In searching for a streaming solution for a friend in Hawaii who has no music source except an iPad and a small USB primitive iPod like player, I found a free iPhone/iPad app called “Songbox Player for Dropbox”.
This gem will install on a iPhone or iPod/iPad and scan any accessible Dropbox folder you have (including those shared with you by others) and then allow you to stream songs by artist, song or “Mixtape” playlists you create on the fly in Songbox Player.
The user can be selective about which folders on Dropbox are scanned for listening. I created a song list of over 500 tracks from my Dropbox pages in a very short time. The scan can even be interrupted and continued later, using what you have for now. From that song list you can then view/play them by song title, artist or any Mixtape playlist you might create.
I was reluctant at first to give my Dropbox folder access to a third party app — even on my own iPhone — but eventually did to try it out. It wasn’t that scary and Dropbox wanted a confirmation.
It was a great solution for playing music including (some) HRA files for anyone with no local storage (like an iPad) or just some mobile hipsters.
The library stays put in the cloud in your Dropbox account and the player/user can be anywhere with WiFi or good cell service data streaming.
As much as I don’t like streaming, I was impressed with this playback and convenience on my iPhone. One “interesting” feature is that the streaming buffering does not look ahead to the next track. So there is a noticeable delay between songs — maybe 30-45 seconds on my pretty decent Internet connection. I ended up (for now) liking this delay as it was just a period of silence between tracks; an exaggerated vinyl pause if you will.
I think a new (additional not substituted) set of ears may be required for streaming music. It is the Mobile HRA way and requires a new POV to appreciate any good recordings. I’ve always liked the sound of music coming from the iPhone’s tiny speakers which since 2007 I thought Jobs and Apple crew engineered to sound just like an old AM transistor radio.
In short, provenance is portable. PIP ! Cheers!