Reble is a software for Windows that is providing a group of friends access to their combined music collection over the Internet. Think of a buddy system from an Instant Messenger with the difference that everyone can share music folders from their hard disks that every other friend in the friend list can access. The system was designed to please the Music Industry because music can only be streamed but not directly downloaded. The End-User Agreement simply states "Don't steal music".
Have not tried it but I suppose it could be possible to grab the music right from the stream but it does not really make sense to do it that way instead of using other means like ftp.
The Reble client has a size of 13 Megabytes and users have to create an account from within the software before they can start adding their music folders and friends to it. The only other requirement is Java 6 or newer.
Friends are added by clicking on the friends button on top of the application. They are then listed in the left pane which also contains the playlists of the user. Playlists can be created from own songs and from songs provided by friends.
Streaming means that songs can only be listened to if the friends are currently online. If they go offline the music cannot continue streaming. The developers are working hard to create a Macintosh client and additional features like selling music which seems to be the revenue model they are heading for.
Update: Reble is no longer available, the website returns a 404 not found error. While not 100% comparable, you can instead use a service like Last.fm or Spotify to find out what your friends are listening to.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.