iPhone Trick: Stream Music, Videos and Movies from iTunes Library to your iPhone for Free


If you are frustrated with the 4 GB or 8 GB limit on your iPhone, I had written earlier this month that Dot.Tunes had an innovative way of solving your space problem by streaming any song or playlists from your iTunes library to your iPhone. However, for this to work you needed to buy the iPhone Dot.Tunes plug-in which costs $20.

In case you are looking for a free option then folks at Embraceware Software have figured out a not so neat way of solving the space problem but for free.

If you are one of those who has ripped your DVDs which amounts to Terabytes of space and added them to iTunes then the 4 GB or 8 GB of space on your iPhone can be frustratingly limited. As I had mentioned earlier, there is an option for this if you are willing to pay $20 for an iPhone Dot.Tunes plug-in which essentially can streams any song or playlists to your iPhone with an interface that has been optimised for the iPhone. (Read iPhone Hacks Dot.Tunes: Stream music, videos and movies from iTunes library to your iPhone)

However, in case you are looking for a free option then there is some good news as folks at Embraceware Software have published the below procedure which should help you stream music from the iTunes library on your Mac to the iPhone for free.

Step 1:
Open “Sharing” in System Preferences and enable “Personal Web Sharing” – this will turn on the built in web server installed with OS X. When enabled, it will display an address (your IP or computer network name) as the URL for accessing the site on your network. Note this address – we’ll be visiting it on our iPhone via Safari later.

Step 2:
The root of the web site is located in /Library/WebServer/Documents.
Open the Terminal and type the following:
cd /Library/WebServer/Documents/
and press ENTER.

Step 3:
Still in the Terminal we will continue by creating a Symbolic link to your iTunes “Movies” directory and place this link in the root of your web server by typing the following:
ln -s /[path ti your iTunes Movies folder] Movies
Example: ln -s/Volumes/Machintosh HD/users/john/Music/iTunes/Movies Movies

Step 4:
Open Safari on your iPhone and visit the address provided when you enabled the Personal Web Sharing in your iPhone followed by /Movies
Example: http://192.168.2.20/Movies/

The library browsing UI using the above iPhone trick is not as slick as iTunes or even the optimized iPhone interface offered by Dot.Tunes however all you need to do is use the text directory listing and simply tap on any movie link to launch QuickTime on the iPhone to play the movie.

One of the issues of this iPhone trick
is that though though it will work well over the typical 802.11 b/g/n
networks that is usually available at home, you might experience
reliability issues if you go the extra mile to try and stream over the
web.

However, the best part of the trick is you do not need any of those complicated iPhone  hacks
or even touch the iPhone’s internal structure nor do you need to alter
things on the iPhone, simply point your iPhone’s Safari browser the
address provided when you enabled the Personal Web Sharing to watch any
movie from your Terabytes of iTunes library.

Please don’t forget to let me know how well it works for you.

Update: This iPhone trick apparently will also work on an iPod Touch.

[via Embraceware Blog]

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If you liked the iPhone Trick above you might also be interested in these iPhone Tips & Tricks as well:

Kill the GSM Buzz, Prevent iPhone Deaths, Check for Dead Pixels and more

Fix for iPhone’s low ringer volume

iPhone’s Recovery Mode, free space on your iPhone & more

Finger Tips, better photos, quick scrolling in Safari and lots more

Upload photos from your iPhone to Flickr

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  • Anthony

    Is there anyway this hack will work with a windows based os?

  • ronaldo

    tversity.com .. its free and has special support for iPhone streaming

  • Vinnie

    I keep getting a 403 Forbidden error with this directory when trying to access using safari (from my mac or iPhone). I've tried pointing it to other directories too, but same problem. The permissions look ok, so I don't know what's up…

  • Morgan

    Is there another option for Mac users?

  • Joe

    Very interesting. It works with my laptop connected to my desktop (where the videos are) but my iPhone doesn't play it, providing a "play" icon with a circle around and a line through it. Does this really stream or is it trying to download the movie? Does it work with regular MP4 files or does it have to be h.264? I'm very close–all I need is for the video to play in my phone.

  • abraze

    Winamp remote does this for you too. For free at that. Videos, music, you name it.

  • kellygeorge

    better yet, use Simplify Media, and stream up to 30 iTunes libraries, FREE.

  • Anthony Mancuso

    Doesn't work, Or I'm just doing something wrong, I do exactly what these directions say to do, but It never works, Just displays a URL NOT FOUND, so either something is not being explained well enough in these directions or this does not work at all.

  • Anthony Mancuso

    Doesn't work, Or I'm just doing something wrong, I do exactly what these directions say to do, but It never works, Just displays a URL NOT FOUND, so either something is not being explained well enough in these directions or this does not work at all.

  • Marcus Mayfield

    I found out after some frustration that if you have spaces in the path of the directory you're trying to share, you'll need to put double-quotes around the path.

  • Shawn

    Did you ever figure out how to gain access?

  • elfer_ar

    chmod 755 Music