Where do you listen to your music

Lots of music services are very invasive (ex. Youtube Music or Pandora) or their free accounts are very bad (ex. Spotify). Some don’t offer free access (Apple Music). Where do you listen to your music?

Do you wish there was a FOSS, privacy respecting streaming service? One that end to end encrypts all pieces of data possible, but still provides song recommendations. Would you use such a software?

1 Like

How exactly do you think that would work? If it’s free and I’m assuming you also don’t want ads how is it supposed to pay for the licenses?
And what do you mean with e2ee? I’m assuming you mean that they don’t have access to your listening history, how are they supposed to recommend you things?


Personally I use InnerTune, a FOSS android frontend for YouTube music.

it has no ads and has all the regular music app features you’d expect

it does not use an account , and the front page offers quick picks ("song recommendations ") based on your songs.

You still ping YouTube servers but it’s as good as it’s gonna get other than creating your own music library.


I just use Spotify - there was a thread recently about Spotify frontends/alternative apps, but apparently they don’t seem to work too well. I had a free trial of Apple Music as they seem to be closest one can get to a privacy respecting streaming service, but the app experience sucked for me (on Android anyway, maybe it’s better on iOS)

If I had the money, I’d build a CD collection and rip it all to set up one of those music libraries you can self host, I know they exist but the names escape me.

I think the expensive nature of music licencing means the most we can hope for is a privacy respecting frontend for one of the big players. My ideal scenario would be a slick and cross-platform app for Android and Linux.

Thanks for mentioning this, gonna give it a look!

Since i listen a hole lot music…and i mean it. Like +200k minutes a year. Convert that to daily listening time urself :wink:

I want a platform with a lot music variety in all sorts of different styles.
I like having good song recommendations, not like suggesting the same songs i already got in my playlist kekw. Spotify used to do that back in the days.

I do not really care if it’s fully FOSS or encrypts all data, as long as they are not privacy invasive.
But i am convinced that this would not work for many reasons:

  • First of all the platform needs to attract the artists somehow, this already will take ages to get a decent amount of POP-music on there.
  • To get to get Artists to your platform you need to pay them really well. With what money? ADs, big investor moneys and paid subscriptions. Paid Subscriptions are not-sexy for consumers, especially when there is not much content on the platform. For investors big cut’s to the Artists is also not liked to see because means less money for the company.
  • Lets say you reach the levels of Spotify. All the Persons who own the Company shouldn’t become greedy (like what happens in most cases)
  • the maintaining cost will be massive. If you dont ask your subscribers to pay more money, a great way are ADs which require collecting user data in most cases

I used to use Plex, and self host my own music collection. That worked great, but after awhile I kinda felt stagnant, and wanted to look for alternatives… I wanted to find new artists, and have a broader collection. About this time Techlore put up his music streaming comparisons. That’s when I even considered Apple Music. I liked what I saw, and kinda stuck around. Yes, it’s a paid for service. At least it’s more privacy respecting, and no ads. Sometimes you need to pay for an easy private option. If you don’t want that, then self hosting is your only other option. I know I mentioned Plex, but I’m pretty confident that there’s other options.

1 Like

On my desktop computer at home, i use Foobar2000. It’s extremely customizable, but I’m gonna warn you, it’s proprietary, just like a lot (but not all) of its community-made components (basically “plugins” with a different name)

For on the go streaming, i use a self-hosted Navidrome that picks up from the same folder as Foobar with DSub as a client. There are a few things that i don’t like (for example the synchronized lyrics are completely absent), but i don’t really use this setup enough to notice any of these missing features

I have some playlists in Invidious.

I mostly just use Nextcloud for my music, I can use the NC music app to stream music in any browser, and on my PC I just mount the NC folder and use Audacious to listen to music.

1 Like

A FOSS youtube/YT music frontend is the best you’re gonna get

1 Like

Welcome to the forum @anon389034891 My primary computer is my phone! NewPipe downloads with the option Audio Only is an easy way to build a collection. Lots of streaming and back up options, which can be confusing. Going a minimalist route and having just one app to watch and download helps me.

I just use Spotify :person_shrugging: All the other options are just really bad.

On the computer I use PWA in Brave with uBlock origin. And on the phone I’m forced to use the app, otherwise I cannot listen offline. But I use Mullvad and their DNS filters, so I presume that at least some of the tracking is filtered.

1 Like

ViMusic, and I backup my database to Filen.

You could use Spotify/Pandora/Tidal, but use alias information.

In what ways?

Personally, I don’t see a lot of risk to the potential privacy lost from using a music streaming service. I can’t think of any ways in which personal&private information would be exposed.

What are some of the specific things you find invasive or specific categories of information you want to protect?

or their free accounts are very bad (ex. Spotify). Some don’t offer free access

Do you wish there was a FOSS, privacy respecting streaming service? One that end to end encrypts all pieces of data possible?

Would you use such a software?

To me it seems like you may have a couple misconceptions:

1st, A streaming service, isn’t just a piece of software, its a service. This distinction is important because in contrast to a piece of software, services have much higher operational running costs. In the case of a music streaming service, whoever runs the service must pay to host and stream all that music, and must pay for the music itself. How would a “FOSS Privacy respecting streaming service” sustain itself if a paid/premium model and ads are off the table?

