5 Tips for Sharing Music

Listening to music is a social experience―whether it's the earliest tribal drum circles, a Baroque opera, a heavy metal concert from the 1980s or a playlist posted to your social network feed. Sharing your favorite digital music with others helps tell the story of who you are, exposing hints about your personality, your interests, your background and your social influences. The evolution to digital music management made it easy to illegally distribute recordings—something you should avoid. It's important to share music in a way that is both ethical and entertaining.

Download From a Reputable Source

You share music to expose others to your interests―not to expose them to malicious attacks―so build your collection using tracks from reputable sources. While free file-sharing sites offer a tempting source for MP3 files, free music isn’t necessarily legal music―especially when it features mainstream artists―and may come at the cost of spyware or other malicious attacks. Minimize the risk by using trusted sources. "When you purchase and download a track [from a trusted source] to your computer, you know it's safe to use on any computers, MP3 players and music players," says Farhan Malik, an IT support engineer with Amazon.

Avoid Peer-to-Peer Sharing Sites

Peer-to-peer―or P2P―file sharing enables the exchange of files on a network of computers. Because each user acts as a server, it's nearly impossible to monitor content. Using a P2P site―or inviting others to one for file access―risks exposure to questionable and malicious material. It is best to stay away from peer-to-peer networks. If P2P sharing is necessary, take steps to maximize your safety. Install anti-virus and firewall protection; keep it updated and remain conscious of files you download. Block access to private folders when you're actively logged on and close the software between uses to disable a continuous network connection.

Choose a Safe File-Sharing Solution

The best method for sharing actual music files between devices is through the use of a private server. This allows you to establish access for specific users and minimizes the risk of exchanging unauthorized or malicious content. You can do this by sharing a link to your cloud storage or by providing login credentials to your FTP server. Wireless beaming and Bluetooth are also effective; both make an easy job of sharing music files instantly across any platform to a nearby computer or mobile device. File-sharing apps are also available―in both same- and cross-platform versions―should you require an automated approach to establishing private file sharing.

Share Streamed Music

Device storage limitations, advances in mobile technology and an ever-present connection to a data network may make it preferable to stream―and then share―music instead of transferring actual files between devices. A track can be shared from a streaming app, for example, using its "Share" functionality. This generates a text or email link so the track is accessible for playback using the same app on the other device. If both devices share a network and support Digital Living Network Alliance standards, DLNA streaming may be preferable. This technology scans device storage and compiles links to the multimedia content in a centralized location, where it's accessible for streaming by everyone.

Share Your Playlist in a Music Player

A music player shares a playlist of favorite music tracks without giving listeners file-downloading privileges. The feature can be embedded in the sidebar of your blog or Web page where it offers a personalized browsing soundtrack. Player services abound on the Web, and features vary for each. Some services offer a built-in library of tracks from which to choose, while others require the upload of personal MP3 files. After you create a playlist and establish your player's appearance, the service then generates its HTML coding. Add this to your site's existing script where you want the player to appear.

Photo Credits: shauna Hundeby/Demand Media

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