backed up regularly.



I’ve used to rip all my CDs to MP3, store the files on a separate partition and used Winamp to create playlists, yes, on Windows. I still have some of that files, but now, on EOS, I use qmmp, that is almost the same as Winamp, simple and nice to just listen music.

I don’t like/use any streaming services, so can’t tell anything about them.


I have all my music on my hard drive (+ multiple backups), which is about 90 GB in FLAC and 320kpbs mp3). Have gathered this over the years and am glad that I do not have to rely on the net to listen to music. For playback on the computer I have very long used DeaDBeeF, but have since switched to Audacious. I don’t like streaming for music.


i have my music collection on an internal hdd with about 300gB and manage it with Cantata. most is ripped to mp3 and some to flac. Cantata is great for handling large music collections. I don’t use Spotify or Tidal or anything like that.


I am going to have to look into qmmp. I use Winamp for a time back in the day, using Audacious now. But always looking to try something new when I do listen to my collection instead of streaming

I have all my music locally, as mp3 or flac. I organise it in directories, giving it descriptive filenames. I search for it in the terminal with fd and fzf and I play it with SMPlayer or MPV. Very simple and elegant.

To find music, I use YouTube, Soulseek (Nicotine+), and various torrent sites. I also own a modest collection of about a thousand CDs, but I almost never listen to them, due to inconvenience – I find it easier and faster to download this music than to rip it from a CD. But it’s good to have it in a physical format, for archival purposes.

I find the whole concept of “streaming” to be abhorrent, since it is defective by design: the media is downloaded locally, but deleted as soon as it is played +eventually. In order to play it the second time (+after some time has passed), it has to be downloaded again. I never do that. If I want to watch a YouTube video, I download it locally in its entirety, save it as a file, watch it, then decide whether to delete it or keep it for later. Of course, I made scripts that automate the process.


The ideal set-up is to have a home server specifically for media content (music, movies, etc.) and then connect all devices to the server via a network. However, I find that a bit of an overkill for my current living arrangement, so I keep all my music on my laptop’s SSD.

I use quodlibet to manage my music library. With quodlibet, I can organize and play my music with the same tool, which makes sense to me.

I used to organize my music on my file system, creating directories for each genre and artist, etc. But I don’t do that anymore. Using quodlibet is much more efficient because it allows us to add and customize the ID3 tags for our music files.

For instance, I can just create a directory called Classical Music and then add that directory to my quodlibet library, and then organize the files from within quodlibet.


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I gave up on mp3’s an use youtube music

Many years ago I bought a lot of CDs. My collection consists of more than 2k CDs. I still have about 600 of those here in my living room but because of a lack of space the rest is stored in the basement.
I ripped all my CDs and stored those rips on external HDs. The majority is in FLAC, the rest in MP3.

One day I deceided that I just don’t wanna buy any more CDs, at least not at the same frequency anymore.
So I got Spotify. And I loved it! Just listen to (almost) anything anytime without hassle. And it’s not just music, they also have a lot of audio books! No more bad purchases for €15 per CD! And that’s for just €9.99 per month! (I spent about €50 per month for CDs before, sometimes more, sometimes less).
After I while I had technical problems with Spotify more and more often. I got pissed, canceled Spotify and moved to Deezer. Same catalog (well, almost, there are a few exclusives on Spotify and there are a few on Deezer, but nothing important for me), the difference is just that Spotify uses AAC while Deezer uses MP3. Same price also, at least until a month ago when Deezer raised the price from €9.99 to €10.99 but therefore now also offers FLAC!
I still buy a CD from time to time, but only for music that is really important for me.

I get what you mean but it’s not entirely true technically. All the streaming services use a cache (and at least on Spotify & Deezer you can also adjust the size), so if you listen to the same album again a day later it doesn’t have to be downloaded again. You can also download music manually for offline listening.

edit Oh, OP also asked about playing. So, I mostly used my Sony stereo system in older days. Then I listened more and more with headphones on a portable Sony music player. Today I almost always use my phone and my Beats headphones although currently I think about switchin to In Ears.
And while I obviously used a computer for ripping and converting, I actually never used one to listen to music.

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With Spotify or Deezer, do you get an mp3 or flac file that you can transfer to different devices, and play independent of having some “app” installed?

If so, I am wrong and it is probably not defective by design.

That’s some €9.99 more than I would be willing to pay.


No, of course not.

Well, that’s your decision of course. For me it’s a bargain.

So, it is exactly as I said. You are downloading the complete file, using the full bandwidth for it, often the same file multiple times, but the proprietary software you use to play these files is designed to artificially impose restrictions on you and give you defective data that cannot be freely used. So the CPU of the device you own is actually spending computational cycles and draining power in order to screw you over.

And you give them actual money for that.

I’m happy you’re happy with that arrangement, but if I did that, all of my friends (even the rich ones) would disavow me and think I’m a complete idiot. It’s simply not an option for me, it would be a social suicide in my circles. Almost as bad as using an iPhone, really…




No, that’s not what you said. Maybe it’s what you meant. But what you said was:

If you don’t see the difference then I’m sorry.

Seems like lately every discussion about technical aspects here immediatly turns into discussuons about ideology for some reason…

The only thing I was mistaken about was the “as soon as” part. I’ve corrected that in my post. It’s a minor technicality that changes very little in regards to the point I was making, but I appreciate the correction.

That’s impressive!

I also had lots of CDs a while back, then as a teenager ripped them and sold them. But that must be only a couple of hundreds of CDs. Then came the mp3 player era, I started off with a cheap small plastic one with only forward/back and volume. Later I discovered the ipod, that was pretty fantastic with screen and all :rofl: sometime in between there was the minidisc player…

Later I started purchasing on apple itunes because of the ipod. Then I was on and off purchasing second hand CDs, and new albums I specifically enjoyed.

Then I tried apple music and Spotify because I had a 3 months free trial. At the beginning I was against it because the artists wouldn’t get paid properly and couldn’t own the mp3 I was listening. As time went on I realized that I started discovering a lot of new artists, and somehow it was cheaper than purchasing new albums every months.

Nowadays it seems its almost impossible to escape the cloud type music thing.

Else there seem to be two options: 1) download music torrents or 2) find an online mp3 provider through which I want to purchase music. For 1) I haven’t done that for ages, I recall starting with Napster etc. when the mp3 player age started. But often the mp3 we’re crap quality, and I guess, now that I live in the US, don’t want my home to ba raided :grin: For 2) I am not sure yet. Definitely not apple.

For music playing, I moved to only listening on my smartphone. However, would be nice to enjoy better music at home. I am thinking perhaps it maybe worth getting an “mp3 player” with high resolution audio, and connect it to larger speakers. Looks like there are some below 100 bucks, small form factor than an be connected directly to speakers either cable or Bluetooth. And have an equalizer etc.

Something like this (love mechanical keys!):

Anyone experience with something like this? Is it even worth it in comparison to smartphone?

Is it possible to have voice control offline? I dislike Siri or Alexa. But the voice control is pretty handy.

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Oh yeah, I had those also. A recorder, a portable one and even a car stereo with minidisc. I really liked those, much better than tapes!