December 10th, 2008
You may have seen a post on TUAW today, explaining how to stream your music collection across the Internet. It’s useful, but—as it seems to me—needlessly laborious. Mac OS X and Expandrive make this functionality a snap.
One: Set up a computer at home with all your music on it. Best bet is an old G3 iBook (cheap, low power consumption, battery backup in case of power outage) with OS 10.4.11 and a big external hard drive.
Two: Go to the “Sharing” settings in System Preferences on that machine. Turn on Remote Login if you want to use SFTP, if you don’t mind a slow insecure protocol, you can optionally turn on FTP Access.
Three: Go to “Energy Saver” and set this computer to never sleep. Now take your primary laptop and go to the nearest coffee shop with free wifi.
Four: Order espresso. Open laptop. Download Expandrive.
Five: Open Expandrive. Enter your home IP adress, admin user name, and password. Path should be “/Volumes/[external hard drive name]/”
Six: The hard drive will appear on your desktop. Open it and double-click your song files.
Seven: Rock out with abandon. Drink espresso. Brag to friends.
A few other considerations:
- If the computer you leave on at home connects to the internet through a router, you’ll need to set up port forwarding, so that port 22 [for SFTP] automatically redirects to your always-on computer.
- If you make a second Expandrive connection to your stay-at-home computer over your local network (using its local address ) and add that music to iTunes ahead of time, your complete library will be available from remote locations as soon as you mount the drive on your desktop.
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