Sunday, March 2, 2008

How to stream music from your home computer to your office

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The size of the music library you can carry with you on your portable music player to work is limited by the size of it's memory. What if you have a very large collection of music and you can't decide which song to put into your player and which to leave out? The solution to this is to discard your music player and instead, stream music from your home PC to your office with full access to your complete music collection.

We will use a Winamp plugin called AjaxAMP to transform your computer into a streaming web server that you can access from any web browser from any where. This is how to do it:

1. Download AjaxAMP and install it into your Winamp's plugin directory. You should have Winamp installed on your PC, because this works only with Winamp. The installer will put a file gen_AjaxAMP.dll in the plugin directory. You can also download the file in a zip file, unzip it and copy the file into the Winamp's pluign directory.

2. To test whether it's correctly installed, launch Winamp but don't play it, keep it minimized. Now open a web browser and type http://127.0.0.1:5151 in the address bar. Winamp should start playing inside the browser.


ajaxAMP

Winamp playing inside Firefox


3. If you have a static IP address then you can access Winamp from any place by replacing 127.0.0.1 with your IP address in Step 2. If you don't have a static IP address at your home you have to get your PC a domain name to access it from anywhere on the internet. To get a domain name go to No-IP.com and register an account. Click on Add Host and register a unique domain name.

4. Now download No-Ip's Dynamic Update Client (DUC) from their site and install it on your PC. The dynamic DNS update client will continually checks for IP address changes in the background and automatically update the DNS whenever it changes.


no-ip DUC

No-Ip's Dynamic Update Client


Your computer is now ready to stream music to anywhere on the Internet. Connect your PC to the Internet, launch No-Ip's DUC and keep it minimize in your system tray and launch Winamp. Turn off your monitor to save electric energy and leave for office. From your office PC, type the domain name you registered on no-ip followed by ":5151". Now play whichever song you like.

If you can't access your PC from the Internet you might be behind a firewall or your router might have blocked port 5151. In that case you need to set the necessary permission in your firewall and forward port 5151 on your router. To learn how to port forward your router click here.

5 comments:

  1. AjaxAmp is pretty cool, but I got tired of making playlists, i switched over now to http://www.mymusicathome.com... Runs stand alone and works with my iphone too..

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  2. This actually is more like a web based remote control for Winamp on your home computer, it doesn't "stream" the music to whatever device you open it up on. The author of this article obviously never actually set this up and tested it :/

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  3. Ouch! Try Kplaylist (www.kplaylist.net), Ampache (www.ampache.org) or Ampjuke (www.ampjuke.org) if you _really_ want to enable serious streaming from home to any location...

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  4. http://tunesiphon.com is in beta testing. Hooks up to either iTunes or Zune. Doesn't integrate with phones yet, but it will : )

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  5. this actually works for what i need it to, i have a bot set up on a ventrillo server to stream music, with multiple djs. this works perfect for that.

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