Science and technology

Why I switched from Apple Music to Jellyfin and Raspberry Pi

One day earlier this 12 months, I regarded up a music in my Mac’s music library that is been there since 2001. I obtained an error message, “This song is not currently available in your country or region.” I believed this may be only a glitch on my iPhone, so I attempted the desktop app. No go. I opened up my media drive, and there was the music file. To test if it performed, I hit the spacebar, and it started to play instantly. Hrmph. I’ve the file, I believed. Why will not the Music app play it?

(DJ Billings, CC BY-SA 40)

After some digging, I discovered different customers with related points. To sum up, it appears that evidently Apple determined that it owned a few of my songs, despite the fact that I ripped this explicit music to an MP3 from my very own CD within the late Nineties.

To be clear, I’m not an Apple Music subscriber. I’m referring to the free “music” app that was once known as iTunes. I gave Apple Music a go when it first launched however rapidly deserted it. They determined to interchange my beforehand owned songs with their DRM variations. In truth, I imagine that is the place my messed-up music troubles started. Since then, I’ve been bombarded with pushy Apple notifications making an attempt to steer me again into turning into an Apple Music subscriber.

The gross sales notifications had been annoying, however this abruptly unplayable music was unacceptable. I knew there needed to be a greater technique to handle my music, one which put me in charge of the music and film information I already owned.

Searching for a brand new open supply media answer

After this incident, I naturally took to social media to air my grievances. I additionally made a brief record of wants I had for what I believed was the best answer:

  • It must be open supply and run on Linux.
  • I wish to run it alone server, if attainable.
  • It must be free (as in beer) if attainable.
  • I would like the flexibility to regulate how the media is organized.
  • I would like to have the ability to watch my motion pictures on my TV in addition to hearken to music.
  • It ought to do business from home (WiFi) and over the web.
  • It must be cross-platform accessible (Linux, Mac OS, Windows, Android, iOS).

A tall order, I do know. I wasn’t positive I’d get the whole lot I wished, however I believed aiming for the celebs was higher than settling for one thing fast and straightforward. A number of individuals instructed Jellyfin, so I made a decision to test it out, however with out a lot optimism contemplating the quantity of rabbit holes I’d already been down.

What I found was unbelievable. Jellyfin fulfilled each merchandise on my record. Better nonetheless, I discovered that I might use it with my Raspberry Pi. I jumped onboard the Jellyfin practice and have not regarded again.

Raspberry Pi and Jellyfin are the right mixture

I’ll describe what I did, however this isn’t meant to be an entire tutorial. Believe me once I say that if I can do it, so are you able to.

Raspberry Pi 4

I used a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with 4GB of RAM. The SD card is 128GB, which is greater than I want. The Pi 4 has WiFi but it surely’s related to my router utilizing ethernet, so there’s much less lag.

One of the issues I like in regards to the Raspberry Pi is the flexibility to swap out the whole OS and storage by slipping in a brand new SD card. You can change again in a couple of seconds if the OS does not swimsuit you.

Western Digital Elements 2 TB exterior SSD

Since all of my media will not match on a 128GB SD card, an exterior drive was important. I additionally like having my media on a drive separate from my OS. I beforehand used a 2TB exterior HD from Seagate that labored tremendous. I used to be making an attempt to maintain my price range low, however I additionally wished an SSD, one with a small footprint this time. The Western Digital drive is tiny, quick, and excellent. To work with the Raspberry Pi, I needed to format the drive as exFAT and add a package deal to assist the Pi mount it.


I am unable to say sufficient good issues about Jellyfin. It ticks all of the packing containers for me. It’s open supply, 100% free, has no central server, knowledge assortment, or monitoring. It additionally performs the entire music, motion pictures, and TV reveals I’ve on my drive.

There are shoppers for almost each platform, or you may pay attention or view in your internet browser. Currently, I’m listening to my music on the app for Debian and Ubuntu and it really works nice.

(DJ Billings, CC BY-SA 40)

Setting up Jellyfin

Many individuals, extra good than I, have created detailed directions on Jellyfin’s setup, so I might reasonably level to their work. Plus, Jellyfin has excellent documentation. But I’ll lay out the fundamentals, so you recognize what to anticipate if you wish to do that your self.


First, you may must be assured utilizing the terminal to jot down instructions or be keen to study. I encourage making an attempt it as a result of I’ve change into extremely expert and assured in Bash simply by doing this challenge.

File group

It’s a good suggestion to have your media information well-organized earlier than you begin. Changing issues later is feasible, however you may have fewer points with Jellyfin recognizing your information in the event that they’re categorized effectively.

Jellyfin makes use of the MusicBrainz and AudioDb databases to acknowledge your information and I’ve discovered only a few errors. Seeing the covers for motion pictures and music populate after it finds your catalog may be very satisfying. I’ve needed to add my paintings a couple of occasions, but it surely’s a straightforward course of. You may change the empty or generic class photos with your individual artwork.


You can add customers and alter their degree of management. For instance, in my household, I’m the one one with the flexibility to delete music. There are additionally parental controls accessible.

Process and assets

Here’s the final course of and a few of the assets I used to arrange my Raspberry Pi media server utilizing Jellyfin:

  1. Install the OS of your selection in your Pi.

  2. Install Jellyfin in your Pi.

  3. If you are utilizing a giant exterior drive for storage, format it in order that it makes use of a file system usable by you Pi, but additionally handy for you. I’ve discovered exFAT to be the best file system of all the most important platforms to make use of.

  4. Configure the firewall in your Pi in order that different computer systems can entry the Jellyfin library.

  5. On your private laptop set up a Jellyfin Media Player.

Breaking away

Whenever somebody finds an open supply answer, an angel will get its wings. The irony is that I used to be pushed into discovering a non-proprietary answer by one of many largest closed supply firms on the planet. What I like most in regards to the system I’ve created is that I’m in charge of all elements of it, good and dangerous.

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