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Turn Dropbox Into a Jukebox for Your iOS Device

The BoxyTunes app can stream tunes from your Dropbox account, thus letting you recover some space.

Dropbox--is there anything it can't do? Regular readers know of my fondness for the online storage service, which is fantastic for keeping files in sync across multiple devices and making cloud-based backups. But it turns out Dropbox is also part jukebox, at least when you pair it with BoxyTunes.

This $1.99 app can stream music from your Dropbox account to your iPad, iPod, or iPhone (as long as there's an available Wi-Fi or Internet connection). Why would you want to do that? For starters, it overcomes the problem of fixed storage on your iDevice. If your iPhone has 16GB of memory and your music library alone needs 20GB, there's no way you can carry all your tunes. Even if you bring along only half of them, that leaves precious little space for videos, apps, and other desirable goodies.

Ah, but if you upload your music to Dropbox, device storage is no longer an issue. All your songs are stored in the cloud; you listen to them on-demand using BoxyTunes (much like you use Pandora to stream Internet radio).

All you need is a Dropbox account (you can get a 2GB account for free) and the BoxyTunes app. (Grab the free ad-supported version if you want to try before you buy.) Fire up the latter, sign into the former, then choose the folder(s) where you've stored your music.

BoxyTunes supports AAC, MP3, M4A, and other iOS-compatible formats. It displays cover art, runs in the background (meaning you can use other apps while listening to your tunes), and works with AirPaly.

This is a great way to offload space-consuming music from your iDevice while making your entire library available on the go.

Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at hasslefree@pcworld.com, or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PC World Community Forums.

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