Stream your iTunes Library with pulpTunes!
To say that I enjoy working with music would be an understatement. I ADORE working with music, and I like to believe that most of the time, music is what I need to be really productive. Us folks from the internet-induced OCD generation usually have a very short attention span and without music at the workplace I often find myself needing to take a break and think about the last ten actions I’ve done in order to put myself back on track. Putting my iPhone on the speakers seems to solve the problem… but then this too has it’s own share of problems: after a couple of shifts, it seems that you always get the same songs over and over again, even on a 16 gig device, and syncing at home isn’t always an option.
Enter PulpTunes: a tool that streams your entire iTunes library to wherever the heck you can get an internet connection. I had found similar tools in the past, of course I sadly I cannot remember the name, but from what I remember they were either commercial pieces of software with a price tag, or available only for Mac OSX. Pulptunes has none of these restrictions: it’s donation-ware, and it is supported by Windows, OSX, and even Linux and variants.
The concept behind Pulptunes is simple. It’s a standalone app that peaks into your iTunes library’s XML file, and hosts a neat little web player from your computer that makes all you music and playlists available; all you needs is a browser, or one of the support mobile devices (iPhone, iPad and Android as of now). Because it isn’t merely a plugin that integrates a web server to iTunes, you can run it from any OS, regardless of if iTunes is running or even installed at all. This makes Pulptunes the perfect addition to your existing fileserver setup: you can stream your stuff from a dedicated Linux box without any other computer being online!
My preliminary testing at work has been going awesome, it seems like a great piece of software. This isn’t a web-app carbon-copy of iTunes, in that is does lack some key features, but overall it’s a very nice little app, and for free, you can’t really justify not getting it if you really want your music on the go. One thing that I really don’t like all that much is how the UI displays the songs in your library: you have to scroll through pages, there is no fancy AJAX infi-load scroll bar that lets you navigate through your tunes smoothly. For those of you who are like me and have a pretty important amount of music, this get’s frustrating pretty quickly. Oh, and it’s in Flash. Yeah, I know, that kind of sucks, but hey, it get’s the job done.