How can I listen to and MANAGE my mp3 music collection/playlists over the internet?
August 27, 2009 12:12 PM   Subscribe

How can I listen to and MANAGE my mp3 music collection/playlists over the internet?

I have a large music collection (all mp3) at home that is pretty well organized into folders and properly tagged (finally). Nothing is really in playlists, and that is the next task I've set for myself. I need to organize my music into playlists so I can just click a playlist during a party, or while I'm kicking around the house. Shuffle just doesn't work on my collection. Too many whole albums with plenty of weird stuff popping up.

Organizing this music into playlists is proving very time consuming. Listening to thousands of songs and occasionally adding one to one playlist or another just isn't something I have been able to make much time for. It occurred to me that since I listen to music at work all day long, I could be accomplishing it there.

Bringing the music to work, even in batches, isn't really that feasible. What I need to be able to do is stream it to myself at work, by folder or artist or album, and occasionally add a song to one of my playlists (preferrably not by jotting it down in notepad and adding it at home later).

How can I do this?


For the server at home, I have a few windows boxes (vista, win7, and xp), and could, if absolutely necessary, run a linux box or something.

For the client at work, I have an XP box. Web interface would be best. Some sort of small, non-intrusive windows app would be ok too.

I have used and don't really like Itunes, and prefer to avoid it if possible.

I use Mediamonkey at home to manage my music collection and like it very much.

I prefer open source or freeware, but am not opposed to buying something if it will do exactly what I need.

I prefer to avoid any kind of cloud storage or uploading of my music. My machine at home should be the server. No online server being involved would be best. I'm not interested in sharing, or public social music nonsense, or scrobbling, or music recommendations, or auto-tagging, or anything like that. I just want a client/server app to manage my music library.

I'm leaning towards Orb, but haven't tried it. It seems like overkill, and the sharing etc... aspect of it has turned me off a bit. I'm curious if there are better alternatives. However, if anyone has any direct experience with Orb (specifically with playlists), please let me know.

posted by gummo to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
You might check out Simplify Media. I don't think it distributes playlists, but for accessing your music on your other machines online, it works well.
posted by rusty at 12:28 PM on August 27, 2009

Jinzora might be able to do what you want. A friend of mine runs it on an old desktop as a "jukebox" that he can access, manage and add new media to over the web.
posted by zombiedance at 12:37 PM on August 27, 2009

There are several streaming music servers out there that only require a working Apache server; some work better with a complete LAMP / WAMP package. The ones I know of are: On preview: Subsonic now comes with a windows installer package, no apache configuration necessary.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 12:37 PM on August 27, 2009

SlimServer fits the bill. It will stream mp3s to a client (Winamp, WMP, whatever) and has a web interface that controls playback and playlist generation. It's open source and everything is stored on your server.

I recommend Music IP for ad-hoc playlist creation of vast music collection, it integrates beautifully with SlimServer.
posted by llin at 1:05 PM on August 27, 2009

Lala let's you upload your music to their servers and then stream it from any computer. You can create playlists, play by artist, genre, album, etc. And it's free.
posted by haqspan at 2:12 PM on August 27, 2009

Best answer: I've been using Orb for many years. I prefer the older version, v1, which you can still download from their servers. However, v1 will not work with an iPhone or Wii. It does present a mobile interface to mobile clients, but v2 has special modes for those devices.

I've found Orb 2 to crash fairly often and take up a lot of CPU randomly, but overall, I think it's the best solution, as it also does video and photos. One of the features that I like is that it can transcode your stream to your network requirements and you can set a fixed bandwidth if you like. Very nice to not overwhelm a network that you're a guest on.
posted by reddot at 2:27 PM on August 27, 2009

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