Stream your iTunes library

You’re on the road with your iPod touch or iPhone and, dagnabbit, you’ve neglected to haul along that Led Zep box set of CDs you just ripped into your iTunes library. Isn’t a pity that you can’t access the iTunes library on your computer at home and stream its contents to the iPod touch or iPhone in your pocket?

Technically, it’s not a pity because you can do exactly that with Dot.Tunes. It works this way:

Download and install the free Dot.Tunes Mac or PC software. During the installation you’re asked for the location of the iTunes XML file on your computer—the file that stores the names of your tracks and playlists. (The program automatically selects the file inside your iTunes folder but you can select a different location.) Once Dot.Tunes sucks up that information you can choose which playlists you’d like to be made available to anyone with a web browser, the will to access your music, and the URL, user name, and password to unlock the gate. Note that it will not stream audio files you've purchased from the iTunes Store.

Once you’ve selected your playlists you click a Publish button to make that music available via the Dot.Tunes server running on your computer. Click the Server tab and you’ll see both the local and external addresses to your music. Click either address and your default web browser opens, taking you to a webpage where you can click song titles to play them. Click the Start Server button and your computer is ready to stream music.

In order to listen to this streamed music with Safari on your iPod touch or iPhone you need to purchase and install the $20 DOT.IPHONE plugin via the program’s Plugin Manager. Once installed, an iPhone-friendly face greets the iPhone or iPod touch user along with a username and password prompt. Unless you purchase yet another $20 plugin (the DOT.SHARE plugin) you’re limited to a single account and two simultaneous connections. Purchase that DOT.SHARE plugin and you can create an unlimited number of accounts and support for up to 25 simultaneous connections.

I’ve given it a whirl and it works as advertised. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use and not-terribly-expensive way to access your iTunes library from the road or while wandering around the house, Dot.Tunes is worth a look and listen.

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