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Summary:

Thanks to innovative software Simplify Media, sharing your killer iTunes library has never been easier. In the good ol’ days before DRM was such a hot topic, libraries could be shared unfettered across the Net. Simplify Media makes that possible once again by allowing users to […]

Simplify MediaThanks to innovative software Simplify Media, sharing your killer iTunes library has never been easier. In the good ol’ days before DRM was such a hot topic, libraries could be shared unfettered across the Net. Simplify Media makes that possible once again by allowing users to invite others to browse and stream their iTunes to their own systems, whether they are in the next room or on the next continent.

The name is truly appropriate, I’ve found, as installing and configuring Simplify Media couldn’t be, well, simpler. There are no old-school Stuffit files to contend with; nor does Simplify Media require installing packages or rebooting. In the spirit of Mac simplicity, simply drag the app from the disk image into your Applications folder and run it. Configuration is nothing more than selecting the folder or folders with media you wish to share. The default /Users/username/Music/iTunes is already added to the list, so for most users, no additional configuration is needed.

Sharing Media

Simplify Media List
Adding friends (and, please, only share with people you know; pirating music and videos is bad for you) is also easy. In the main Media List window (pictured right), click the Invite button and you’re presented with three different ways to invite a friend: a preexisting user’s screen name, by email direct from your account (as opposed to mail from Simplify Media’s server which is more likely to be flagged as spam by a friend), or by copying to the clipboard and pasting, for example, to Twitter, an IM client, or your blog.

When friends join Simplify, they “invite” your screen name. The two of you are connected are able to browse and stream — but not save files from — one anothers’ iTunes libraries. Simplify Media even streams WMA files. Obviously, DRM-locked files of any kind will not play on a remote computer unless that system is authorized to play them.

Is It Legal and Safe?

According to Simplify Media, sharing in such a way is legal because songs cannot be transferred from one person to another, burnt to disc, or accessed when a peer is offline. Also, each person can share with no more than 30 others, thus minimizing both the legal liability and the risk of nasties that can happen when connecting directly with other systems.

Interoperability Is Simple, Too

Those nasties can, actually, present an issue for others or those using Parallels, VMware, or Boot Camp, because Simplify Media is cross-platform and available for Windows as well as Mac OS X. In addition, the developers are working on a version to support both WinAmp and Windows Media Player — not that we Mac folk would care. ;-)

Simplify Media is exactly what has been missing from iTunes for years. This little app is completely free and promises not to spy on you. Running it for three days, I’ve yet to see the first sign of instability, and it handles streaming over 6-Mbps DSL quite well.

The only kickback Simplify apparently gets is that streaming a track pops open a window with links to purchase the currently playing album, should you decide you wish to do so.

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  1. This could also be a really nice way to listen to music from your mac at home, on your mac at work :0)

  2. Billy Halsey Friday, July 20, 2007

    I agree, Colm. Or, another use, since it supports (un-DRM’ed) WMA files, would be to add a directory of those to be served to your local system. I had been using Firefly Media Server to accomplish this, but when I found Simplify, it’s just simpler.

    Because your own share shows up locally, simply adding that directory, something like /Users/username/Music/wmafiles is all it takes to play them in iTunes.

    I haven’t yet attempted playback of WMA files on my Mac through Simplify, but according to their FAQ, it should work, thus saving a lot of conversion with FFmpeg or similar utilities.

  3. Comparte la musica de iTunes Wednesday, July 25, 2007

    Gracias al software de Simplify Media podemos compartir nuestras liberias musicales de iTunes de forma legal.
    Este software es universal y es compatible para usarios de ambas plataformas.

  4. very nice if you want a new friend add me i have 1900 or so. I swear just download simplify media and add/invite me.

    My user name is apetty32 just request

  5. i use it and it is awesome

    add me: jtdreisb

    i have almost 6000 songs

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  7. i have 30.000 songs a lot of oldies 50,60,70,80,90,2000, music add me karlzips i will accept all i can..

  8. Marcel Bakker Saturday, July 25, 2009

    I like to share my music and listen to yours.
    I have invited you Andrew, Jason and Karl.
    My music is a bit of all. Some Dutch some Neoceltic some mainstream.
    I hope you like it….:-)

    1. Has anyone tried the streaming your iTunes video to lour iPod touch over the Internet (Not on your local network)?

  9. Snow Leopard » Blog Archive » iTunes 9: At Home With Home Sharing Monday, September 14, 2009

    [...] to be able to stream iTunes libraries to your iPhone or iPod touch as mentioned above, check out Simplify Media and its attendant iPhone [...]

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