Most personal music-streaming services rely on the cloud to keep your tunes flowing, but they all tend to limit how much you can stream unless you pay up. You could set up a server at home that delivers your music more or less securely wherever you want it, but for those of us who don't have the time, skills, equipment, or inclination to do so, there's Audiogalaxy. This "cloud music player" scans your music library and then streams up to 200,000 songs to any Web-enabled device. Here's how to get started:
- Go to Audiogalaxy and set up an account. You can use Facebook if you like, but there's no special reason to do so beyond convenience.
- Install the Audiogalaxy Helper application. It works on Windows XP and up and Mac OS X 10.5 and up.
- When the installation is complete, you should see a pop-up window that tells you Audiogalaxy is scanning. If your collection is located in an unusual folder or spread out across several folders, you'll need to add more locations by clicking the link in the pop-up or selecting "Your Music Folders" from the Audiogalaxy Helper icon.
- You can now access your music collection from anywhere, as long as the computer running Audiogalaxy is powered on and connected to the Internet. Just use a Web browser to sign in from any device, or download the Audiogalaxy app for iOS or Android. It's easy to browse artists, albums, and genres, and just as easy to access playlists created within Audiogalaxy.
It should take some time for Audiogalaxy to scan your entire collection. If you need to restart your machine, that's fine--when you reboot the app should start up and get back to work.
The player has many of the features we like to see, such as Shuffle, Last.fm scrobbling, and "Genie" smart shuffle mode. Audiogalaxy is still in beta for now, but AG Entertainment promises to add more functions (some of them premium) down the road.