Toronto startup Pushlife has just been acquired by Google for $25m. Hardly a huge outcome, but probably quite profitable (their website said they had an “impressive list of venture capital and angel investors”; I was able to identify just one who is known publicly, Duncan Hill, an angel investor).
ReadWriteWeb has a reasonable speculation on what may have motivated Google’s purchase.
We previously discussed some of the reasons why music might stay in the form of a music collection, rather than transform itself in to a streaming music service.
In fact, it is possible today to sync a music collection to the cloud, and thence to synchronize it between multiple computers, simply using iTunes and any generic cloud file-syncing and file-storage system, without the need for any special applications or services such as Amazon’s Cloud Player.
For a bit of a change to our normal startup topics, here’s how to synchronize an iTunes library with DropBox (the cloud file sharing service) and as many computers as you like.
First, move both the media files and the library files to Dropbox on the main MAC (you could do the analogous things on a PC, though I haven’t tried that myself):
- Look under iTunes -> Preferences -> Advanced, for the iTunes Media Folder Location. You’ll see something like: /Users/<your-user-name>/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music
- Quit iTunes
- Create a new folder called “Music” inside your DropBox folder. For instance, the new folder might be: /Users/<your-name>/Dropbox/Music
- Drag (move) your existing iTunes folder (e.g. /Users/<your-name>/Music/iTunes) into the new Music folder
- Restart iTunes, then under Preferences -> Advanced, change the Media Folder to /Users/<your-name>/Dropbox/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music (or equivalent in your case)
- Quit iTunes
- Delete the default (now effectively empty) library files iTunes just created in /Users/<your-name>/Music/iTunes
- Holding down the alt/option key, restart iTunes.
- You will be prompted to choose a library, navigate to /Users/<your-name>/Dropbox/Music/iTunes and choose the “iTunes Library” file (or else just doubleclick on iTunes folder).
- The Library shows up in iTunes
- Quit iTunes and restart it – it will remember the new library location, library will show up and can be played as normal
Allow Dropbox to fully sync from your primary computer to the cloud, and thence to your secondary machine(s). This may take quite a while – for instance 24 or 36 hours – depending on the size of your music library and the speed of your Internet connection.
Once synced, on your secondary computer (or additional machines):
- Open iTunes, under Preferences -> Advanced, change the Media Folder to /Users/<your-name>/Dropbox/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music
- Close iTunes
- Hold the alt/option key and start iTunes; you’ll be prompted to find a library
- Navigate to the /Users/<your-user-name>/Dropbox/Music and double click on iTunes folder
- Close iTunes, delete the contents of /Users/<your-user-name>/Music/iTunes, it’s not needed any more
- Start iTunes again
- Library will appear and is playable
Subsequently, new music purchases, play lists, additions to art work, etc. etc. will sync between the computers (this is much richer syncing than the Apple home sharing system, by the way…). And all your music is backed up to the cloud.
Of course, you can still synchronize music to your mobile devices as always, using iTunes sync for iPod/iPad/iPhone, and something like TuneSync for Android devices.
No doubt PushLife were doing more than this sync. Or else, they are good advertisement for packaging something up in any easily-digestible user-friendly solution. Congratulations to them in either case.