Want to listen to your iTunes collection while you’re at work? A new specialized Web server called
TunesAtWork does just that, by making your iTunes library available over the Web.
Apple’s iTunes 4 possesses the ability to share its music over a network using Rendezvous, Apple terminology for its zero-configuration networking technology. The initial release of iTunes 4 enabled Mac users to access each others’ libraries remotely over the Internet, but Apple curbed that capability with iTunes 4’s first point release, restricting iTunes users to their own local subnetworks only.
With TunesAtWork running on your home Mac, you can once again listen to your music collection streaming over the Web while viewing a Web page that looks remarkably similar to iTunes — you can browse playlists, artists, genres and albums, and click on individual tracks to listen.
The server interface requires you to tell it where your iTunes database and music folder are, and you assign the software a port number your Mac will use to stream audio. A status dialog shows information about your Mac, its server status and more. Point your Mac at work to your at home Mac’s IP address and port number, and you’ll see your iTunes library. The potential for abuse of such technology is something that TunesAtWorks’ developers seem cognizant of — they’ve noted that the software is limited to four remote computers.
The free software, currently available as a public beta version, requires Mac OS X and iTunes to work for now, although its developers are working on a Windows-compatible version as well. A high-speed connection is also required, along with Java 1.4.