2008/10/16

Review: DAAP clients for Windows and Linux

In my Windows Vista desktop I like to use MediaMonkey to play along my music collection, while Firefly DAAP server allows me to browse, filter and listen to this collection from my laptop within the LAN, using any popular Linux music player like Rhythmbox or Banshee.

Now, I couldn't find any DAAP client plugin for MediaMonkey and the one for Winamp is old and said to be buggy, but I found three cool alternatives:
  • Firefly Client - is a java client for Firefly media server that needs no installation and has the usual music player functions and looks. The only nuisance is that everytime you open it, you have to select the server from the library menu and choose if you want to load the library cache or request it again from the server. Besides the searching box, you can filter by genre, artist and album, shuffle the playlist and display cover art.
  • Get It Together - also written in java, this client detected the server and populated the library automatically as a single list which can be ordered by the different columns like Artist, Album, Length, etc. With this client is easier to play through the whole library randomly. It can also be toggled into a mini mode.
  • Subsonic - This client for Firefly media server is a combination of web server and web interface. The server part can be installed in various operating systems and the web interface is even accesible via a cellphone through wap. The main advantage over the previous two clients is that with Subsonic you can access your music from outside your LAN, that is, from any computer/cellphone/etc with an Internet connection (if you have a fixed IP address or use a dynamic DNS service). It can play songs with your system's default music player (I chose to use Winamp) or via its own flash web player. It offers a nice set of themes to change the look of the interface; displays cover art nicely and has many other features and options. Obviously, you can also use Subsonic from Linux if you don't like the players mentioned above. Tip: enable port 80 in your router/firewall if you want access from outside your LAN.

So, you see, plenty of cool choices here and there. You just need time and a bit of skill to play the game ;-)