I occasionally listen to music in my classroom, sometimes content related and sometimes as just background music while the students are working. About a year ago my brother introduced me to Audiogalaxy which has changed the way I listen to my music library. He’s extremely knowledgeable about music applications and gave me permission to post his comments. Here they are:
Audiogalaxy is a digital music player (similar to itunes) that scans all the music folders on your home computer. The program can play back all the songs through the websiteAudioGalaxy.com. Itunes has features such as “Home Sharing” where you can stream anything in itunes on your computer – music, photos, videos, etc to your mobile device (iphone, Ipad, Apple TV) but that is confined only to your home network. The thing that separates Audiogalaxy from the pack is the ability to stream all of your music from your home computer to your mobile device app anywhere with a 3G or Wifi connection. So where a typical mobile device tops out at 64 gig of music space, the Audiogalaxy app can stream an infinite amount of music from your home audio library and take up zero space on your mobile device. Simply tell Audio Galaxy to look inside any folders on your computer (local or external drives) and it will scan them into the AudioGalaxy database. That database simply finds the directory to find the music on your computer (similar to itunes). After you let it scan your library, open the mobile application and the music is streamed through your cellular or wireless network. In your mobile settings, you have to put in your computer’s IP address for the mobile app to “talk to your home network”. This is the same example of “Remoting” in to another network from multiple computers. The streaming bit rate quality of the music is okay and there’s a high quality audio setting available that streams it to about your average mp3 quality. For the convenience you can’t beat it! Now the bad news, I just went to the website and saw they are not taking any new applications or users. I assume they are cooking something up that may involve a fee or something. I’d probably pay a small fee for the service since I value my home music library more than what I can get on apps such as Spotify. The program Spotify is quite popular with many folks but they do charge a monthly fee for mobile streaming. Spotify is a computer program to install at home and listen on your home computer for free with commercial breaks. The Spotify app can stream your home library – plus a huge amount of music from the spotify music catalog to your mobile device. Most people pay for Spotify since it’s got more music than they ever need and they don’t have to import CD’s or buy anything new. It’s all on Spotify. I find Spotify doesn’t meet my needs for paying to listen to music – since Audiogalaxy is free for me.
For your students “Spotify” might be an example that they really latch on to? Chances are they’re not a music collector-freak like me. But that’s pretty much what I know.