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Avvenu lets iTunes leap off its platform

Software download allows iTunes to be streamed PC to PC, PC to phone.

Amid all the madness of CES and the impending Macworld, a few distinct trends have emerged. One of those is cross-platform connectivity for all kinds of media: Sony bringing Internet video to TVs, TiVo bringing TV recordings to computers, Motorola spreading TV around the house, and Verizon bringing TV to cell phones. Basically, the big theme of CES '07 is that you don't just have to keep your media in one place. And that's the same message that Avvenu is advocating with its new Avvenu Music Player. But instead of TV programs or YouTube videos, the Avvenu Music Player specializes in iTunes.

Avvenu, a free remote-access software company, announced the beta version of its Music Player today. With this piece of webware, users will be able to share their iTunes library with other Mac and Windows PCs as well as smartphones running Windows Mobile, like Palm's Treo, Samsung's Blackjack, and Motorola's Q. It's a similar concept to Dot.Tunes, which lets you stream your iTunes to a variety of devices, including Nintendo's Wii. But unlike Dot.Tunes, running the Avvenu Music Player is free. You can share up to 250 songs with friends, Zune-style, which they can listen to for five days. Additionally, you can stream your entire library to other Web users while your PC is on. But perhaps most appealing is the fact that you can also stream to certain cell phones, which may be a comfort to some Mac addicts if the "iPhone" announcement at the Macworld Expo turns out to have been little more than a rumor. Hey, we'll know tomorrow.