Simplify Media review
Simplify Media is a bit like iTunes’ built-in library sharing, only it allows you to share your music over the internet instead of just your local network. The app consists of two parts: a desktop program running on Mac OS X, Windows or Linux, and an app for your iPhone or iPod touch. You’ll need to set up a free Simplify Media account.
When you launch the application on your desktop, it will index your music collection. You can then access your library from any other computer with the desktop client installed, and can invite up to 30 friends to stream your music. To access the music from the iPhone or iPod touch, purchase and install the Simplify Media app then log in with the same user name and password. You’ll then get access to all the compatible music on your desktop, including AAC, WMA, MP3 and Apple Lossless files.
The interface is similar to the iPhone’s own iPod application, letting you access all of your iTunes playlists as well as browse by song, artist, album, and genre. You can scroll by flicking through or by selecting the first letter from the list on the side, just like in the iPod application.
To play a song, tap it and the song will buffer and then begin playing. How long it takes depends on your network connection: it took a few seconds on the 3G network, WiFi was about the same, and EDGE took the longest – about 15 to 20 seconds.
While playing music, you get the standard playback controls: previous track, next track, play/pause, and volume. At the top right of the screen are three buttons – Song, Artist and Lyrics. The Song mode is the default playback screen; tapping Artist will give you a bio of the artist, and tapping Lyrics will download and display the song lyrics.
The main problem is that Simplify Media can’t run in the background (a restriction enforced by Apple’s Software Development Kit for the iPhone), meaning that whenever you leave the application the music stops.