Before there was Google Music, there was Subsonic. This app has attracted quite a lot of users for its ability to stream music that you have stored on your PC. The only trouble is that it has always been fairly ugly. This update solves that issue.

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After installing the Subsonic app, you have to pick up the server software for the computer where all your media is stored. Sadly, this software will cost you $15, but there is a free trial. You can stream and cache mp3, ogg, aac, flac, wma files with Subsonic. The app also supports most video file types, but you need good bandwidth to pull that off. This update also includes ads, which you can opt out of with an in-app purchase of about $4 (yikes).

The financial investment is clearly more significant that the $0 Google Music costs, but you can manage your tunes locally and don't have to worry about authorizing devices. If you're already a Subsonic user, you should grab the update without reservation just on the basis of the UI change. See the old interface below to get an idea how major this overhaul is.

old ui

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    What a huge difference a Holo overhaul (overholo?) makes. Finally, it's been long overdue for Subsonic.

  • http://twitter.com/mversion Bilgin Ozkan

    As someone who has paid for the server licence, I am having conflicted feelings about the introduction of ads in this update and having to pay (again) for an ad-free version..

    • IamTheFij

      Well, subsonic has a totally open API. Anyone can write an app to stream and do it free.

      If he locked it down to only use his app, I'd agree, but that's not really the case. Maybe this will push some more developers to make their own apps.

      It was kind of pointless for anyone to make a new app if this one was free.

      Also, the server and the app are both open source and don't really require payment if you want to build it.

      • http://twitter.com/OrtusDux OrtusDux

        From http://www.subsonic.org/pages/apps.jsp :

        "Also note that after a 30-day trial period you need a license key to use the apps. You get a license key by giving a donation to the Subsonic project. The license never expires and is valid for all current and future apps. "

        And under the donate section:

        "Love Subsonic? Support us by giving a donation and enjoy premium features like:
        Apps for Android, iPhone, WP 7, PlayBook, Roku and more*.Video streaming.Share your media on Facebook, Twitter, Google+.No ads.Your personal server address:yourname.subsonic.org* Some apps are sold by third-party developers. "
        So the question is, is the android app 3rd party software?

        • IamTheFij

          No, the developer of Subsonic wrote it. It's also GPL and source is all public. The donation gives you API access to your server. The API access let's you use any client apps you want.

  • http://twitter.com/cabbieBot cabbieBot

    I bought Subsonic back around Froyo and while it was great when it was set up...it was, well, a b**** to set up, and Google Music really just makes the usefulness out-dated. Except for videos, I suppose, but I never tried that functionality out. It's good to see Sindre is still updating it, though, and if it ever becomes amazingly and uniquely useful again I'll be happy I spent the $15.

    • Unhelpful

      Subsonic is dead simple to set up. install, create account, forward port, set up dynamic DNS, profit.

  • http://twitter.com/kdmhong Steve Hong

    Personally, I think Google Music should have a UI similar to that. Unfortunately, we're left with a sub-par UI that does not look aesthetically pleasing. I might want to try this out..

    • Freak4Dell

      Personally, I think the Google Music UI looks good, but it's pretty painful to use. I haven't been able to find a way to display things in list mode when my tablet is in the landscape orientation. This makes it extremely cumbersome to browse through my library. I wish Google would either make the UI more useful, or release an API so that other players like PowerAmp can access the stream.

  • xmRipper

    Woooooo Muse!

  • strat

    There is also 'Supersonic' which is a fork of the opensource version of Subsonic, and packages it as free software without the ad's or need to register. This is completely legal due to the opensource nature of Subsonic.


    It will work with the Subsonic android client (or any other subsonic client) or they have their own android client that is free also (I'm not sure if it's at the same version)

  • http://www.youtube.com/kimirPORTALS kimir


  • http://www.facebook.com/sander.roelofs.nl Sander Roelofs


  • Beowulf

    Holo, really? Here's two cents:
    - Bottom tabs for navigation
    - ">" at the end of list items

    Both are bad practices in Android. They failed at copying Play Music.

  • JG

    Can one use this to stream music/movies to a desktop as well, or is it limited to just the Android app? Like if I wanted to listen to music at work. Could I stream through my desktop, or would I have to have my phone out all day?

    • Marc R.

      If you have the Subsonic Server installed then you can connect to it via browser and listen to your music within a flash plugin.
      But you also have the choice to configure your account on the server to be able to use other music players (like FooBar2000 on windows) to listen to the streamed music

  • Coleburns

    playerpro, we also need a holo update. Like now

  • Fatty Bunter

    I can't believe no one has mentioned this, but you can still only watch videos via Flash on a web browser, meaning if you have JellyBean you CAN'T use Subsonic as a video streamer!!!!!!!

    There's plenty of music streamers available, why have they not improved video streaming??

    • http://twitter.com/sam1am John Samuel αΩ

      See: Plex.

      • Fatty Bunter

        I see it. And I use it. Complaining anyway.

  • Instam

    Hello. I can reccomed you
    ArkMC application for the local streaming. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.arkudadigital.arkmc.gm
    You can stream video and music stored on your PC to you tablet of smartphone.