You use iTunes to store your music library, but your iOS device has limited space and can't house all your tunes. But you can access your entire iTunes library from your iPhone or iPad with help from a music streaming app.
I use MusicStreamer, which lets you connect to the PC or network drive on which your iTunes library is stored and stream your music to your mobile device. You can browse your entire library and select the album or song you wish to hear. MusicStreamer also acts as a full music player for your tunes. Let's see how the app can put you in touch with your iTunes library.
First, download and install MusicStreamer from the App Store. It costs $3.99, but it's worth the price. After you launch MusicStreamer the first time, the app asks to scan your Wi-Fi network. Hit the "Tap to Scan" button.
If your iTunes library is stored on a computer, make sure that computer is turned on and connected to the internet. If your library is stored on a network drive, make sure the drive is up and available. The app should find any network PCs or network drives. Tap on the PC or drive that contains your iTunes library.
Enter the username and password for the PC or network drive. Tap Next.
The app should automatically find your iTunes library. If not, tap on the link to "Go up a folder" and navigate to the correct folder. Then tap Done.
MusicStreamer will scan all the folders and subfolders for your music and other audio. Tap OK.
You can track the progress of the scan by watching the update numbers in the upper-right corner. The app tells you that it's uploaded X number of tracks of X.
When the scan is done, the progress shows the total number of albums and tracks that were scanned. You now have complete access to your iTunes library from the app. If your library is stored on a computer, you'll need to make sure that computer is powered up and online anytime you want to access iTunes from your mobile device. A network drive should always be up and available.
To play an album or song from MusicStreamer, simply scroll down the list of albums until you see which one you want to hear. By default, the list is sorted by album, but you can tap on the "Artist" button to sort it by artist. You can also filter the list by tapping on the "Filter" link and selecting a specific genre to see only albums in that genre.
Tap on the album you wish to hear and the song you want to play, or tap on the "Queue" button to play the entire album. Now just listen and enjoy as your iPhone or iPad serenades you. From the controls in the upper-left corner, you can pause the music, skip to the next track, or skip to the previous track. You can also create a playlist to store your favorite tunes.
But wait, there's more. MusicStreamer offers a variety of options. Click on the button that looks like a music note. A menu pops up with options to shuffle your music, remove tracks from the queue, save the tracks to a new playlist, download the tracks to play them offline, and export the tracks to a Mac or PC via the iOS sharing feature.
Now, tap on the button with the three horizonal lines. From the pop-up menu, you can add to the queue, play the tracks in the queue, download the current track for offline playback, rescan your library, paste or remove album art, and more.
Finally, tap on the Gear icon at the upper-right of the screen. From this pop-up menu, you can view the source for your iTunes library, rescan your library, go offline, remove offline copies, and more.
For more, check out:
- How to Subscribe to a Podcast on iOS or iTunes
- How to Manually Add and Organize Albums in iTunes
- How to Share Your iTunes Library Among Multiple Devices
- How to Find Cover Art for Your iTunes Albums