I recently gave my old MacBook Pro to my dad. On a lark, I installed SimplifyMedia
and configured it with my account details so that he could gain access to the music on my home media center PC. I didn't really think he would ever do this, I just kind of did it on an impulse - but it turns out he loves the fairly large selection of music and uses it all the time.
The other day he asked me how he could get my music not just on his MacBook Pro but on his home stereo system. I just so happened to have an old Airport Express
sitting in my closet, so I took it over and hooked it up to his stereo and configured it to work with his home WiFi network.
Except SimplifyMedia is not really doing it for me - or, more precisely, for him. He calls me frequently to complain - songs cut off abruptly, sometimes my library disappears, sometimes it takes a half-hour or more for my library to fully populate, sometimes songs won't play at all... and SimplifyMedia is a pretty "no configuration" application, so when it doesn't work for him, my only real recourse is to reboot my home server and hope that fixes it.
There has to be a better way.
I know there are lots of programs out there (like Firefly and SuperSync) that can basically take your iTunes library file and serve it up via DAAP, and he could get any number of clients to listen this way.... but he would most assuredly then lose the ability to play to the Airport Express. Outputting to that device seems like a pretty specific to iTunes kind of thing, unless there's a way to set the master sound output to use it.
I've also had great success with the Hamachi VPN
. If he installed and configured this and joined it to my "VPN Group" then his iTunes would detect my iTunes library via the built-in sharing feature, and he could simply listen this way. Unfortunately, Hamachi on OS X is a total bastard. The GUI front-end that is put out by a 3rd party is buggy and never really works, and the command line setup and configuration is a little too much for my dad to trudge through. I could set it up for him and configure an AppleScript that initializes the connection at startup, but this seems like a recipe for "only works intermittently".
So I don't know. I feel like there has to be a better way to do this. Worst case, I drive over to my dad's and do some configuration myself, but ideally this would be a solution that doesn't have a huge likelihood of completely breaking down.
Any ideas, MeFites?