What do you do when you have a large digital music collection at home and want to listen to it remotely? Web hosted solutions exist, but why not stream from your home computer and access via web browser? A simple download and in less than a half hour of time you will be up and listening to your special Vanilla Ice mix in no time.
Two home music server applications lead the pack, Vibe Streamer and Sockso. Both offer simple installation, setup and the best part is they are free. While both share the core fundamentals, they do offer a few different features. Let’s take a look at the following chart.
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Looking over this chart you might be inclined to think, Sockso has more features …. it must be better. Personal opinion comes into play here. Both apps support custom themes for the players, users/passwords, and playlists. If that is all you’re looking for, Vibe Streamer does this just beautifully. I am a big fan of the “less is more” concept. Vibe Streamer delivers simple setup, easy admin area and a clean music player.
Vibe Streamer does have a drawback in the fact it only supports Windows natively. It can still be run on the other two major systems through Wine however. Sockso (1.2.5), being Java based, does have the ability to install across all platforms. One issue I ran into while installing Sockso on a 32bit XP test box was that it required Java 64bit. I did not have this problem on a 32bit Linux test box. Installation on the Linux machine was simple and quick. One feature that does stand out on Sockso is built in re-encoding. Not everyone keeps their music in the mp3 format or in a bitrate optimized for streaming. If you find yourself in that situation, this could be quite a time saver.
You have keys, take these babies for a spin. Let the music stream forth.