Let’s say you’ve got a snazzy, large music collection on your hard drive at home, and that you would like to take it with you; get access to it from your computer at work, from your iPhone or Android device. And let’s say you want to do this without having to transfer and copy files around on multiple computers and devices. What to do? Get AudioGalaxy.
AudioGalaxy is a free web service with a desktop and smartphone app components, that streams your music online to any browser or to your smartphone. The only requirement is to install a desktop application on the computer you wish to stream from and, to leave that computer turned on, and if you are going to stream to your smartphone, to have a good data plan (or just use Wifi).
- How it works: setting up is simplicity itself; first create an account then install the AudioGalaxy desktop ‘helper’ program on your computer and point it to your music folder. Next, download the smartphone app (if you want to stream to your device) and leave your computer on; importantly, make sure not to leave your computer in sleep or hibernate mode. You can now log into the web app from any browser or from your smartphone and listen to, search (and even share) your music and playlists. You can only stream from one machine (at a time).
- The webapp: is fully featured and sophisticated. Features integration with Facebook and even Last.fm, dynamic playlists (such as most frequently played, Liked songs, etc), and filtering by artist, album, genre etc.
- The iPhone app: is excellent. It behaves as it should, in that it still plays music in the background when you’re doing other things on your phone and using other apps. (And how cool is it to search your music collection from your phone?).
- Performance: is smooth and quite impressive. Will depend on the data or Wifi connection you are using though,a and faster, more powerful computers also do better.
- Resource usage: the helper app uses approx 15 megs, which is little. However, when it is streaming CPU usage can spike now and then (anywhere between 2%-10% CPU usage on my machine). It shouldn’t matter, of course, since you’re not using the computer anyway. Others who might be using it casually likely wouldn’t be affected much anyway.
Wish list (or how this app can be even better):
- The ability to save tracks on your device. Yes I know you can simply plug into iTunes but I still want this
- Video?: can we see the service expanding to that.
The verdict: while there are other apps that stream content to your phone or in the cloud, this one does it excellently, with a smooth media player experience. And not only can you stream your music, podcasts, audiobooks to your device, but any device (e.g. you wife’s when your iPhone runs out of juice on that big cross country trip). Highly recommended!
Compatibility: Windows, Mac. Supports iOS (iPhone/iPad) and Android devices.
Visit the AudioGalaxy website to get this.