Edit: I have just tried a product called ORB. And, my first impression: truly amazing! Register at Orb, install a free application on your media server and Orb lets you access your music, video, TV-Stations and pictures from wherever you are. No hassle. No opening of extra ports in your FW. No need for a static IP. If you want access to your media through streaming then Orb is something that you should consider. Not as flexible as SlimServer, but extremely easy to set up, and it gives you access to all your media.
Edit2: You can now read more about my ORB experiments here: Checking out ORB!
I am still amazed over the power of SlimServer. It is a very stable and user friendly tool that lets you stream your music to wherever you want. It is multi platform and it is free!
It works very well together with different standalone harware players, but can be used to stream your music to any networked computer as well.
So, here is a short guide to encourage you to try it out.
My attempt on an illustration to describe how it works (click the image to enlarge):
1. You install SlimServer on your box at home containing your music.
2. It scans your music library
3. Then it generously gives you:
– a. Your own MP3 streaming channel
– b. A very nice web gui to let you control what is playing on
that particular channel
If you are going to stream music out of your home you probably have to open port 9000 in your firewall. And, because you most likely have a dynamic IP adress at home you will need to set up some kind of dynamic DNS service. Try DynDNS (free) or TZO (not free, but is supposed to be more secure).
The installation of SlimServer is quite simple. Follow the instructions from the installer. The only issue I had was that I had to get hold of a working copy of the Lame.exe MP3-encoder and place it in the "C:Program FilesSlimServerserverBin" directory. That is because all my music is ripped into lossless WMA. SlimServer needs to convert it to MP3 in realtime to be able to stream it.
When SlimServer is installed go to a computer that is able to comunicate with the server. Start WinAmp, Windows Media Player or a similar program and select "Play URL". Point the player to: "http://yourserver:9000/stream.mp3".
Then, open a web browser and point it to: “http://yourserver:9000”
Browse your music and start playing. Because of the buffer in your player it is quite a bit og delay when starting or changeing tracks.
If more than one player is connected to the server you get a little menu to select the IP of the client you want to control:
Be sure to control the right player. But, if you have given a friend access to your server it can be quite fun to sit at home and change what he is playing at his party… 🙂