By on May 11, 2006

Here’s something interesting that just popped up; tuneDial.org is a place where musicians can share their music for free through iTunes and the Music Store interface. The really cool thing is that it totally bypasses Apple’s iTunes Music Store and allows artists to create and share playlists of their music files, which can then be streamed or downloaded from just about anywhere.

How’s this different than people offering mp3 downloads right off their own webpage? We think it’s easier. Using tuneDial, content creators can create attractive playlists with minimal effort. Music lovers can then browse through any playlist available using the easy interface that Apple put together for their iTunes Music Store. No more downloading a file to your computer, tracking it down, and importing it into iTunes. Just click the ‘Get Song’ button and pull a song right into your iTunes library.

To use tuneDial to receive songs through iTunes requires a freebie download called Tuner, a proxy server written in bash that tricks iTunes into looking for iTMS content somewhere other than the official iTMS servers, and then acts as a go between to let iTunes get data from any URL. Right now, Tuner is Mac-only, but…

It shouldn’t be difficult to get running on a Windows box, and if you do let me know and I’ll host a download or post a download link.

The author goes into great detail about how his hack works, and everything is open source. Much emphasis is placed on keeping things free.

It works great. I’m grooving right now to Jonathan Coulton’s Code Monkey right now, compliments of tuneDial.

I guess the only question now is how long it will take Apple to shut down tuneDial. My guess? Within the next two releases of iTunes.