Stream iTunes music over the internet via SSH

At home, we have all our music stored on a linux box. The linux box is running Firefly Media Server to be able to stream the music to our Macs via iTunes. I have a Mac and a Windows box at work. I wanted to be able to listen to my music at work but ddn't want to have to copy the music over. We have a decent internet connection at home (it's serving this webpage) and I decided I might as well stream my music from home to listen to it at work. Here's how.

First of all, you need to be able to ssh into you're box at home. Install the OpenSSH server on you're Ubuntu box by opening a terminal and typing:

$ sudo aptitude install ssh

You'll need to set up firefly by typing:

$ sudo aptitude install mt-daapd

To configure firefly with your music, open a web browser on your linux box and browse to http://localhost:3689. Leave username blank and enter something like password or admin or something for the password (I don't remember what the default is, you can find it in the /etc/mt-daapd.conf file).

You'll also need a way to connect to your box from the internet, either through a domain name you own or a free service like or Now that the mt-daapd server is setup and running and you can ssh into your box from the internet, we need to setup the Mac or Windows box at work.

Mac: We're going to install a program called Network Beacon. It can be downloaded from After installing Network Beacon, add a new beacon. For service name, give it something descriptive like "music from home". This name will show up as the share name in iTunes. For service type, type "_daap._tcp." without the quotes. For port number, enter 3689. Check the "Enable Host Proxy" check box and type "localhost" for host name and for IP Address. Network-beacon.png

Now that Network Beacon is configured and running, open a Terminal and connect to your linux box like this:

$ ssh -N -L 3689:localhost:3689 [email protected]

where username is your login name on your linux box and yourlinuxbox is your IP address or domain name. Open up iTunes and you should see your music under shared!

Windows: Use a program called Rendezvous Proxy which can be downloaded from I'm not going to go through the process of setting it up but it's pretty much the same as the Mac instructions.


Published: June 26, 2008

Author: jmhobbs

Word Count: 454


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