Air Media Server
Sharing music, movies or pictures with friends can be done in a variety of ways, through online, cloud-based services, via P2P programs, through a chat client and many others. Streaming the multimedia content is one alternative that can bring songs, videos and photos to the masses or just to a select few who have access to the broadcast.
To turn this into reality, you will have to use a dedicated tool, a special kind of server, that is able to make all the files in your media folders available for anyone you want to grant access to. Such a software solution is Air Media Server, a really smart utility that can do a bit more than just open the gates to your personal collection to everyone.
Once the installation is complete you can start the configuration of the server by right-clicking its tray icon and selecting the 'Settings' menu. You can use the local network address if you plan on streaming only to your LAN peers, or use the public IP address so that users can connect through the Internet to the stream.
In case you want to restrict the access to the broadcast, Air Media Server can require authentication from those who attempt to connect. Insofar as the actual content that will be shared is concerned, this application monitors by default several locations, namely your Downloads, Videos, Music and Pictures user directories.
It is possible to remove or add any folder to the sharing list and even iTunes playlists if you have them in your collection as well. Another neat feature of Air Media Server is the ability to shorten the names of any file or folder to filter out any unnecessary captions.
Able to transcode all the content on the spot if needed and packing a nice set of function that make sharing multimedia a breeze, this software proves to be one of the best choices in its category.