Goodbye Dropbox and Spotify, Hello ownCloud

I already pay $20 a month for two Spotify accounts (one for me and my wife) and now my dropbox is getting full.  Instead of dishing out the $30 a month I decided to check out other options first.  I came across this article at which sparked my attention.  I did some more digging around and read quite a bit about ownCloud that sounded right up my alley other than the fact that its written in php... boooooo.

I also, had been previously looking into getting a VPS but could never think of a good enough use for one to justify the cost. is a VPS configured for higher storage options (base level is 250GB) AND you can get it for $5 a month.  For me this sounded like a couple of hours of work for a $25 a month savings and WAY more customization and options. 

Visit and sign up for their 250GB storage, 512mb ram 1,000GB bandwidth plan using coupon code "BIGDADDY" to get all this for $5 a month (50% off).  I opted for the automatic OS install but apparently their automatic OS install wasn't working correctly so I installed the OS myself (Ubuntu 12.04).

Once all this is finished, log into the box using the web console.  I had to use firefox because the Java applet needed to do this doesn't work in chrome.  Log in as the user you created during set up and install an ssh server with "sudo apt-get install openssh-server".  You might want to read up on securing an ssh server, and configure at least disabling root login via ssh.

Next lets get lamp, php and ownCloud installed following the instructions here.  When you're done you should have a working ownCloud install and an admin user set up.

I wanted to be able to sync my current ~/Dropbox folder, and also upload all of my digital music without syncing the music back to my computer.  Luckily ownCloud supports the option to only sync specific folders with remote ones.

Install the ownCloud sync client, and create a folder that you want to sync, I created an ownCloud folder in my home folder.  And instead of syncing data with the remote root folder, choose and create a new remote folder to sync with.  If you sync with the remote root folder everything will sync (music, photos) and you will only be able to create one sync.

You also might want to check out the ownCloud apps that are available to use.  I will probably end up creating an account for my wife on my ownCloud and installing the internal messages app for us to use.  And giving her an account will allow her to have her own storage and music service as well.

I've copied my entire dropbox folder into my ownCloud folder and I'm waiting for that to sync.  After that I'll begin uploading my music and testing out the streaming both to my laptop and my android.  As long as this all works out ok I'll be dropping both Spotify and my dropbox account for this.  Next I'll also be looking into enabling SSL and maybe developing my own addons / apps.