Use iTunes Home Sharing to get your music everywhere

Home Sharing is a super-handy feature of iTunes, Apple TV, and iOS thatlets you access items that exist in other iTunes libraries. Those other
iTunes libraries can be in another account on the same Mac, or on a
different Mac.

Home Sharing lets you do a bunch of different things with the music, movies, TV shows, and apps in your iTunes libraries:

* Copy items from other iTunes libraries to
your own iTunes. This is a great way to avoid paying more than once for
the same thing.
* Play content from one machine on another machine. Stream from iTunes to Apple TV, or pull from iTunes to Apple TV or your iPhone.
* Remote control your iTunes or Apple TV.

To use Home Sharing, both iTunes must be on the
same network, that is, connected to the same router over wi-fi or Ethernet cable.

To play an item that was bought at the iTunes
Store, that iTunes must be *authorized* with the same Apple ID that was
used to buy the item.

#### Enable Home Sharing

This is the most crucial bit to know: *Enter the **same Apple ID and password** in every
iTunes that will use Home Sharing.* Any Apple ID will work, but be

![Turn On Home Sharing][1]

#### Using Home Sharing

To access other iTunes libraries, those iTunes must
be open. If it’s iTunes on another computer, that computer *must be awake*
with *iTunes open*.

On your iTunes you see a **Sharing** section in the
sidebar. Select the library you want to get items from, and wait till
the main window displays items in that library:

![Shared Library in iTunes Sidebar][2]

Now click the triangle to the left of the shared
library name. You see categories of items, as well as other
sub-categories with their own clickable triangles:

![Subsections of Shared Library][3]

Items in the category you select are display in the main window. You can
play music and video tracks, but the great thing is you can drag items
to your own library to copy them into your iTunes. Your library is the
first section in the sidebar:

![iTunes Library][4]

#### Authorizing

If you want to play an item bought under a particular Apple ID, you must
authorize your computer with that ID. A maximum of 5 computers can be
authorized for a single Apple ID. (Always *deauthorize* computers before
you get rid of them!) You need the Apple ID and the password to do this:

![Authorize This Computer][4]

**Bonus tip:** If you forget to deauthorize a computer before you sell it, and then find yourself running up against the message “You Have Already Authorized Five Computers,” you can Deauthorize All Computers in your iTunes Store > Account. Then all you have to do is reauthorize each device you still own. (This is all way less dramatic than it sounds, but you should know that it works only once a year.)

#### But Wait, There’s More

If you have an Apple TV, turn on its Home Sharing: Go to **Settings >
Computers**. Now you can play items on your computers while sitting on
the sofa looking at the Apple TV. (This doesn’t work for the original
silver Apple TV, but there are other ways to accomplish the same thing on
that model.)

Home Sharing on your iPhone and iPad is in **Settings > Music**. With
Home Sharing on, you can play items in other iTunes libraries with the
sound coming out of the phone.

Finally, the neatest trick: Download the free *[Remote](* app from the iTunes Store to your
iPhone or iPad. When you authorize the Remote app with the same Home Sharing ID you’ve used elsewhere, you can control your Apple TV or iTunes on your computers. That’s entertainment!


Simplify Media (also) shutting down

Service Termination

Apple has bought and killed Lala, and now Google has bought and killed my other favorite music-streaming and -sharing service, Simplify Media. I wrote about Simplify and Lala a couple of years ago, and while it was kind of clunky, I love Simplify greatly for letting me play my entire music collection on my iPhone, over 3G even.

Ah, well. I miss these for now, but I remain hopeful, buoyed by rumors and the nerd news, that the two behemoths are going to introduce their own amazing, fantastic, mind-blowing — and affordable — services to let me listen to all of my music, anywhere, anytime.

Fall is the rumor. Now would be better.

Posted via email from J2 Tech Blog

Play your music anywhere, part II

I wrote a few weeks ago about Simplify Media, which worked great for, like, 3 days. And then my experienced mirrored my friend Jeff’s: Simplify just stopped working. The iPhone app wouldn’t completely update the library, and would crash.
Last week, an old service announced new features: used to be a used-CD trading service, and has had a couple of other incarnations, but now it has made deals with record labels to be a legit “music locker,” where people can upload their iTunes library and playlists, and stream their own music from any web browser. One can also invite one’s friends. The theory, apparently, is that if you own the file, you have the right to listen to it. Genius! I’m shocked they got anyone from the industry to go along with it. Then again, they also sell (rent, really) DRM-free music tracks, some for as little as $0.10, and you also get a few for free when you sign up. You can listen to those online, or you can pay more and download that track.

I’m testing it. So far, the app that run on my Mac to upload my music worked well. At first it seemed just a mite glitchy, in that it said it was going to take 12 hours to upload my library, which seemed pretty quick, considering I have 27,000+ songs. But I thought it was just uploading my song titles, and would stream from Lala’s own files, which is what I heard on a podcast.

There has, in fact, been a whole bunch of misinformation about Lala, and I’m trying to be careful. I think it’s hard to get one’s head around, because now I’m pretty sure that the app is, in fact, uploading my entire library.


I started on 10/22, and since then it has uploaded 7,134 songs. It has 11,365 songs remaining, which it will complete in an estimated 31 days, 5 hours. 415 songs have been skipped, with “errors found.” I can’t yet find a log to see which songs have been skipped. One can guess they were “dead tracks” for which I no longer have actual files.

