With services such as mobile broadband, high-bandwidth mobile phones (possibly including even the upcoming iPhone) and fast upload speeds on cable modems (over 768Kb), it’s about time for Apple to go back to the original feature that was part of iTunes 4 – remote access to the music library.
Earlier versions of iTunes allowed the library to be shared by any IP address, a feature that was later changed to only allow access within the same network subnet. This makes it impractical to remotely access your iTunes music library since you would have to VPN into your home network to make it work. And even then, you’d add the burden of encryption to your pipe making it hard to get enough bandwidth for Apple Lossless. So I want a way to remotely access my iTunes library while at work.
Why not just load it on my iPod? I have over 140 GB of music in my iTunes library, all in Apple Lossless, all ripped from my original CDs. The majority of my library is ripped from original content, with only maybe 50 actually iTunes purchased tracks. Why? Because I only use the iTMS for songs I only want one or two tracks from a CD where I don’t care about the audio quality (think top 40). The audible difference between CD and AAC is easily distracting for ambient/electronic music with a quality pair of earphones (I listen using the Shure E500’s). In fact, some of the tracks I’ve purchased on iTunes I ended up ordering from the publisher in Europe only to eliminate the compression artifacts that come with the AAC download from iTMS.
Sorry, got off on a rant there. Anyway, I want to be able stream the pure, original lossless audio signal out my cable modem to my desktop at work, where I can listen in pure fidelity. I often load a percentage of my library to the iPod, but I often find myself wanting to hear something that I didn’t load up due to space constraints.
Apple, please give us what we want, something that the other hardware providers have already made available with things like the SlingBox have already done – remote access to our content.