Sync your Android phone with Banshee

Jack Wallen
Oct 22, 2009
Updated • Feb 13, 2018
Google Android

Recently I finally managed to get rid of my iPhone for a much more Linux-geek friendly mobile - the HTC Hero. One of my issues with the iPhone was that, in order to do ANY syncing, you had to use iTunes, which I really didn't like.

And although the HTC Hero has yet to be able to do full syncing with Linux (no contacts or calendar syncing with Evolution, Thunderbird, Claws Mail, etc). You can, however, very easily sync your music with the HTC Hero (and any Android-based phone) by using the Banshee music manager.

Banshee is strongly tied to the GNOME desktop manager. These two together make managing your Android phone music as simple as it gets. Now, Banshee is not a complete replacement for iTunes. There is no way to purchase music through Banshee (which is fine because most Android phones can purchase music straight from the Amazon MP3 market). But Banshee does a bang up job of managing your music - and a simple job interacting with the Android phone. Now, let's take a look at how this is done.

Installing Banshee

If you don't already have Banshee installed you will need to do so. And you will need to make sure you have a version >= 1.4. To install go to your Add/Remove Software tool and follow these steps:

  1. Search for "banshee" (no quotes).
  2. Select Banshee for installation.
  3. Click Apply to install.

That's it.

Now that Banshee is installed, you are ready to have Banshee and your Android working together.

Connecting your Android

Figure 1
Figure 1

When you connect your Android phone to your Linux machine you will be asked (on the phone) if you want to mount your SD card. Go ahead and do that so your Linux machine can see the SD card on the phone. This SD card will show up in the Nautilus file manager (shown in Figure 1) as a 2.0 GB Media. You can actually drag and drop files to this directory - but we're managing music, so we're going to use Banshee and not a file manager.

Now open up Banshee and your Android phone will automatically show up (see Figure 2).

As you can see, the interface gives you a clear view of the space

Figure 2
Figure 2

available on your phone's card. You can also see that there are two options:

Manually sync

Automatically sync

Most likely you will want to manually sync your phone. If your Banshee library is like mine there is WAY more music than will fit on a 2 Gig card. of course you can replace that 2 Gig card with a much larger card and then have Banshee automatically sync.

For manually syncing all you need to do is navigate through your music collection and then drag and drop the files you want to put on your phone.

Upon completion of the music management you can then click the Eject Android G1 Phone button in the upper right corner of Banshee. Now, before you actually unplug your phone from your computer you need to turn off USB storage on your phone. Once USB storage is off you can then unplug your phone and check to make sure your new music is present and accounted for.

Final thoughts

I certainly hope the Linux community and the Android community can work together further so that the Linux operating system can enjoy a complete sync. Once this happens wireless companies can be sure that Linux users/fans will flock to their Android offerings.

Sync your Android phone with Banshee
Article Name
Sync your Android phone with Banshee
Banshee is strongly tied to the GNOME desktop manager. These two together make managing your Android phone music as simple as it gets. Now, Banshee is not a complete replacement for iTunes.
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  1. Albert said on August 18, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks for the tip Martin.

    It is for these kinds of posts that I follow GHacks.

    1. Mike Williams said on August 26, 2023 at 8:55 pm

      What’s up with the generic comment, are you a bot?

  2. Tachy said on August 18, 2023 at 3:23 pm


    Where on the planet is that still in use? I was forced to give up using my RAZRV3 years ago because 2G was phased out by AT&T.

    1. arbuz said on August 20, 2023 at 5:02 pm

      Everywhere 3G has been turned off and you don’t have LTE coverage, and believe me there are many developed countries where this is the case and if it weren’t for 2G you wouldn’t even be able to make a phone call.

    2. Doc Fuddled said on August 31, 2023 at 5:55 pm

      Maybe I missed it, but I don’t believe tha term “2G” is in the article. Perhaps you are referring to “AGM G2”??

  3. Tachy said on August 18, 2023 at 3:27 pm


    Your website has gone insane.

