Music on the LAN with SlimServer


Article from Issue 56/2005

If you have a LAN in your home or office, why not use it for something really important – listening to music?

If you share a house with other people, particularly teenagers, you will have had the experience of looking for one of your CDs, finding it after a long search under piles of clothes and papers, opening the case, and discovering that the CD is not actually in the case. After one too many of these searches, I decided to avoid this sort of frustration by setting up instant access for everyone in the house to our entire music collection at the click of a mousebutton – Jean-Philippe Rameau, Roxy Music, and up-and-coming Welsh songstress Meinir Gwilym would then be at our beck and call! What is Available? Media software for Linux has come a long way in the last 2 years. In KDE, for instance, Juk [1] and AmaroK [2] are widely agreed to be a big step forward in managing music. Such programs allow you to set up a playlist on one PC and listen to it either on that PC or streamed to another location. (In versions of AmaroK before 1.2, the streaming functionality sometimes did not work properly [3].) An alternative to desktop programs are web-based music managers such as Ampache[4], Zina [5], or the more recent Jinzora [6]. These tools are usually multi-user, but on the debit side, they can sometimes be difficult to set up.

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