Having Fun with Simplifly Media

By Aaron

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Simplify Media has been around for a while now. Recently, Simplify Media released their very own iPhone app on the App Store free to the first 100,000 downloads. The idea behind Simplify Media is that it expands on the built-in iTunes sharing by allowing you to share your library over the net, including your iPhone. Here’s how it works.

First, download the Simplify Media software that resides on the computer that contains your iTunes library. The software is available for OS X, Windows, and even Linux. Once you have installed the applicaiton, the software will walk you through the process of setting up a screen name and password.

Next, you can choose what you want to share. You can share nothing at all, your iTunes Library, your music folder. Also, you can customize the folders you want to share.

Choose what to share
Choose what to share

If you have Simplify Media installed on more than one computer (between work and home, my iTunes library is spread accross 3 macs), then Simplify Media automatically connects to those shared libraries.

Connect to all your libraries
Connect to all your libraries

 Any shared libraries show up in the ‘Shared’ menu on your iTunes sidebar. You can now have one iTunes library but listen to your tunes from anywhere.

Simplify Media for your iPhone

As luck would have it, we here at Maciverse were part of the first 100,000 to download Simplify Media’s iPhone application and we wanted to see if it was as easy and fun as its computer counterpart. For the most part, we weren’t disappointed.

Launching the iPhone app takes you to a screen where you enter your screen name and password.

Login to Simplify Media
Login to Simplify Media

Just like iTunes, Simplify Media then connects to all of your shared iTunes libraries.

Choose your iTunes library
Choose your iTunes library

 From there, you can listen to your music or podcasts just like your iPod. But what about when you’re on the go? To test this, we took our little family on a trip to the local Target store for some back to school shopping. While there, I was able to connect to my shared library over the iPhone 3G connection without any problems. The only problem I did have was that my iPhone’s battery was low and the streaming quickly drained it. Other than that, the music came in without a pause or choppiness.

Listening over 3G
Listening over 3G

An additional surprise was that you also have the option of viewing the lyrics from the iPhone app.

Drawbacks

You can’t watch your iTunes movies/TV shows, just your music and podcasts. Also, the app depends on being able to connect to Simplify Media’s servers in order to establish a connection. The next day, while trying to test out the application again, I got the following error:

Connection Failure
Connection Failure

I got the error when I was connected via WiFi instead of 3G. However, after a minute or two, things connected just fine and I was up and listening again. One last issue, isn’t really a drawback, but the application was working well enough that I clicked the iPhone earbuds button thinking it would pause the music. Unfortunately, my iPhone’s iPod library started playing instead. 

Conclusion

Simplify Media lives up to the hype with respect to centralizing your iTunes library and the iPhone application works like a charm at least over WiFI or a strong 3G connection. The iPhone application is priced at $3.99 after the first 100,000 downloads. So if you can snag this app for free, all the better.

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