Everyone seems to want their favorite music at their fingertips. A reader recently wrote in to say that he had copied songs from his CDs to his Mac Mini's hard drive. He was wondering if those songs could now be stored on the cloud so that he could listen to them anytime and anyplace on his iPhone.
This will be music to everyone's ears: There are several ways to put your music in the cloud and stream it to your devices.
In particular, let's focus on two options — one that's free and another that costs money.
You can't go wrong with the free media server called Plex, which can serve up your music and your videos for playback on devices that can run the free Plex app.
You'll need to download the Plex server software and install it on a computer. If you run Plex on a Synology NAS box (network attached storage), for example, you can then uploaded your music library to the Plex server and load the Plex client onto an iPhone. You can easily load the Plex server onto a Macintosh or Windows computer or iOS or Android device.
Plex makes the media available to you from any connected device that runs the Plex client. You really don't have to do much to set up the access outside your home network. Plex will walk you through the setup process.
Having access to all of your music on your phone while out of the house is terrific. You can even share your music with anyone else running Plex.
If you subscribe to Apple Music, you can upload up to 100,000 songs to Apple's servers. Then, when you are logged into Apple Music on other devices, you can access those songs. Individual files can be no larger than 200 megabytes.
To upload your songs, open the Music app on your Mac, then go to the Music menu and choose Preferences and then the General tab.
Click to put a check in the box to Sync Library. Once synced, Apple Music will show all the music you've added, purchased and uploaded. The music will appear on your other devices after syncing with the cloud.
This option requires a subscription to Apple Music, which costs $4.99 per month for students, $9.99 per month for individuals and $14.99 per month for a family account that can be shared among six family members.