I listen to music all day at work. In most cases I am listening to songs via MP3 blogs that allow me to download the mp3′s that I am listening to. On good days I download 5 to 10 MP3′s, at a minimum, to my work PC. Unfortunately my work PC is not where I manage my music library. I have a lovely Mac Book Pro at home that I use to manage my music collection, load my iPod, stream music through my apartment, etc. I do not want to manage another music library but I do want to get the songs I download at work to my house without it being a chore.
Prior to today I had 3 options for getting my music back to home base:
- 1. Load them into iTunes on my work machine and burn a data CD
- 2. Email myself the MP3 link(s) so I could download them again when I got home
- 3. FTP the files to my ftp server and then download them when I got home.
All these options worked but, to be honest, they were circa 1998 solutions and were even a pain to manage 10 years ago. I needed a up to date solution so I decided to piece one together with what I could find. I hope you find the result as cool as I do. The following components have solved my music “portability” issue and has made the art of finding new music while I work a much more seamless adventure.
1. Your home PC is a Mac. (You will be able to do 85% of this setup if you don’t use a Mac at home.)
2. You are allowed to install software on your work PC. If you can’t, maybe you can find the “cool” IT guy to do it for you.
3. You use iTunes as your music library on your home machine. (Once again, 85% works without iTunes)
Dropbox – Application allows you to sync files from one machine to another across the internet.
Songbird – Open source media player that allows you to listen to MP3 blogs as a playlist and easily download tracks that you like.
This AppleScript – Piece of code that is based on Doug’s Folder Scripts and iTunes Script. If setup correctly, it will monitor a folder and when a file is placed in the folder the script will load it into a special playlist in iTunes.
1. Download and install DropBox on your work and home computers.
2. Download and install Songbird on your work PC. Install it at home if you really like it but you do not need it for this little use case.
3. Open your Dropbox folder on your work PC and add a folder called MyMusic or something that pleases you. (Check your local documents folder on Windows and Mac if you are having issues locating it)
4. On your work PC, go to Songbird and open the preferences window. Under the Music Downloads section of the Main preference page, set the “Save files to” directory path so that it points to the new MyMusic Dropbox folder you created in step #3.
5. Open Songbird and type the address of your favorite MP3 blog in the browser address bar. If you need a good MP3 blog to start off with I highly recommend Motel de Moka. You should now see Moka’s blog in the browser window and in about 20 seconds a playlist will show up at the bottom of the screen. Songbird has searched the page, stripped out the MP3 links, and created a nice playlist for you.
6. Press play and start listening to the playlist. When you get to a song that you like click the download button next to the song and the MP3 will start downloading to your machine.
7. Check the Dropbox MyMusic folder on your work PC. You should now see the MP3 file that you just downloaded. The file will have a little blue recycling icon attached to it until Dropbox finishes syncing it to the mothership. Once it is synced the icon will change to a green check mark.
8. Go to your home PC and open your Dropbox folder. This is where the magic happens. You will see the Dropbox has not only created your MyMusic folder automatically but it has also synced the contents of that folder with your work PC. The MP3 you downloaded on your work PC should be now sitting in your home PC folder. You have now successfully sent a MP3 from work to your home with absolutely no effort at all.
9. Now for the advanced, and Mac only, portion of this tutorial. Up to this point you are still forced to manually import the MP3′s from your MyMusic folder into your iTunes. This didn’t sit well with me so I decided to leverage some Applescript and Mac OS’s Folder actions capabilities in order to automate the process.
10. Download the “add files to iTunes” Applescript and save it to the following location – Macintosh HDLibraryScriptsFolder Action Scripts – Make sure it is placed in the Folder Action Scripts directory and not the Folder Actions directory. It won’t work otherwise.
11. Go back to your MyMusic Dropbox folder, right click the folder to view the context menu, and then select MORE->Attach Folder Action…
12. In the Finder window go to Macintosh HDLibraryScriptsFolder Action Scripts, select the “add files to iTunes” script, and hit choose to attach the script to the directory.
13. Now when Dropbox downloads a file to your home PC MyMusic directory, the Folder Action will call the script which will in turn import the MP3 file into your iTunes and then delete the file from the directory. The deletion portion of the script is important because Dropbox’s free version only allows you to store 2GB at a time. If you don’t delete the file your 2GB will be gone in no time.
14. Test. Download a song on your work pc through Songbird and within minutes it will be automatically imported into your home PC’s iTunes.
15. Start exploring.
I hope you will all find this little music discovery mashup helpful. If you have any suggestions or questions please feel free to comment below.
If you need to find new MP3 Blogs that are more to your liking check out the Mega Super Mammoth MP3 Blog list or the Hype Machine. I guarantee you will find a MP3 blog that will suit your needs.