No more records, cassettes or CDs. Most have already converted their music collections to various file formats, most likely mp3. They live on a hard drive on your computer and hopefully, on a backup drive. You either have them organized in folders or are using a seperate application to organize them for you (MediaMonkey, iTunes, etc..). Creating playlists and CDs are easy and overall life is good.
If you want to share your music with the others in the home, it gets a little trickier. You can synchronize your files, so everyone has a copy. You can share your music folders and have others connect to it using Windows or Mac file permissions. But, sharing your collection on the internet really wasn’t even feasible.
Subsonic changes all that. Centralize your music on one system and allow Subsonic to stream to as many people as you like, inside and outside of the house. This is a very simple web application that, when I first saw it, had low expectations of. It’s free, although you can donate to the developer (which I will do since I use this now as my main music player) and since I’d used prior web streamers (Winamp is the best example) to access my collection online, I found that was a lot of preparation to get everything going.
Once installed, Subsonic runs on port 80, which is the default for web services. You can keep this as an internal website, or you can open a port in your firewall and forward it to the Subsonic machine for internet access.
After some minor configurations you’ve got yourself a damn good audio streamer. It has its own security features, so you can create/delete users and set their permissions. You also have the option for users to upload music into your collection, or download from it which is an awesome feature and a great way to enhance the community’s collection.
Once inside the web interface you have some customization options to personalize your site. You can edit the header, welcome message and themes. Individual users can upload an avatar and choose from dozens of themes to personalize their experience. Ther’s even a built-in chat room.
From there, anyone you give access to can login and start streaming from your collection. Of course you, as the Admin, can control what they can and can’t do. I will go over in more detail how to maximize your experience with Subsonic in later posts. Subsonic has definitely changed how I access my collection on my home network and the internet and is a fantastic addition to your Home Media Network.
Categories: Home Networking