PROS / withU works intuitively and seamlessly to share music between compatible devices hooked up to the same network.
CONS / There are no instructions or help page, and sometimes devices connected to the network cannot be found.
VERDICT / withU makes music streaming convenient and prevents the need for redundant music storage.
App Aims: Share Your Music With Yourself
Your entire music collection is backed up on your PC in the office, your Xbox in your bedroom, your PlayStation 3 in the den, and of course your iPod or iPhone for when you're on the go. Most of that valuable storage space could be freed up with this simple, intuitive iPhone app.
withU by Somered Software allows you to stream music among iOS devices, as well as gaming consoles and PCs. On a device with iOS 4.2 or newer, it locates other devices connected to the same Wi-Fi access point. You may then stream music from your iPod or iPhone to your Windows 7 computer and vice versa. No need to install anything on the computer; withU will find music on it automatically.
For each device on the Wi-Fi network, the app's simple interface has a menu not just for music, but also for videos, pictures and playlists. In our testing, however, withU was only able to find music. withU takes a few seconds to load and buffer each selection, but we experienced no mid-song interruptions. This app works best with at least 100MB of free space on your device.
You can organize songs in an impressive variety of ways, including by genre, artist, album, folder and keyword. Just make sure each song is properly tagged. This music iPhone app will also display album art for a song if it is available. Shuffle and repeat are both featured options.
The app takes a while to find available servers and populate file menus for them. It can run in the background and still stream music to a computer or console, but if you stop streaming for 10 minutes, it shuts down and has to be relaunched. Additionally, the app was hit-and-miss about finding all of the available devices on our network and maintaining a stable connection with them.
To listen to the music on your iPhone from your Xbox, go to the My Apps menu from the Xbox start screen and select Music Player, then select withU. To listen on a PS3, select Music from the main menu, and you will find withU as an option.
Because the app operates so simply, there is no support to speak of, nor a help guide within the app. It would be nice to have troubleshooting tips when something fails to load or a device can't be found.
withU fills a valuable music-streaming niche by allowing your music to travel between your many devices. Its interface and function are simple and seamless, and when it can find the relevant devices, it does what it is supposed to do: share music over a Wi-Fi connection without taking up hard-drive space in more than one place. You can listen to your music via withU no matter which gadget you're in front of, and you won’t have to archive your entire music library on every hard drive you have.
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