The other day I was working on my laptop at home while my wife was browsing the web from hers. Our son was in the living room chatting with his buddies and listening to something catchy I’d never heard before. When I asked him for a copy, it took him a while to locate a flash drive, search his library for the tune, load the file onto the drive, and hand it to me so I could add it to my iTunes library. A few minutes later, we had to repeat the process for my wife. I thought “Isn’t this 2010? Shouldn’t there be a better solution to this problem?”
MediaRover syncs multiple libraries without a hitch, but the initial sync can take a while.
MediaRover has the answer: consolidate everyone’s music onto a single shared network drive--any Mac- or Windows-formatted drive will do, as long as it’s connected to your network--and each local iTunes library will sync to this “master” share. Even better, it works nearly instantly and without any user intervention. Setting up MediaRover is a fairly simple procedure. After installing the MediaRover software on each client computer, you point the software to the shared library on your network. Each computer will begin filling in the gaps in its respective library to match the master version on the network.
If that was MediaRover’s only feature, it would still be worth the free download, but the hits just keep coming. If anyone on the network adds a new song to their library or corrects any metadata in their local library--filling in proper song titles or band names, for example--the changes propagate to the network library and are immediately shared with all connected libraries. This is a boon to anyone who can’t stand a library scattered with “Track 01” and other mislabeled files that invariably creep into your libraries over time. You can correct spelling and add metadata to your heart’s content, knowing that you’ll only ever have to do it once.
MediaRover isn’t limited to computers, either. It will also work with streaming devices like the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, WDTV, Sonos devices, and more. Our only real complaint is that there isn’t more granular control. Since MediaRover copies everything back to local libraries on your machines, you’ll probably end up with gobs of music that you don’t care for, in addition to the stuff that you do want.
No matter how you choose to listen to your music, MediaRover makes everything play nicely together.
REQUIREMENTS: Home network with shared storage. Multiple iTunes libraries.
Easy to set up. Manages multiple libraries automatically. Syncs files, metadata, and playlists.
Aggregating large libraries can take a while. No way to exclude certain artists or playlists.