    When I the post button I then saw my comment posted on a different article page. When I opened this article again, it is here.

    1. Martin P. said on August 31, 2023 at 4:39 pm

      @Tachy @Martin Brinkmann

      ” Your website has gone insane. ”

      Same here. Has happened several times.

      1. owl said on September 1, 2023 at 3:42 am

        @Martin P.,

        For over two weeks now,
        I’ve been seeing “Comments” posted by subscribers appearing in different, unrelated articles.
        For the time being,
        it would be better to specify the “article name and URL” at the beginning of the post.

  4. Anonymous said on August 18, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    @tachy a lot of non-phone devices with a sim in them rely on 2G, at least here in europe.
    Usually things reporting usage or errors/alarms on something remote that does not get day to day inspection in person. They are out there in vast numbers doing important work. Reliable, good range. The low datarate is no problem at all in those cases.
    3G is gone or on its last legs everywhere, but this stuff still has too much use to cancel.

    Anyhow, interesting that they would put that in. I can see the point if you suspect a hostile 2G environment (amateur eavesdroppers with laptop, ranging up to professional grade MITM fake towers while “strangely” not getting the stronger crypto voip 4G because it is being jammed, and back down to something as old ‘stingray’ devices fallen into the wrong hands).

    But does this also mean that they have handled and rolled out a fix for that nasty 4G ‘pwn by broadcast’ problem you reported earlier this year? I had 4G disabled due to that, on the off chance that some of the local criminals would buy some cheap chinese gear, download a working exploit and probe every phone in range all over town in the hope of getting into phones of the police.

  5. Andy Prough said on August 19, 2023 at 3:04 am

    >”While most may never be attacked in stingrays, it is still recommended to disable 2G cellular connections, especially since it does not have any downsides.”

    The downside would be losing connectivity. I spend a lot of time way out in the countryside where there’s often no service or almost none. My network allows 2G, and I need it sometimes. I have an option on the phone to disable 2G, I may do that when I’m in the city and I have good 5G connectivity, but not out in the country.

    I would imagine that the stingray exploits, like most of the bad things in this world, are probably things you will run into in the crowded big cities.

  6. owl said on August 21, 2023 at 3:40 am

    I stopped using it in a mobile (Wi-Fi line) environment, so I’m almost ignorant of the actual situation,
    But the recent reality in Japan makes me realize that “the infrastructure of the web is nothing more than a papier-mâché fiction”.

    It is already beyond the scope of what an individual can do.
    What we should be aware of is the reality that “governments and those in power want to control the world through the Web”, and efforts to counter (resist and prevent) such ambitions are necessary.

  7. Anonymous said on August 26, 2023 at 9:27 pm

    Why do you want people to disable the privacy features? Hmmmmm?

  8. Anonymous said on August 27, 2023 at 2:30 am

    Now You: do you plan to keep the Ads privacy features enabled?

    I’d like to tell you, but apparently if you make a post critical of Google, you get censored. * [Editor: removed, just try to bring your opinion across without attacking anyone]

  9. Tachy said on August 27, 2023 at 5:15 am


    You website is still psychotic. Comments attach to random stories.

  10. John G. said on August 28, 2023 at 2:46 pm

    @Martin please do fix the comments, it’s completely insane commenting here! :[

  11. ECJ said on August 28, 2023 at 5:37 pm


    The comments are seriously messed up on gHacks now. These comments are mixed with the article at the below URL.

    And comments on other articles are from as far back as 2010.

  12. Naimless said on August 29, 2023 at 12:57 am

    What does this article has anything to do with all the comments on this article? LOL I think this Websuite is ran by ChatGPT. every article is messed up. Some older comments from 2015 shown up in recant articles, LOL

  13. Paul Knight said on August 31, 2023 at 3:35 am

    The picture captioned “Clearing the Android Auto’s cache might resolve the issue” is from Apple Carplay ;)

  14. Anonymous said on August 31, 2023 at 9:57 pm

    How about other things that matter:
    Drop survival?
    Screen toughness?
    Degree of water and dust protection?

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