iOS audio player that can play files via SFTP or from Files App?

A large part of my music collection consists of live recordings which are not available on Apple Music, Spotify, and the likes. I have stored these locally on my PC (I don’t have a NAS) and have an online backup that is accessible using SFTP.

Which audio player can play files directly from online storage via SFTP?

Bonus points if it can cache files on a device, so that I can listen while being offline.

I currently use File Hub Pro, which does a pretty good job, but it’s more a file manager than an audio player, so I’m wondering whether I’m missing out.

PS: I also use Secure ShellFish, so an audio player that can play files from the Files App might also be interesting for me.

If you are willing to download the files to IOS or store them in the cloud, Documents by Readdle might be a solution.

Music and video player - Readdle Knowledge Base


VLC has an iOS app, it mentions being able to play from FTP, not sure if that extends to SFTP: Official Download of VLC media player for iOS - VideoLAN

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have a look at Flacbox, it can play from, but AFAIK no SFTP.

It supports many online storage though, SMB, WebDAV, DLNA (mentioned in the website but I cannot find the way), Onedrive, Dropbox, pCloud.

It plays a lot of formats too, especially .flac, hence the name—and why I use it.

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I already use Documents for storing “sensitive” information (PDF’s of tax forms etc.), so I enabled all security features for this App. Last time I tried it the player (thus) stopped playing after my iOS device locked.

(Should have mentioned this in my question)

I did not know about Flacbox yet. Interesting App!

Unfortunately no SFTP indeed, but the online service also supports WebDAV, so I tried that instead. Playing direct/online from the service seems to work, but the interesting features, like making a database of all online music, or downloading it to a device, both fail (with this service?).

VLC does indeed not seem to support SFTP or WebDAV (no downloads), but it can apparently play (“local”) files downloaded by ShellFish.

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If you’re an Apple Music subscriber, can you add them to your library and have them uploaded?

(I know it’s not answering your question, but I’m curious as to whether you’ve tried it (as it sounds as if it would get you the functionality that you want), and very nearly everything about Apple’s various music service(s) and software confuses me, so if it’s not possible then my understanding of Apple Music is even worse than I thought)

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You might also consider FileBrowser from Stratospherix. It’s a great general purpose file manager for iOS and it has a built-in audio player. It can connect to devices via SFTP (as well as via other protocols), it integrates well with the Files app, and you can download files for use offline.

Having said all that, I don’t use its media playback features, so I can’t give any direct experience in that area. But, I’ve used the program as a file manager for several years and it’s very good. I like it a lot.

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My Apple Music subscription expires next week…

Never thought of that, but I think I prefer to keep things separate (studio recordings with album art in Apple Music or Spotify, live recordings without album art in a different App).

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Seems similar to File Hub Pro, but neither one is “perfect” for me:

  • File Hub Pro can’t play .m3u playlists, but can download files
  • FileBrowseGO can play .m3u playlists, but can’t download files

Isn’t that always the thing: one program has some features and not others, while another program is the opposite!

Out of curiosity, you mentioned FileBrowserGO could not download files. Did you look at FileBrowser specifically (as opposed to FileBrowserGO)? I know that at the time I bought the application, FileBrowserGO was considered the “lite” free version of FileBrowser and did not include all the features of the full, paid version.

Quick update: I took a look at the Stratospherix website. I now see that the developers have changed the two apps from “lite”/free vs. paid to one-time payment vs. subscription. Still, both apps can download files. Were you saying that FileBrowserGO cannot download the individual songs from a m3u playlist? Unfortunately, I don’t have any knowledge about that from my usage.

Yes, I was also confused by their product portfolio.

I tried downloading via SFTP a second time. Now it worked…

However, while playing music I discovered that I would like ID3 metadata/tag support, which this App does not have (it shows filenames in the playlist, including extensions, like “.mp3”).

Have you looked at installing Plex on your PC?

That’s the solution I would use with the Plexamp app.

Haven’t looked at that, but it probably requires the PC to be “always” on?

(Which I have not; that’s why I would prefer to use the online storage)

General reply: sorry if I appear to be ungrateful.

I’m trying not to be, but I can be quite a nitpicker when it comes to software…


Try Evermusic, and Evermusic Pro. I use the Pro version and it’s great for Files app/iCloud Drive use.

Sorry, forgot to reply that I already tried Evermusic Pro (which I probably grabbed once when it was free?).

It’s from the same author as Flacbox and very similar. The release notes even seem identical…