For sharing your family’s music collection, it’s hard to beat the simplicity of the Firefly music server. It uses the DAAP protocol, allowing others to access it from iTunes or Rhythmbox. With Firefly, your spouse can happily use their Mac or Windows PC for playback while you do the same with Linux.

(1) Get Firefly running on Debian/Ubuntu by installing a single package:

sudo apt-get install mt-daapd

(2) Then edit the file /etc/mt-daapd.conf, changing these lines to define your password and the directory where you’ll store your music:

admin_pw = mypassword

mp3_dir = /home/paul/Music/MyCdRips

(3) If your server is on another computer, copy or upload your music files to the directory you defined. My collection is all in MP3 format, and Firefly serves it flawlessly. The server should also be able to handle other formats (.mp3,.m4a,.m4p,.ogg,.flac,.mpc).

(4) Restart the server:

sudo /etc/init.d/mt-daapd restart

(5) Point your web browser to port 3689 (http://localhost:3689, if running on your local PC) to verify that the server is working. You should see a status screen like the one shown below. Click on the Configuration< tab if you want to customize further. The defaults are probably adequate.

The Firefly web control panel

(6) Connect from iTunes or Rhythmbox. In either application, your server will appear under the Shared directory.

For more information, visit the Firefly website and its forums