How to Roll Your Own Music Streaming Service

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Google’s doing it, Amazon’s doing it, Apple will be doing it very soon now. Everyone’s putting their music in the cloud. Clouds are, it would seem, where it’s at. Indeed clouds are so happening that perhaps you might prefer to roll your own rather than use someone else’s.

Here’s one way of doing that.

Milwaukee developer John Mills has set up a web service called DropTunes, and made it available to all, for free.

In combination with the hipster’s online file storage service of choice these days, Dropbox, DropTunes lets you put your music online and listen to it via a web browser, from any computer, anywhere.

First, you’ll need your music in digital format. DropTunes can play mp3, m4a, ogg and wav files, although much depends on the browser you’re using. Your mileage may vary, especially on mobile devices.

Next, you need an account at Dropbox. They let you have up to 2GB of space for free, or you can pay for more.

Dropbox works by syncing an internet-based folder with a special corresponding one on your computer. Uploading files to it is as simple as dragging them into place on your desktop. If you’re adding a few hundred songs it might take quite a while to complete the sync, so give it a bit of time.

Once the sync is complete, you can log in to DropTunes from any computer, and stream your music directly from Dropbox. It’s simple, it’s neat, and it’s free (apart from any fees you may have to pay to Dropbox for storage).

Mills told Techland that work on DropTunes is ongoing, and he will probably charge something for a mobile version of the app.

“I have some feature and UI enhancements in mind including shuffle, repeat, and playlists,” he said.

“I want to keep it as simple as possible so there won’t be any bloat or ill-conceived mods. I’ve recently been working on a native mobile app for both iOS and Android devices. The mobile app will have a modest price tag. I have some other ideas to monetize DropTunes on the horizon, but there will always be a free component to it.”

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