A home computer makes an ideal appliance to store and stream music. The purpose of a music server is to deliver tracks when requested by a client. The server can deliver music to machines over a local area network as well as computers connected over the internet.
Linux is widely recognized as an ideal operating system to serve web pages. But the server capabilities of Linux extend far beyond merely providing HTTP servers.
There is a wide range of multimedia software available for Linux which turns your machine into a jukebox. There are even dedicated Linux distributions that turn your computer into a music server. This article identifies the best free software which enables your Linux machine to act as a music server, distributing digital tracks over a network. Such software supports popular audio formats such as FLAC, OGG Vorbis, and MP3.
We have focused on software which is simple to set up and has an easy to use interface.
Music server software can be put to a number of different uses. For example, it provides an excellent way to listen to your music collection at home, or to listen from a remote location. Alternatively, users can share their music with friends over the internet. However, it is important to remember that if you stream music to others on the internet, you should only use tracks that are available under a free license, or where permission has been obtained from the copyright owner.
Here’s our recommendations. They are all free and open source software.
Let’s explore the 6 music servers at hand. For each application we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, screenshots (where relevant), together with links to relevant resources.
|Music Player Daemon||Flexible, powerful, server-side application for playing music|
|Jellyfin||Media system to manage and stream media|
|Icecast||Ogg Vorbis and MP3 streaming media server|
|Airsonic||Web-based media streamer|
|forked-daapd||DAAP (iTunes), MPD (Music Player Daemon) and RSP (Roku) server|
|Gerbera||UPnP media server|
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Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There's tons of in-depth reviews, alternatives to Google, fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.