Talking tech since 2003

Less than a month ago, I wrote a how-to and review on Firefly Media Server, an application that allows users to share their music libraries throughout their networks via the DAAP protocol, all without ever installing iTunes.  I had full intentions of following up on that how-to by introducing a similar service called Simplify Media.  Simplify Media essentially did the same thing as Firefly Media Server (sharing music libraries, etc.), however it also implemented a friends system which allowed friends to securely share their iTunes or folder-based music libraries with one-another, whether they were on different networks or on different countries.

However, today when I went to the Simplify Media homepage, I was greeted by a notice that Simplify Media had more or less discontinued their product, and were no longer offering product downloads.  Additionally, the announcement stated that the friends and sharing features were disabled for current users.

The following is their blog post from March 15th:

After developing the technology behind Simplify Media for over 4 years, it is time for us to take it in a new direction. In order to focus on this transition, we will no longer be offering the current software to new users. Today we are removing the Simplify iPhone applications from the App Store, and new account creation will be disabled shortly after that. However, existing Simplify accounts and clients will continue to work fine.

We are unable to share our future plans at this time but hope to be able to announce the re-launch of the technology soon. In the meantime, we will continue to operate the existing service for at least the next 3 months. Many thanks to those of you who have supported us and helped us improve Simplify over the last few years! We hope you will enjoy its future incarnations as well.

When looking a bit deeper at the details of their post, I have a glimmer of hope that the mention of a  “new direction” and “future incarnations” might mean that Simplify may re-surface as a different program or service, possibly with more features.  However, the fact that they hope to announce future plans kind of shows that even they are not sure of their future.

I had personally tried Simplify Media around this time last year.  I felt it to be a very good service but also felt that their main application, was a bit basic.  This did not matter however, as music was accessed via the iTunes interface.  I ultimately stopped using the application within a month, mainly because I began to think deeper of the legality of it, even though I only shared music with real-life local friends.

If you had previously used Simplify Media, you may consider using Firefly Media Server and/or LogMeIn Hamachi to share music throughout your home network, or with friends afar.  All in all, I hope to see Simplify Media return, and am anxious to see if it brings any new features along with it.  Additionally,  if and when Simplify Media returns, I hope that it gets a bit more publicity and a larger user-base.

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