Saturday, May 12, 2007

Listen to Your iTunes Music Collection on Your Mobile Phone

Avvenu Music Player is another compelling mobile application I learned about while at CTIA 2007. I guess this would be considered a place-shifting technology (a la the Slingbox). With Avvenu, you can stream your iTunes playlists from your home computer to your Windows Mobile 5 smartphone. You can also share your playlists with your friends.

For the Avvenu Music Player to work, you need to download an application to both your host computer and the WM 5.0 device that requires you

Once you sign up for a free Avvenu Music Player account, you simply need to install the Avvenu Connector software on the PC with your Apple iTunes® music collection and install the Avvenu Music Player to your mobile device. Then you will launch the Avvenu Music Player on your PC (which runs within an internet browser) and select which songs or podcasts you want to be able to listen to on your mobile device. The beta version of the Avvenu Music Player includes Anytime storage of up to 250 music tracks.

I was initially disappointed that I was not able to get this to work right away, but soon realized that Avvenu needed to upload my selections. Since my computer was not on and connected the entire time, this took a couple of days. Once I had filled up my 250 track quota, though, it worked as advertised. It was pretty cool to hear the songs I had stored on my computer emanating from my S620, and yes, it even worked when my computer was turned off.

Once I got beyond the initial "Wow" factor, I realized pretty quickly that this application just isn't quite ready for prime time yet (which makes sense, as it is still in beta testing). It takes a few minutes for my playlist to load when I start up the application on my mobile device, and while longer before I could get it to play my first selection. Once the music does start streaming, there is a good 60 seconds of silence in-between tracks as well. I don't know how much of these delays can be attributed to network data speeds and how much to attribute to this being a beta version. Only time will tell.

I guess if you really want to be able to listen to your iTunes collection on your phone, this application will do, but as a music lover I find the dead silence between songs annoying enough that I will probably be uninstalling Avvenu from my device soon.
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