Author Topic: Is Musicbee Useful for my Use Case (iTunes + Android Sync)  (Read 176 times)

cahwyguy

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For the longest time, I have been looking for a good solution to my music management woes across all my devices. I was recently pointed to Musicbee, and I'm curious if it would work for my use case. I've noodled around the forums a bit, but don't quite have an answer.

Here's the background: Windows 10 Machine, long-time iTunes user, with a library of over 50K music tracks and about 70-80 podcasts stored on an external USB drive. I make extensive use of smart playlist based off of last played, playcount, and ratings. This library is *mostly* synced (about 41K tracks) to two iPod Classics (with 512GB SD cards) that are kept in parallel. But iPod Classic don't last forever (they are already 12 years old).

I want a solution that can sync the iTunes library to my Android (Samsung A51, with a 512GB SD card), including the metadata, so a smart media player such as GoneMad can play music and allow me to search the library. Most importantly, I want this sync to be bi-direction, so the metadata (ratings, last play, playcounts) can flow back into the iTunes database.

My current solution has been iSyncr and RocketPlayer: iSyncr syncs directly with the Android, and Rocket Player is their media player. But the company that made those apps has been sold, and they have mucked everything up.

I have been told that Musicbee can sync between its Windows database and the Android music database, and store the data on the SD card. I've also been told that the sync is bidirectional (so updated playcounts and ratings come back). I've also been told that Musicbee keeps that metadata in the music file, so media players can access it. Is that correct?

The more problematic area appears to be the iTunes/Musicbee sync. It appears one can import the iTunes database into MB, and possibly the other direction, but the two can't easily be kept in sync. I plan to keep iTunes around until the iPod Classics die (hopefully a long time from now), so I need to get the data back from Musicbee into iTunes. The focus is primarily metadata. New music and podcasts should come into iTunes first, and then flow down. I tend to sync the Android device only one or two times a month.

So will Musicbee work for this use case, and how complicated will it be. It's beginning to look like my only solution will be to shell out for an Apple Music solution, and transfer and download the music via iCloud match (which I don't want to do because I've heard it silently replaces my tracks).

Thoughts, and thanks in advance.

Daniel

Zak

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I'm not in the Apple ecosystem so others will need to contribute to specifics about syncing to portable players etc.

The more problematic area appears to be the iTunes/Musicbee sync. It appears one can import the iTunes database into MB, and possibly the other direction, but the two can't easily be kept in sync. I plan to keep iTunes around until the iPod Classics die (hopefully a long time from now), so I need to get the data back from Musicbee into iTunes.
But to this point, MusicBee provides a one-way, one-time import command to migrating an existing library from iTunes to MusicBee.
There is no Export to iTunes equivalent.

It's possible iTunes will detect changes to tag values and update its own library, but that will not include non-standard things like play counts, date added, possibly track ratings etc.
Bee excellent to each other...

phred

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I have been told that Musicbee can sync between its Windows database and the Android music database, and store the data on the SD card. I've also been told that the sync is bidirectional (so updated playcounts and ratings come back). I've also been told that Musicbee keeps that metadata in the music file, so media players can access it. Is that correct?
Whether MB can sync to your SD card depends more on your Android version more than anything else. As far as two way syncing goes, it's available -only- with MB's WiFi Sync app from the Play Store -and- only with GoneMad or PowerAmp players. Since both players have free trials before purchase, I suggest you install them and test them to see if they do what you want.

But if continuing to use itunes and the ipods is truly important to you, then what Zak said is a deal-breaker. If you truly like MB, then be prepared to abandon your iStuff.
Download the latest MusicBee v3.4 patch from here.
Download the latest MusicBee v3.5 beta patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

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Check out the MusicBee Wiki.
How to post screenshots is here

vincent kars

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Quote
It appears one can import the iTunes database into MB, and possibly the other direction, but the two can't easily be kept in sync.

Depends.
There is a lot you can have in the database like playlist, etc.
The only way to transfer this kind of info is import it.

However, if it is about tags in the audio files, you don't need the database at all.
A very common practice:
tag your file with e.g. MP3tag. As you have edited the file, the dat last modified changes
Power up Musicbee (or have it running with monitoring the audio files continuously) and it will detect the change in this date and re-read the tags
Works flawlessly.

So an option is to point both Musicbee and iTunes to the same root containing the audio files.
You use Musicbee as your library manager and the sync to Android.
Let iTunes rescan and use it for sync to iPod only.
Disable settings like reorganizing files in iTunes.

arcendus

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As far as two way syncing goes, it's available -only- with MB's WiFi Sync app from the Play Store -and- only with GoneMad or PowerAmp players.

Is this still true? From what I've been reading, Android 11+ doesn't allow two-way sync with either GMMP or PowerAmp due to something to do with storage permissions.

phred

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Is this still true? From what I've been reading, Android 11+ doesn't allow two-way sync with either GMMP or PowerAmp due to something to do with storage permissions.
I don't two-way sync so I can't give a definitive answer. I seem to remember an issue with GMMP, Android 12, and two-way sync, but I didn't pay too much attention to it.
Download the latest MusicBee v3.4 patch from here.
Download the latest MusicBee v3.5 beta patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

----------
Check out the MusicBee Wiki.
How to post screenshots is here