What happens when you love using your iPhone and iPad but don’t have a Mac?

How do you get your music to your iOS devices when you have local music and movies?

In my case, I have a PC Laptop running Linux Mint 18.3 and I wouldn’t trade it for Windows or Mac? Why is that?

It’s not important why; however, simply put, if Apple provided their OS to download and install on any Intel-based Laptop I would without a doubt be running it already, but since they don’t, I run Linux instead (which is awesome by the way).

However, just because I run Linux doesn’t mean I have no way of sharing my photos, music, or other goodies between iOS and Linux, or any other platform for that matter.

Here I will share my experience with running a Linux laptop while using iOS devices. Be it known that using Apple’s cloud services only locks you into their proprietary Eco-system for certain parts of their digital media, such as Music and Movies.

As far as Notes, Photos, Reminders, Calendar, and even iCloud drive, one can use iCloud.com to manage these various services from Apple. For Music locally stored on a Mac it is best to use iTunes, but on Linux there is no Appleesque music software that works seamlessly with iPhones (Rhythmbox does work to sync, but syncing still seems dangerous to say the least), as Apple has made it difficult to use iPhones with Linux, not purposefully, that’s the hope.

Although, I’m not sure why Apple has not released Linux versions of their software (iTunes and such) considering both platforms (Mac and Linux) are of the Nix variant.

However, you can use services like Amazon, Google Music, or even Plex to not only listen to your favorite music in Linux, but on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android, and even Windows. Plex, Amazon, and Google give you the best of all the worlds without settling for a single ecosystem. Keep in mind; however, that Amazon has chosen to use Flash, and Amazon does not support upload from a Linux PC.

Google, on the other hand, allows uploading from a Linux PC which makes Google the ideal service for sharing Music across all your digital devices. If you already have music from iTunes it is easy enough to simply manage your music library from your iPhone or iPad and be done. However, if you have a digital library in the form of MP3 files on your Linux PC; using Google Music allows you to upload your songs and share them across your iPhone, iPad, AppleTV, or any other digital device that is supported by Google, which is pretty much many if not most devices.

For the best experience, I recommend using Plex which allows you to share your music with all of your devices, and we are not just talking iDevices, we mean ALL your devices. If you are more technically inclined, Plex is highly recommended.

Google is a great alternative; to get started, create a Google account by going to google.com. On your Linux PC, you can use Firefox or Chrome, the recommendation is to use Chrome as it has better support for Google services. In addition, you can install the Google Music Manager to upload music from your Linux PC to Google Play. Using Chrome also allows Google apps to run in the background and in the Linux system panels.

Once your Google account has been established, and music uploaded to Google Play with the Google Music Manager, simply sign into any device that supports Google Services (which is most devices) and listen to your music.

Here are the ways that I have enjoyed my music using Google, Linux, and Apple Products:

  1. Listen to music locally on Linux or if uploaded to Google Play using Google Play Music in Chrome on Linux (Ubuntu, SuSe, Linux Mint, Fedora, Debian, etc.).
  2. Listen to music on the iPhone or iPad using Google Play.
  3. Stream music from iPhone or iPad using Google Play Music to Apple TV via Airplay.
  4. Use the iPhone in the car to connect to Bluetooth and listen to Google Play Music (or connect to any Bluetooth enabled speaker).

In today’s day and age of digital media, allowing oneself to be pigeon-holed into one ecosystem is a sure way to be held hostage by one provider. Case in point, being chained to Apple because of having an iPhone or iPad and no Mac is ludicrous.

However, by using multiple services where it fits the needs of the consumer puts the power back in one’s hands.

I chose to use Linux because it provides freedom, and Google makes it easy when it comes to using their services on many devices.

Better yet, gain total control of your digital media by running your own Plex server (again more for the technically inclined). But easy to setup and use. You can even run plex in the cloud and not have to set up a Plex Server at home.

Update to this article:

In my quest to share all my music and movies with my devices, I have used all the services I listed above. Ultimately, I landed on using Plex, and have been running a Plex server for the last 3 years. One of the best decisions I ever made, it simply provides so much freedom for all my iDevices, Laptops and other digital media players (iPads, or other tablets).

The best part of Plex is that it also allows me to share my library of music, movies, and photos with my family members. In a sense, I have become a media provider for my own family!

So, enjoy your music no matter what device you own. Even when you decide to change platforms!