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How can I stream my music library to my iPhone?
May 4, 2010 11:11 AM   Subscribe

How can I stream my music library to my iPhone?

Now that Simplify Media is out of business (a month after I bought their $9 app, THANKS!), what is the best method to stream my home iTunes library (or a folder tree of MP3s if no iTunes method) to my iPhone?

Simplify Media worked great in that I could stream all music to my iPhone, browse by artist, album, song. The quality was good, worked well over 3G or WiFi. Browsing was simple, like iPod function on iPhone.

I have an 8GB, work provided (so cannot sell it, buy myself a bigger one) iPhone 3G. I have 25+ GB of music (and a lot more if I ever import the other half of my CD collection).

I am open to all kinds of ideas, but of course if there is an app I am just not finding that would be easiest. I would rate my technical skills as high (not uber-geek, but I'm a programmer/IT manager/web developer by trade and have been for over 10 years).

iTunes and music is on a Windows Vista 64 machine at present. I also have a Mac OS X 10.6 netbook (shhhh) that I could move the library to if that is what it takes to get this to work.

Thanks!
posted by criticman to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
I use Orb to stream my media to my iPhone and my XBox. I just switched from TVersity; so far I'm pretty happy with it.
posted by teabag at 11:19 AM on May 4, 2010


I use Subsonic to stream music to my Android phone. There are Iphone clients available. I'm a big fan. Caveat -- while it's technically free, you have to donate to keep the APIs working past 30 days (and they're needed for all the mobile apps).
posted by inigo2 at 11:25 AM on May 4, 2010


I've been using StreamToMe, paired with ServeToMe, logically enough. It works a lot better than Simplify Media.

Note that you probably want to be running dyndns on the server, or have a static IP allocated to it. It works with music and videos, and transcodes videos on the fly (so you can watch AVIs on your iPhone), which is pretty slick.
posted by adamrice at 11:27 AM on May 4, 2010


Airfoil claims it can do this though I have no experience with it.
posted by chairface at 12:05 PM on May 4, 2010


I use Airfoil and love it, but I'm not sure if it's applicable for what you're trying to do. You can play any audio from any application, or the entirety of your system audio output, over a wireless network and through your phone. It won't work over 3G, so it's only useful at home or wherever your network is. Also, you can't control it from the phone, so you'll need access to the computer running iTunes to pause/play and switch songs. When iPhone OS 4.0 comes out, you may be able to take advantage of multitasking to use the official Apple iTunes Remote app while Airfoil Speakers is playing, but that's not an option yet.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 12:23 PM on May 4, 2010


Fourth sentence: "Also, you can't control iTunes..." Sorry 'bout that. :-)
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 12:24 PM on May 4, 2010


If a streaming solution doesn't work out for you, you can always create a smart playlist that picks 8 GB of music out of your library at random (or by rating or when you last played the song) and use that to sync to your phone.

It's not the same as having your entire library, but you get different slices of it each day, which at least worked fine for me back when I had an iPod Nano smaller than my library.
posted by ignignokt at 12:39 PM on May 4, 2010


@teagbag: I had used Orb in the past with my Windows Mobile phone. It worked well then, but when I previously gave it a shot on the iPhone, it failed miserably. It has been 1.5 yrs though, so maybe they have worked out some of the bugs?

@inigo2, @adamrice: I'll look into the other solutions offered, as they are new to me.

@chairface, @The Winesome Parker Lewis: Airfoil looks cool, but the local network limitation is an issue. I would like to be able to listen from work, otherwise I'll just use my iHome dock, my PC 5.1 speakers, or my Yamaha receiver's iPod dock. I guess what I am saying is, I am covered for listening to music collection when within WiFi range at home.

@ignignokt: The problem I run into is there is not 8 GB of free space for music once you sync all data, emails, apps. I've used Genius playlists to come up with large mixes of songs, but I don't have time to sync every few days. The music gets old fast.
posted by criticman at 1:09 PM on May 4, 2010


Well, feel free to memail if you have Subsonic questions; I can do my best to answer. The forums are pretty responsive, in general, as well.
posted by inigo2 at 1:11 PM on May 4, 2010


Theres and Orb lite to see if they have indeed worked out those bugs. Works for me with no hassel.
posted by teabag at 4:39 PM on May 4, 2010


you can open pulptunes in safari and stream that way.. a bit cumbersome, but it works.
posted by zennoshinjou at 6:16 PM on May 4, 2010


@zennoshinjou: tried PulpTunes as it seemed like easiest to set up, no cost. It was up and running in minutes. Nice tool, but on iPhone it only plays one song at a time, have to close song player, close the new tab it opened, then click on a new song to listen to (since the player is Flash - darn Apple/Adobe battle).

I guess I'll have to give another option a shot, but since this one was reviewed on Lifehacker as less than a minute setup, I had a minute to give it a shot.
posted by criticman at 11:09 AM on May 6, 2010


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