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Simplify Media

James Watson

Simplify Media - a very simple tool for sharing music across the internet, using iTunes , WinAmp , or RhythmBox.

If you are only sharing on a local internet connection, iTunes sharing or something like that is a slightly better experience - less lag, more options for shared devices.

However, if you want to be able access your home library from any computer you may use at work or across the country, this is a great tool. If you are running out of space on your iPhone, now you can bypass that limit with this tool.

To use: download the program from SimplifyMedia.

1. When you install, it will ask you if you have an account. You can use one account login on multiple machines - for instance, I have named my 3 computers in this screen shot "Home" "Laptop" & "Work"

2. Once you either create a new account or logon to an existing account, SimplifyMedia will ask if you want to share nothing, share your media player's library and playlists (in this screen shot, it says iTunes, but it will change depending on which of the three supported programs you have installed on the computer), or just share My Music folders. If you select My Music folders, then you will be given options to manually manage which folders you want to share.

3. And thats mostly it for setup of the tool - you will have to wait for it to parse through you songs. My home library is about 16,000 songs, so it took about 30 mins (running in the background) to index them. But once that is done the first time, startup is very quick unless you change some settings that will cause it to re-index.

4. To USE: once you have done the setup, open up iTunes or WinAmp or RhythmBox, and your SimplyMedia shared libraries should show up under the "shared" section.
Click on one of the libraries to load it in your media player, and give it a few seconds to load (it takes about 30 seconds - 2 mins load my 16000 songs, depending)

5. Start playing! It usually takes a couple of seconds to buffer, depending on internet connection and such.

Some things to be aware of:
  • If you have protected content (songs purchased from iTunes store) and the client machine is not authorized, the song will not play regardless of the host computer authorization.
  • If you click on the "messages" button at the bottom, you can see who is listening to what at what time.
  • It has a built in chat application too - very basic, but it gets the job done if you want to ask a question about the song.
  • The application does NOT require ANY media player on the host computer; it is just serving up the files. You could load it on iPod Touch or iPhone and use the built in player, and have the host on your home computer, and not ever need to even install iTunes or WinAmp.
  • Other people you have invited in to share only see your library - they do not see others you are sharing with.

Overall, very simple, and yet very cool. If you have an iPhone, this now means that ALL of your music collection can be accessible from anywhere, anytime (as long as you have a few bars of service or WiFi connection) with no concern over storage. I've introduced this to one of our faculty and he has his 65,000+ song library available at his fingertips, wherever he goes.