NextCloud Music

I’m in the process of building a NextCloud Music library and running into organization issues. In order to use the smart playlist feature, I had to remove all folders from the music. But now it’s hard to find stuff to add to specialized playlists. So I’m doing playlist folders. I’m also using CloudBeats as my phone app. Once I get this going, I’m planning to move everything offline to my privacy phone, as needed. The goal is to go cold turkey on Apple or any other music streaming services. Anyone else doing or have done this?

I saw someone mention it in telegram last night. (might have been you?). Sounds like a great project. If you have the time and are interested in helping out the self-sovereign movement. You might consider listing the steps you took on here when you get it working. I am sure many people would appreciate it and put it into practice

Yeah, that was me. I’ve ruled out working with Jellyfin and am focusing on making NextCloud work. Great idea to contribute my path to the community. Once I get this untangled, I’ll definitely do that. Thanks.


Steps to create playable Music library on NextCloud

After uploading my music library to NextCloud on my start9, I discovered that the Music app will only play one song inside a folder at a time…in other words, endless repeat. The way around this is to create playlists, upload playlist songs in their own folder and create playlists with the folder title. To structure this, here are the steps I took:

Starting with a start9 Server One and a companion iPhone.

Install NextCloud on start9 and create a folder inside NextCloud folder with the name “Music”.

Create folders filled with playlist songs on my local computer. To avoid local storage constraints on local computer, do this one playlist at a time, in a folder with the same name as the playlist, then loaded into NextCloud Music folder. For this example, we’ll call it “80’s Rock”. Note: if songs are not already purchased or usable outside a streaming service, you’ll need to convert them to playable files. There are a host of pay-to-use solutions out there to batch convert format. A free, albeit slower solution is Audacity.

Once the “80’s Rock” folder is loaded up with songs, move it off your local computer and inside the “Music” folder on NextCloud.

Now while you’re in NextCloud, create a playlist and name it the same name as the folder, “80’s Rock”.

Go to the menu on the left and click on Folders. Drag the 80’s Rock folder over to the 80’s Rock playlist. Now you have created the first playlist. Rinse and repeat for all your playlists.

To play these songs on the iPhone, I tried several apps and settled on CloudBeats. I paid the lifetime fee of $8.99. It’s worth it, a good UI. Once into CloudBeats, sign into NextCloud (go to settings if you skipped that). Login username, password and URL are all on the start9 server service page for NextCloud under Properties. Using Tor on iPhone? Run Orbot first to make this all work.

Once in CloudBeats, you can reload or search by pulling the screen list downward. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you’re probably inside the folder you’re looking for, so just back out or go up a folder level.

The main point in organizing this library is that your songs need to be inside one folder per playlist if you want continuous play.

You can also add RSS feeds for podcasts. On the menu at the left, click on the three dots (…) next to Podcasts. Add the RSS URL and hit Enter. It will load all the episodes! I particularly like the “Short History of…” Podcast: Short History Of...

Additional fine-tuning, to delete unwanted music, locate the offending folders. Go to Music section, then inside settings > music library. Enter the paths for unwanted folders, i.e. ringtones, books.


Nice! I added a link in our Nextcloud Apps Master Thread for folks that are interested in this method.

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Adding to this. A problem I encountered (after 120 GB of music) is that the local NextCloud syncing folder had taken up all the extra storage space on my local computer (a laptop). To continue to save music on my start9 server, but remove it from the laptop, I did this:

  • Pause syncing for the Music folder inside the NextCloud app icon on local computer (settings). I will leave it like this permanently. Minimize that back to the top bar.
  • Create a second folder called “Music Too” inside the NextCloud syncing folder on my local computer.
  • Point all my additional music files to that new folder (from my music conversion software).
  • After converting a playlist inside my software, check the Music Too folder to make sure it’s there.
  • Then, make sure it synced to NextCloud on start9. Go inside that start9 folder (Music Too) and move those new playlist files over to the Music folder in NextCloud on start9. In other words, physically moving them to the non-syncing Music folder and out of the syncing Music Too folder. This will now sync the Music Too folder as empty on the local computer.