Whatever it might be that Apple has planned for Lala--the much-mourned music streaming property that the Cupertino-based behemoth acquired and woefully shut down back in May--they're playing it close to their chest.
While you wait for what we're all hoping will be the awesome power to stream our entire music iTunes music library from the cloud, let Mac|Life show you how anyone with a MobileMe account can start streaming their tunes for free right now. While you won't be able to listen to a playlist you've hashed together, the ability it groove to individual audio files streamed to your iOS device on the cheap is a great first step. Let's get started.
What You Need:
>> An active MobileMe subscription: $99 per year, 60 day free trial available
>> A Wi-Fi or 3G-capable iOS device such as an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch
>> A copy of Apple's iDisk App Available for free from the iTunes App Store
>> Any group of MP3 or AAC audio files you darn well please
1. Select an Audio File You Want to Stream
Locate the file in your music folder. If you're picking it from iTunes, simply click and drag the song from your iTunes library to your desktop. Then, when you've picked your batch of songs, sign in to or sign up for MobileMe.
Direct your browser to http://www.mobileme.com and enter your user name and password. If you don't have a MobileMe account, you can sign up for an annual subscription or take it for a 60 day test-drive.
2. Navigate to Your iDisk
Every MobileMe subscriber gets around 20GB of storage space to split between your iDisk and your Mail on Apple's servers. It's time to put a few gigabytes of that allotment to good use. If your browser opens up to any page other than your iDisk once you've entered in your MobileMe credentials, look to the top left corner of the window. Click the blue icon with the white cloud in the middle of it. A floating icon bar will appear. Choose iDisk from the six possible options.
3. Upload Your Audio File to iDisk
With the iDisk interface now open, look to the top of the window. Click the upload arrow. A new dialog window will appear, prompting you to select a file for upload:
Click the choose button. Now select the audio files you plan on streaming. Once you've done this, both the dialog window and the selection window will disappear, giving way to an upload status window:
4. Confirm the Upload
Once the upload is finished, your audio file should be immediately available in the iDisk directory.
Note: Similarly, you can drag and drop a multitude of songs into your iDisk directly from your Mac OS X desktop. Select the desktop, Go, and then iDisk, and upload your songs to the Music folder of your MobileMe account, or whatever other sort of folder system you've got going on there.
5. Open the iDisk App on an iOS Device
If you haven't done so already, install Apple's free iDisk App on to your iOS mobile device. Open the App and enter your credentials. You'll find your audio files waiting for you.
6. Get Your Groove On
Tap the audio file's icon. QuickTime will open and let you know that loading a movie. But don't let the application fool you--your music is actually being buffered. After a few seconds, you'll be rewarded with audio from the clouds! You can repeat this process as many times as you like, so long as MobileMe has the space to stuff the audio files into.
Note: Currently, there is no playlist support, so you'll have to play the songs one by one.