When it comes to playing your media back, the video players handle the audio perfectly. But when you want to specifically play audio on your computer, or access your audio in a different way, you will need a few other applications. This section focuses on playing back your Audio files in ways you might not have thought about!
If you have ever used a Mac in your life, you are probably all too familiar with iTunes. It evolved from a simple music player, back in the day, to a music organizer, device manager and most recently, a store! Some call it the best music player on the Mac, some think it is bloated with too much extra stuff. I think we all can agree that when it comes to playing music on your Mac, it is one of the best, and best looking, options.
The way you manage your music can vary from person to person, and there is no one ‘right’ way. But thanks to its numerous sharing features, if you have a lot of music on one network, you are almost guaranteed that you can access it all through iTunes with little to zero hassle.
Price: Free (Included with OSX)
If you have any iOS devices in your house, or if you have any friends who use iOS devices, you NEED AirServer. Sure, it may just be a piece of software, and yes, there is absolutely no demo. But while most of the applications mentioned on this site do *something* well, this is the only piece of software that can turn your apartment into an instant dance party.
AirServer leverages Apple’s new AirPlay technology that allows you to wirelessly send Audio (and Video & Photos) from your iPhone/iTouch/iPad to a compatible AirPlay device. However, the “compatible devices” don’t include home computers such as the Mac mini (stupid right?). AirServer bridges that gap so that you can play music from your iPhone to your Media Center with ease.
Once you purchase and install the app, you will immediately see an icon in your toolbar, showing you that it is active. Go to your iPhone or iPad, start playing a song or video file and, as long as that device is on the same wireless network, you will be able to send your audio or video to your Media Center with the AirPlay button.
If you are still a little confused as to what this does, check out their informative video (right). But the best way I could describe it is like this… Your friend comes over and tells you that he wants you to hear a new song he downloaded. All he has to do is start playing it on his phone and beam it to your Mac. Poof, within seconds the song is playing on your sound system through your Media Center. No configuration, no installation, no going to YouTube and trying to find a good copy of the song. If it is on an iOS device it can play on your Mac. Perfection.
What good is it to have a large, well maintained and organized music library if you can’t access it when you leave the house? Insert PulpTunes! This magical application, when properly configured, will allow you to access and search your entire library from over the internet in a convenient web browser window. If you have ever gone to a friend’s house where you wanted to play that one song that is stuck in your head, now you can! You can also set up accounts for other people to access your library and even provide download access. It’s your whole music library at your fingertips, from anywhere!