Sync your Android Phones with Linux
After you got your shiny new Android based smart phone, you may have surely felt a relief due to the fact that you are no longer a prisoner of a proprietary mobile operating platform. Since Android comes with a variety of mobile phones, you have a wide collection to choose from.
As soon as you got the new phone, you will want to do the same things that you used to do with your old phone whatever that was. Usually, we all listen to music via the phone, watch video, and play games. For doing all that, you may want to sync your mobile phone with the home PC, so you can copy your favorite music, videos and the games.
In case if you have a Linux desktop, this article is for you. Although Android phones can be automatically detected by the Windows platform, still it is quite a difficult task to setup a Linux box to sync with Android. This short article shows you how to do this task quite conveniently.
Once you plug-in your phone to a Linux box (in this case an Ubuntu desktop), you are given the options of charging and mounting the storage of the phone. In Linux, the window management utility, Nautilus, detects the phone just as a storage device. Through Nautilus, you can simply copy your favourite songs to the Android phone. But this is not the most desired way of copying music or other media to a mobile device. If you use an iPhone, you may use iTunes for syncing your media with the iPhone. For us as Linux users, it should not be different with Android. That’s why we choose Banshee as our choice of media player in Linux. This way, we will sync Android media player with Banshee music player.
First of all, let’s install Banshee.
In Ubuntu, issue the following command in order to install Banshee. Please refer to your Linux distribution instructions if you use some other distribution.
# sudo apt-get install banshee
In a minute, you should be done installing Banshee. Then, you can customize your Banshee installation, such as the default music directory.
Now, you need to make Banshee aware that you got an Android phone and it is also a music player. For this, follow the below steps.
First, mount your Android phone as a removable disk. Then we will create and copy a small file to the SD card of the Android phone.
Open your favourite editor in Linux and create a file with following lines.
Depending on your setup, change the directory for audio_foldrs. In addition to the mentioned output formats, there are many more output formats and you can find them in Banshee website.
Now, save the document as .is_audio_player (without double quotes).
Then, copy this file to the root of the SD card in your Android phone.
Once you open Banshee, you should see your Android phone in the left panel of Banshee player.
In case if your song collection is smaller than the SD card of your Android phone, you can easily let the syncing take place and then you are done with all. But in most cases, the music collection is much bigger than the SD card storage. In such cases, you may have to manage your music manually, by dragging and dropping in-and-out of the phone.
If you are adventurous enough, you can easily install Banshee daily builds. These builds will give you the opportunity to have more options for syncing and managing the multimedia collection. These features are not yet available in Banshee stable version. But beware, daily builds are highly unstable for regular use. I do not recommend you to install them, unless you are a Linux power user.
5 thoughts on “How to Sync Android Phones with Linux?”
That’s great for music, but what about contacts, calendar etc?
@Steve: Contacts & calendar will automatically synced with your Gmail account.
Why is it that the Samsung Galaxy S III (U.S. Version) is not supported by Ubuntu 12.04?
@Jay: What if I don’t want Google to read all my contact names and appointments?