I am asking a question which, despite tons of Internet research and trying out many different options, I can't seem to find a solution to. I am a software engineer by the day, and a musician at night. I recently purchased an iPad with the goal of keeping my entire sheet music library on the device. I just can't figure out how to keep the music "synced" on the device! Here's what I'm looking to do:

  • I have a folder (with subfolders) filled with music. I can share these using basically any protocol: web-dav, ssh, FTP, Dropbox, you name it. I primarily use rclone to move files around and it's easy for me to set up a server with whatever protocol makes sense.

  • A requirement is that the data remain on my iPad offline (don't want to depend on Internet access at a gig!)

  • Also a requirement is to be able to sync an entire folder, rather than selecting files individually.

  • My preference is to self-host my data, rather than relying on a proprietary service. If I have to use a service, I do not want to pay a monthly fee just to be able to sync. This is why Dropbox Pro doesn't work for me - I don't mind paying a hosting provider to store my data, but don't want vendor lock-in.

  • I don't mind paying for an app to do this.

How can I achieve the above? This is what I tried on the iPad:

  • Dropbox: Would work beautifully, but I would have to subscribe to their Pro plan (in perpetuity!) and I'd rather pay monthly fees for a system without vendor lock-in.

  • Google Drive: You have to select individual files for offline mode, not a folder.

  • Nextcloud: I used to use it but found their sync to be very buggy! Maybe it has gotten better in the past 1 or 2 years.

  • Amazon Drive: Does not have an offline mode.

What should I be trying that I haven't yet?

  • Welcome to Ask Different :) A few questions are in place. What format are you music sheets in? What app do you use to consume your music sheets on iPad? Have you already checked Apple's Files app? The answers will help with arriving at the desired solution.
    – Nimesh Neema
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 14:29
  • Sure! The files are all PDF. I am flexible for how to consume files: any PDF reader would work (I am not familiar with all of the reader options), provided it has a way to list/navigate all files on the system. I have checked out the Files app, however, it is not clear how to move a large number of files onto the device so they're stored offline.
    – poundifdef
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 14:34
  • What kind of Desktop computer do you use? Mac, Windows or Linux?
    – Nimesh Neema
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 14:48
  • 3
    Using GoodReader and setting up a sync folder on a NAS or similar should work
    – nohillside
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 14:54

1 Answer 1


I was able to use GoodReader for this. It allowed me to connect to a web-dav server that I was running, and then synchronize files as I update that directory

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .