Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a collection of MP3 files (an "album" so to speak) that I'd like to share with people. Some of them may not be particularly technologically astute (coming more from an LP background). I've tagged the files so they'll behave nicely in iTunes (which is probably what many beginners will be using).

I'm looking for suggestions for the best way to distribute the collection online and minimize the chance that they get confused and/or frustrated.

I'd like to distribute these in a cross platform way - preferably with only one file for download (although I could do separate Win and Mac downloads if needed).

Random thoughts:

  • Having them download numerous files would be a pain, so I was thinking of one file containing everything
  • Putting it in a public folder on Dropbox and providing a download link seems simplest
  • Perhaps a self extracting exe? (not cross platform, and people might be (rightly) paranoid about exes)
  • Best is probably an archive (zip/rar/sit - are there simple cross platform solutions?)

Any thoughts?

share|improve this question
Have you considered using a media server, serving/streaming the files directly? – Bobby Apr 19 '11 at 20:53
Good question - my initial thought is I'd prefer not to - I'd like to keep it cheap/simple and there is no requirement for streaming. Although if it was cheap/simple solution, then perhaps I'd consider it... – Craig H Apr 19 '11 at 20:58
Well, cheap and simple depends. If you have a spare machine standing around then it is for sure something to consider. – Bobby Apr 19 '11 at 21:00
Another question. Are you planning on keeping this completely autonomous from you (meaning only relying on external services like Dropbox)? – Bobby Apr 19 '11 at 21:06
@Bobby - yes, I'd prefer if it was autonomous. Dropbox seemed like a good solution as it would allow me to avoid mediafire/megaupload/etc. and have better control over the file(s). I'd prefer to not have to host something myself. – Craig H Apr 19 '11 at 21:17

If the files will be available online for quite some time, you could make an m3u playlist filled with the URLs to the songs. You'd only need to distribute the tiny playlist file, and the recipients would stream the music when played. Of course, this has other tradeoffs, but it may be a viable option.

share|improve this answer

I'd say Zip them into a single file and either use a Dropbox-like service, or stick it on a publically-accessible web server (if you have one available) and provide them a direct link.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.