One of the nice features of iTunes is the ability to share music with other users on your home network. Set up iTunes for sharing, let someone else listen to the music that’s stored on your Mac.
Wouldn’t it be even cooler if you get broadcast that music over the internet to all your friends and neighbors? Think of it as your own personal iTunes radio station, broadcasting from your Mac.
That’s what SimplifyMedia does. It turns your Mac into a personal internet radio station. What can you do? “Listen to your home library over the internet.”
That sounds very cool, but it must cost a lot, what with legal fees, royalties, and all the sophisticated software needed to make your Mac a radio station on the internet.
SimplifyMedia also lets you “browse and play your friend’s songs on your computer or iPhone.” Mac, PC, Ubuntu Linux, and iPhone. Whoa.
How much is this thing? SimplifyMedia bills itself as “simple, safe, and free.” There’s not much to argue about, huh?
Basically, SimplyfyMedia will set up software on your Mac or PC which lets you play music using iTunes, Winamp, or Rhythmbox (Ubuntu Linux).
You set up a group, up to 30 friends or family or neighbors in each, who can access your music.
It’s safe to use in that those listening to music on your Mac can’t see files on your Mac, and music only goes to those in your private group. The music files are not shared, but streamed to your friends, so they don’t get copies of your music.
They just get to listen to your music.
SimplifyMedia even works on your iPhone or iPod touch using the application from the iTunes App Store.
What kind of music can be streamed to share with your friends? All the basics are included, MP3, AAC, WMP, and Apple Lossless.
You’ll be able to browse around on your friend’s music library and listen to their music.
What’s the catch? Some protected music, such as WMA files, cannot be shared. Only authorized users can see and play DRM protected music purchased from the iTunes Store.
Why is this free? It won’t be for long. A nominal price tag will come after the first 100,000 downloads. Still, the price is right, the flexibility is excellent, and, it just works. Mostly. If you’ve clamped down your Mac’s firewall, you may need to loosen the clamp a little.
What you end up with is a way to share your music with family in friends, not just at home on your local network, but on the internet, as if your Mac was a personal radio station.
Now, if we could just get SimplifyMedia to come up with a way to let you use your Mac’s microphone to talk over the music just like a DJ. Or, ad commercials…