This page will help anyone setup a music server from start to finish!
My motivation stems from getting burned by a music streaming service called Murfie.com. For the fortunate who are unfamiliar, the service allowed people to send in their media to be stored and streamed by Murfie.
After paying processing and shipping fees, that media could be streamed from anywhere. Before the age of Spotify and Tidal, this was a very interesting and helpful way for music fans to stream their collections. There were however many issues. Murfie couldn’t compete with Spotify. They kept raising prices. The streaming was intermittent. They promised basic features like playlists but never delivered. And one day in November, 2019 it all came to a halt with no warning. Many were stunned, knowing their music collections were gone. I had spent thousands on this service, with nothing to show for it. I was determined to setup my own service.
Here we are.
By the time you are done following my guide, you will have your own music streaming service that you have full control over. Your media will be safe, and you will not need to pay for any streaming services again!
Part One: Choosing the server
You can use an older computer for the task of server but some models are more ideal than others. My recommendations are a Dell Optiplex (an old Core 2 model would suffice), an HP EliteDesk (smallest form factor) or a Mac Mini (2010 or higher). Each has a small footprint and all very little electricity. For example, the Mac Mini will run at 6W at idle and a maximum of 85W. You will want to use an SSD hard drive to install the operating system on and secondary drive for your music. If you can afford to use an SSD for both, do so. Hybrid drives such as the Seagate Fire Cuda are also fast and robust for this purpose. Make sure that you have at least 4GB of RAM. If you are on a budget, any computer on hand that is newer than 2010 that can connect to the internet should work.
Part two: Installing Ubuntu Server
First you will need to download Ubuntu Server ISO image. Then you will need to burn the Ubuntu Server ISO image to a DVD or flash it to a USB thumb drive.
Here is a guide that shows you how to burn an ISO to a DVD.
Here is a guide that shows you how to flash an ISO image to a USB thumb drive.
After you completed the task of creating the installation thumb drive/DVD, place it in the computer and boot it. You will likely need to tell your bios at boot to load your installation drive. For some systems, it’s either ESC, F10 or F12. From there, tell your system to boot from the DVD or USB drive.
Follow the instructions during the installation of Ubuntu server. Here is a very well done and thorough video on this step.
Once your Ubuntu Server is up and running, you will need to install the media streaming service, Subsonic.
Part three: Installing Subsonic – the media server
Subsonic is the media server you will use to stream your music.
Here is a guide to setup the Subsonic software.
Here is my guide:
sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer -y
Verify the install:
Java version "1.8.0_91" Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_91-b14) Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.91-b14, mixed mode)
You should look for the latest version here:
sudo dpkg -i subsonic-6.1.3.deb
(Rename “subsonic-6.1.3.deb” if you have a newer version)
sudo systemctl restart subsonic
Create a directory to store your music:
sudo mkdir /var/music
If you have an external drive that your music is on, you will need to point to it in the Subsonic software once it’s up and running.
Next you will need to configure your router so that it will allow access to the port (port forwarding) that Subsonic uses (4040).