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cloud music optionsCloud computing has been (and still is) getting a lot of criticism that all of the data that makes it functional is technically data that belongs to the owners of the servers themselves. However, no matter what anyone says about the privacy or ethics concerns that come with cloud computing, they definitely make our online lives a great deal easier.

After some very popular cloud services such as Gmail, Google Docs/Drive, Dropbox, and more, the latest craze in cloud computing is cloud music. More specifically, cloud computing is the ability to play any song at any time from any device, anywhere in the world. There are already a number of cloud music services out there which either let you play any song in existence or any song that you already own. But which ones play nice with our favorite penguin?

Web Interfaces

cloud music options
In all honesty, there isn’t a definite list of cloud music services which work or don’t under Linux. Essentially, if you’re perfectly happy with the web interfaces of those services, you can gladly use those to access their content. Most cloud music services nowadays have websites that run on either HTML5 or Flash, which both work under Linux just fine.

Yes, Flash doesn’t actively support Linux anymore, but the last Linux-friendly version works just fine. Plus Chrome still uses the latest Flash version thanks to their Pepper API, so Chrome users have nothing to worry about. Therefore, you should be fine using this method with all major cloud music services, including Google Music, Pandora 5 Cool Things You Can Do With Pandora Music Radio 5 Cool Things You Can Do With Pandora Music Radio Read More , Slacker, Grooveshark, Spotify, and more.

Use WINE or Adobe Air

If you’re not a big fan of using a service’s website to access its content, then desktop clients are the way to go. There aren’t any native clients for Linux that I know about from any cloud music service, but that’s not an issue as there are plenty of possible options available for you. One way to go is to use a desktop application (if available) via some additional software.

For example, you can try running Windows clients through WINE, although success isn’t guaranteed. Grooveshark also has an official, non-native client by using Adobe Air (if you choose to run an older version of Adobe Air as it’s no longer actively supported either), so you can use their official desktop client so long as you have Adobe Air installed and working. Spotify also has an official client, but it’s currently in beta.


Plugins for Common Linux Music Players

cloud music linux
If neither of those float your boat, you can always try using plugins for your favorite music players such as Banshee, Clementine, Amarok, and Rhythmbox. These programs usually have plugins for at least some services, so you’re in luck whenever your favorite client does support one of them. The plugins are great because often enough they work very well and they use the interface of the program itself, so there’s nothing new that you need to learn while using the plugin.


cloud music options
Nuvola Integrate Cloud Music Players Into Your Desktop With Nuvola Player [Linux] Integrate Cloud Music Players Into Your Desktop With Nuvola Player [Linux] Integrate your favorite cloud-based music players with the Linux desktop. Whether you're a fan of Google Music, Grooveshark, Hype Machine, 8tracks or all four, Nuvola Player makes listening to cloud music in Linux so seamless... Read More is the only native application created solely for cloud music listening. The application was actually first called Google-music-frame because it just showed the Google Music page without adding much extra. However, today Nuvola has a few extra features compared to the website such as an icon tray and support for multimedia buttons like Play and Forward if your keyboard has them. Nuvola also has support for not just Google Music, but Grooveshark, Hype Machine, Amazon Cloud Player, Pandora, Rdio, and 8tracks.


In the end, if you don’t care which way you access your favorite cloud music service, you won’t have any issues whatsoever. If you’re a bit picky about using a desktop tool, your choices are a bit limited but they work well when they’re available for your service of choice. I’m fairly sure that the tips on desktop tools will be most helpful to people seeking new options.

How do you listen to your cloud music? What service(s) do you use to listen, and if more than one, which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credit: Kid Listening to Music via Shutterstock

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  1. Richard Steven Hack
    September 9, 2012 at 12:31 am

    I wouldn't touch Adobe AIR with a ten-foot pole. I used this junk with TweetDeck for a while and it was an unmitigated PITA. Every update simply couldn't be made to update. I didn't mind Adobe dropping support for Linux because they never HAD support for Linux in reality.

    The same for Flash. Flash is on its way out and everyone knows it.

    It would be nice if some alternative to PDF would come out, so Adobe could be marginalized completely as most of their software is buggy, insecure, unreliable crap (and that includes their video editing stuff as well, at least as compared to Apple software.)

    The best option is usually a plugin, and if enough people want a service plugin for a particular client, it will usually happen at some point.

    Personally I prefer to do the right thing, i.e., the illegal thing, and download MP3's. Then YOU control what and when and how you can hear something.

    • Danny Stieben
      September 19, 2012 at 1:48 am

      I agree that Adobe's support for Linux has never been great, so I assume most Linux users won't even miss it. I still believe it'll take a while before Flash is finally kicked out of most sites.