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As you’re getting used to Linux (potentially as your new main operating system), you’ll eventually try to find a way to efficiently manage your music. iTunes comes to mind because it’s been the most popular way to manage music over the years, but you’ll quickly find out that iTunes isn’t available natively on Linux. Plus, better ways exist to manage your music now that it’s 2015.
However, that doesn’t automatically mean that you won’t be able to manage your music the way you want to. There’s plenty of other ways to keep tabs on your music library. Here’s six great ways to get it done.
iTunes via WINE
Even if iTunes isn’t available in Linux as a native application, you can still try to get it to work under WINE or PlayOnLinux. These pieces of software try to add a compatibility layer so that Windows applications work on Linux, but the results are far from perfect. Therefore, not all Windows applications will run with WINE — but it’s still worth a try.
Each version of iTunes can give you different results, but the general process is as follows:
- Install WINE
- Run the iTunes installer via WINE
- Google and try to solve any problems you come across.
Again, you might come across issues somewhere along the way which cannot be solved, such as the installer failing or the installed application refusing to run. That’s just how it is with WINE.
If you really want to use iTunes and you happen to luck out with WINE, then that’s great. However, if you’d rather use a native Linux application or WINE didn’t work for you, then there are options here as well. Several “music library manager” programs are available to give you a quick oversight of your music and play it directly in the application, as well as make playlists.
If you use KDE, then I’d recommend Amarok. It has plenty of features to manage your music and tight desktop integration with KDE. It also has useful features such as Last.FM integration, file tracking, dynamic playlists, and script support. It can even pull up biographies of artists as you play their songs.
If you use GNOME or any GTK-based desktop environment (they’re quite common), then I’d recommend Banshee as a full-featured music library manager. It has a very similar feature set as Amarok, including Last.FM integration, Internet radio support, podcast support, and much more. Amarok and Banshee are really among the top two choices, so which one you choose should depend on which desktop environment you’re using (for integration’s sake).
Rhythmbox as a more lightweight music library alternative that is best used on GTK-based desktop environments. However, it still has quite a few features. You also get Last.FM support here, plus gapless playback and integration with various other applications such as Nautilus, XChat, and Pidgin.
Another application called Clementine also gets my recommendation with its clean and intuitive interface. It has tons of support for third-party services such as Spotify, Digitally Imported, and Dropbox. There’s also an Android app you can use as a remote control for Clementine. Clementine is cross-platform and available for Windows and Mac OS X.
They all are excellent at managing and playing your music. The only downside to all of these is that there is no iOS device integration, and there’s currently no modern application that can do that. However, iOS has received enough improvements that it’s virtually unnecessary to connect it to a computer anymore.
Lastly, if none of those applications satisfy your needs, you can take a look at Google Play Music. This online service acts as a music library manager that can play your music, but it also has some extra benefits. You can upload all your music to it and have access on any device connected to the Internet. That also means that you won’t have to sync your music between your computer and your mobile device (no matter if Android or iOS) because you have access to Google Play Music from both. If you want to expand your library you can get the All Access subscription, but it’s not a requirement. You can use it simply as a music library completely free for up to 20,000 songs.
Wot, no Spotify?!
The only reason why I don’t mention Spotify is that, although it’s also a great way to access and listen to music, it doesn’t really let you manage your own music. You can’t upload trakcs to Spotify — you have to listen to what they give you. Albeit they give you a lot, but it’s nonetheless a different mechanism.
You Have Options
With these six options, you should be able to get iTunes-like functionality on your desktop. These options focused mainly on managing and playing your music library, but if there are any other features that you need from iTunes, other Linux-native applications can take care of those needs.
What music applications do you regularly use on Linux? Let us know in the comments!
Image Credits: cartoon Penguin Via Shutterstock