With software the only thing needed for a good FOSS alternative is someone with motivation, time, and skill to develop it and share it with the world. WIth a service you still need someone with motivation+skill+time, but you also need a way to pay for all the costs of running the service.

2nd, What would e2e encryption mean in the context of a music streaming service and why do you think it would be of value? The status quo is that if you play a song on Spotify, you know you’ve played that song and Spotify knows you played that song. If you e2e encrypted this connection, it would be the same, you would know you played the song and spotify would as well. E2EE isn’t a magic cure-all, it protects data between two endpoints, if you trust the other endpoint and don’t trust some outside 3rd party it may be the right tool for the job, but if either of these things is not true, its likely not going to be the right tool.

So that brings us back to the beginning of my comment, what specific things are you trying to protect and from whom? Answer these questions and the rest will become easier to address.

1 Like

I think what the original poster meant was using E2EE to prevent Spotify from knowing what music you listen to. Spotify doesn’t know what music you like. It’s pretty much like using ViMusic but backing up your database in an end to end encrypted way. Or like storing your music on MEGA or Filen.

Your music choices reveals a lot about your personality and emotions. You might not want advertisers or data brokers with this information, like your mood or your character traits.

Yeah, I don’t think this will sustain as a business model. You could just use Spotify with alias information and pretty much be fine.

I think the original poster would be better off developing a way to integrate automated E2EE backups into Youtube Music or Spotify clients, that is basically equivalent of what the original poster wants, but this solution doesn’t require the developer to pay for licensing music.

That’s the challenge, figure out a way to make this music service usable and sustainable as a business. I feel like the developer should develop a way to integrate automated end to end encrypted backup to ViMusic or InnerTune, that seems like something that’s privacy respecting and not business model thing.

You brought up some good points. Would you agree that the original poster is better off developing a way to integrate automated E2EE backups to clients like ViMusic, InnerTune, or some Spotify client?

Apologies if I’ve misunderstood but how could this even be possible? Even with e2ee of some form.

How could Spotify–the service provider–serve you the song you request without knowledge of the song you request? This sounds impossible. Moreover, how would e2e encryption address this problem considering that the server/service necessarily needs to know what you want to stream in order to give it to you?

Maybe I am mistaken, but I think that OP and possibly you are conflating apps (or frontends) with the service provider. Vimusic is a frontend for Youtube, not a streaming service, and not an alternative to Youtube. Frontends are great don’t replace services, they just make it a little easier to use the services a little more privately.

Maybe there is something I am not seeing or understanding and there is a way to ask a service for a resource without telling the service what resource, but I don’t see how. Am I missing something?

like storing your music on Mega or Filen

OP’s proposal is for an alternative streaming service. If we are talking about your own music library, that is a totally different conversation.

Your music choices reveals a lot about your personality and emotions. You might not want advertisers or data brokers with this information, like your mood or your character traits.

Good point. With respect to music, I think this is outside of the scope of my concern and threat model, but recognize that it is a valid concern for some people. And I’ve made similar arguments with other types of seemingly innocuous data, so I understand where you are coming from.

ViMusic lets you create a database of your local playlists and you can restore your data in ViMusic by importing a database. Maybe the person wants to E2EE backup this ViMusic database.

I don’t think that is what they are asking about, at least I didn’t interpret it that way, here is a quote from the OP:

Lots of music services are very invasive (ex. Youtube Music or Pandora) or their free accounts are very bad (ex. Spotify)

Do you wish there was a FOSS, privacy respecting streaming service? One that end to end encrypts all pieces of data possible, but still provides song recommendations.

why would a streaming service create you a playlist for another streaming service? that’s like if Netflix would recommend you to use prime video and ViMusic, InnerTune, … are just YouTube Music frontends

they just want to throw e2ee in there because its a buzzword, as you said the service just wouldn’t work > well maybe if every user gets their own encrypted container and when you add music to it you download it > encrypt it locally > upload it to your container but that would have the problem of using up a lot of space, artists wouldn’t get paid their fair share (since the company doesn’t know who you are listening to (or they get paid a one time when you add the song to your container (but then it would have to be you buying a song and not a subscription model)) and the service still wouldn’t know what to recommend you since recommendations are based on what other people like, “private” recommendations would also kinda suck

I personally use Sony Walkman NW-A55 with my music on it. Since I have a lot of lossless/HiRes audio files, such a device is a nice option. It has no internet access (however, newer models are Android-based with Wi-Fi). You can listen to music wirelessly too, and you can choose between aptxHD, aac, LDAC etc. I prefer wired headphones.

Honestly, I don’t think streaming is a necessity. I gave up on Apple Music several years ago. The library you build there is only yours as long as you pay for access. But if you want to quit or change the service, it gets problematic. Additionally, there are some regional restrictions (e.g. licensing).

If you care about quality it’s crucial to get proper devices. You can have an iPhone with HQ audio files on it (also available on Apple Music) but Apple still has no headphones for HiRes audio so what’s the point. And it’s limited when it comes to codec support, especially via Bluetooth (and remember - no headphone jack).

Summing up… everything depends on your portable device and headphones. Sometimes it’s better to build your own library with the files you really own, not which you have a temporary access to.

1 Like