Suddenly it seems like the world is awash with music services, but for many people it still isn’t enough. The problem is you need to pay for these services, which can be hard for those with a limited budget or a religious aversion to paying for music delivery. There are free alternatives to commercial music streaming though, and with a bit of time and effort the results can be excellent.
One option is to use the free open source Subsonic software to create your very own online cloud music service. Not only that, but you can stream your movies too, if you have beefy enough hardware. Just download and install the Subsonic media server software onto your home computer or laptop, and you’re good to go.
The software runs on Windows, Mac and Linux and once installed all you need to do is tell it where your music and other media files are and you’ll be able to access the content with any Internet enabled device and a browser. There are also apps for Android, Windows Phone 7 and iOS for your smartphone. As long as your broadband router or modem is set up for automatic port forwarding, things should be straightforward, otherwise you might have to do a little configuration to access your music remotely.
For a good idea of what to expect in terms of features, check out the free online demo. The software has loads of cool functionality, including the ability to download tracks, share your music with your friends, and comment or review tracks. There’s even a feature to curate Podcasts on the same interface. It’s a great way to set up a music or media jukebox you can access from anywhere in the world.
If you’re totally inept with this kind of set up, then one other alternative is to rent a ready-made hosting service such as Gigapros, which offer a hosted Subsonic service including 100 GB of space and unlimited traffic for a mere $9.95 a month. There you go, your very own instant cloud music service!