Set up your own personal music server, with a web-based interface that lets you listen to your collection everywhere. Sockso does this, and runs great on Windows, Mac and Linux alike. Google Music and services like it are great. All of your music is moved to the cloud, giving you the ability to listen to it anywhere. There’s a tradeoff, though – you’re trusting a third party with your music collection.
Sockso is geekier than Google Music, and certainly harder to use, but it runs completely on your computer. This means you don’t need to upload all of your music, which is an annoyance with some other services to be sure. It also means you don’t have to give a third party a complete list of all the music on your computer, something privacy fans should appreciate.
Once Sockso is up and running, it can do most of what Google Music does. All of your music can be browsed and played in your web browser, and you can make playlists to your heart’s content. Sockso can also do a few things Google Music cannot, such as downloading full albums from the web interface and playing your music in an external player.
First things first – head toand download the relevant version of Sockso for your operating system. Once you get it running, you’ll see the Sockso server backend. Here you can add your music, decide who can and can’t access your music and configure other settings:
You can also access the web interface from here easily by clicking the button in the bottom-left corner. But accessing the interface from the computer you’ve installed the server on kind of defeats the whole purpose. To access this server on your local network, you’re going to need to know the IP address of your computer on the network. Open a command prompt and type
ifconfig on Mac and Linux or
ipconfig on Windows; you’ll find your IP address listed in the output under the name of the network device you’re using.
Then all you need to do is, from any other computer on your network, type your IP address followed by
:4444 (or, if you changed the port, whatever your custom port is.) Get that working and you’ll be able to browse your music.
You can explore your music in this web-based interface easily, so I won’t get into that. It’s worth noting, though that you have a choice of playback options:
The browser-based options include flash and HTML5, but it’s also possible to play back your music using your choice of third party software using playlist files. This worked great for me using VLC, so try it out.
You can create a playlist using songs, albums or artists.
I love setting up a queue of albums and then just letting it play, and think you will too.
Do you want to learn more? I can’t outline everything here, so be sure to check out the Sockso manual to learn the ins and outs of this program.
Connecting To Sockso Remotely
Do you want to connect to Sockso on the wider Internet? You can, but you’re going to need to learn how to do port forwarding. You’ll also need a static IP, or a service that can simulate one such as DynDNS.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then read this tutorial about DynDNS I wrote, which should explain nicely how to get DynDNS set up and how to configure port forwarding on your router.
It’s nice having access to my music from any computer in my house, and with a bit more configuration I can access my music online. It’s a little bit of work, but it’s also rewarding.
How do you like Sockso? Do you have a better tool in mind for the job? Let’s talk in the comments below.