Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Traveling Music with DAAP

I've accumulated a fairly large collection of digital music. I don't have a high-capacity music player, so I can't just carry it around with me everywhere. I suppose I could copy everything from my Ubuntu box to my MacBook, but that's a lot of hard drive space. Luckily, I have found a much better solution. Using the free DAAP server mt-daapd, my Ubuntu box can share my entire library over the wireless network. This means that when I'm at home I can listen to all of my music on any machine running iTunes, including my MacBook of course. So that's cool.

However, it gets even better than that! There are instructions available for tunneling a shared music connection over the Internet with SSH. Using SSH and Network Beacon I am able to listen to my music collection at work by streaming it from home! Amazing.

There are a couple of limitations to this approach, however. Since a large portion of my collection is ogg vorbis encoded, the DAAP server has to transcode it to WAV format before streaming or iTunes will not play it. This works fine over the local network since there's enough bandwidth, but this approach doesn't fly for streaming over the Internet. Ideally iTunes would support ogg vorbis natively (with the XiphQT plugin it'll play locally but not over a share), but I've been thinking it might be possible to transcode to MP3 if I really wanted to. This probably isn't feasible with my current setup, but it might give me the excuse I need to upgrade Cyclops. Dual-core Athlon here I come!

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