That is absolutely wonderfully wacky.

11,363 to go now. 🙂

I wanted to listen to a Shirelles’ song (we saw the reformed group here Friday night), and was able to add it for 10 cents. Lala also says you can “play any song or album once for free.” I had trouble figuring out how to do that, but I was in a hurry.

The only downer right now is that Lala has promised an iPhone app, which is not yet forthcoming. Their site makes the iPhone’s Safari go south PDQ. But I don’t see any reason they won’t have something in the App Store soon. I’m excited!

UPDATE (10/28): I realized the LalaMover app has 2 sections…

Step 1: “Lala Song Matching (fast)”, which took about 12 hours to “match” 7,134 of my songs with files already in the Lala streaming library, and

Step 2: (I like this) “Brute Force (one byte at a time)”, which is what is uploading each song, and now has 13 days to go, with 8,303 songs remaining.

Play your iTunes library anywhere in the world

I am testing a service called Simplify Media, which is potentially really cool. It has not been hitch-free, but when it works, I can play any song in my home library on my iPhone or laptop, anywhere in the world where I have a connection. You can also share libraries with up to 30 friends.
It has worked fantastically on my own library, and listening to a friends’, but he had trouble getting to mine. I still don’t know why, since I was able to access mine with no problem.

Oh, yeah – it’s FREE!

Yes Music

This is so cool, I just had to put up a quickie:
This site collects the playlists from most terrestrial radio stations in the US, and lets you see information about what songs they play, and most likely what song is playing right now! So if you hear the radio, if you can identify the station, you don’t have to try to guess the song anymore.

Now, that is fantastic, as much so as two of the coolest apps written for the iPhone: Shazam and Midomi. These apps can listen to a piece of music — recorded, sung, hummed, or mangled — and tell you what it is. Then they’ll point you to YouTube videos of that track, or let you buy it in iTunes. Stellar!

End User: Music, Stat!

Published in San Antonio Current, August 1, 2007

Once again, the government wants to kill our good time. Last week, the House Government Reform Committee called peer-to-peer file-sharing software such as LimeWire a “national security threat.” LimeWire and the Gnutella network it uses are a popular means to share music and video — often copyrighted — across the internet. Chairman Henry Waxman and his peers warned Mark Gorton, CEO of LimeWire, that his software could turn a computer into a weapon.

The Committee’s concern stemmed more from an accidental misuse of the software than from any deliberate leaking of sensitive material. LimeWire would be a pretty dumb tool for terrorists, but it is also a really dumb thing to install on a computer that contains classified information. Of course, there are a gajillion other ways to get files across the ’net. The mere act of connecting Microsoft Windows to the internet can compromise your digital stuff. Why wasn’t Bill Gates in this hearing?

While the recording industry does not seem to be directly involved with this particular attack on LimeWire, the RIAA has made 2007 its banner year to prevent you from actually hearing the music it records. It has threatened internet radio [“Dead Air,” July 11-17] and sued college students for sharing music. So this seems a fitting time to list some more above-board, even legitimate, ways to get great tunes for free.

First I’ll list some “streamed music” services. Streaming typically means that you can listen in one direction only — forward — and that you don’t get to store the music unless you use a parlor trick (easily learned) to record the audio your computer is receiving. I love turning people on to Pandora. This site asks you to create a “radio station” by entering an artist or song. Pandora then uses its database of “music genomes” to construct a list of songs related to your original selection. Pandora is one of the most high-profile services imperilled by the crackdown on internet radio.

Wolfgang’s Vault is a crazy good time. Bill Sagan discovered and bought the collection of concert recordings and memorabilia of late legendary rock promoter Bill Graham, and Sagan’s company has spent a considerable amount of time and resources documenting all of those recordings and posting them online for your listening pleasure. offers Rhapsody, a neat subscription that lets you choose from millions of tracks, store and share your choices. You can pay for “unlimited” access. I know many people who dig Rhapsody, though I found the site more clunky than others, and it crashed two of my browsers and wouldn’t work with the third.

Now comes the double-plus fun. Without installing any security-menacing software, you can find MP3s from all over the internet, yours to keep. Google can track down music files. You can look up the tricky syntax for the searches (Google “how to find mp3 with Google”), or use a site like to do the geek-work for you.

Somewhat newer to the scene are music or MP3 blogs, where fans discuss music and post listenable and viewable files. Sites such as Hype Machine ( and scour, track, categorize, and sort the content of these blogs.

But here’s the magic: Whenever you do a search in Hype Machine, a link to a “feed” is generated for you. You can ask iTunes (or another music app) to subscribe to that feed. Click “Advanced > Subscribe to Podcast …” and iTunes will start downloading the top song result from your search. Then you can ask it to grab more. A constantly refreshing set of songs from your artist is downloaded daily (or hourly, weekly, etc.), ready to be synced to your iPod (or another portable music device).

Hype Machine was the recent discovery that made me get up and do a little dance. (No, I didn’t post said dance on YouTube. And by the way, if anyone says “cat playing piano” to me again, I’m gonna drink Drano.) They let you play your search results in their own little window, but the ability to find and keep a track you like is just golden. And it’s just the kind of gold that the music industry wants to deny us, even though it ultimately attracts ears and purses to their product. So take a cue from Janis, and get it while you can.