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HOWTO: Use Songbird, Tor, and Privoxy to Anonymously Stream (or Download) Media Files

Disclaimer: downloading media that you don’t own is against the law

Get SongbirdGet SongbirdGet SongbirdGet SongbirdGet SongbirdGet Songbirdtor

In case you haven’t heard Songbird is a great open source media organizer and content scraper. With a couple of small tweaks you can set it up to anonymously download (backups of your existing) media or stream media from millions of sources online. With a Linux, Mac, and PC compatible version (Ubuntu users check out this cool installer script), Songbird gives you the option to store a copy of media you find through it’s various search engine plugins to your media collection, or bookmark it’s location online and add its URL for streaming to it’s handy built-in media library. Since Songbird is open source, there are lots of user contributed plugins to allow you to stream music from lots of online sources like last.fm, skreemr, google search, and more every day.

Step 1: Songbird

Install a nightly build of Songbird available here

Step 2: Tor & Privoxy

Install the Vidalia Bundle available here. If you are running windows you will see two new icons in your icon tray letting you know that tor & privoxy are running.

icontray.png

Step 3: Tor Button (optional)

Install the Tor Button for Firefox available here

Currently the biggest drawback from using Tor as an anonymous proxy is the download speed bottleneck using it creates. Installing the Tor Button allows you to quickly switch your proxy settings in Firefox so you can stop using Tor and Privoxy when the speed of normal browsing becomes an issue. Unfortunately, the built in version of Firefox is incompatible with the latest tor button so you will have to manually edit your proxy settings in Songbird to use a tor router. If someone knows of a way to force compatibility please let me know.

Step 4: Manually configure Privoxy proxy settings in Songbird

Click on Tools –> Options

Songbird Options

On the Firefox dialog box that pops up click on connection settings.

Connection Settings

Enter in Privoxy’s default proxy settings (Unless you have manually changed them)

Configure Firefox to use privoxy

Step 5: Install the skreemr search addon

Skreemr is a pretty good site to search for music. You can download the addon so you can stream music from skreemr here. Once installed you will need to do a quick restart of Songbird (remember songbird is firefox based and sometimes those annoying restarts are necessary) and you can start searching for music to listen to.

Step 6: Search for music

On the top right hand corner of the Songbird GUI will you see a search box that lets you pick your search engine, again, much the same way firefox lets you pick the search engine to use. Choose skreemr and you are ready to go!

skreemr search

That’s it! Happy searching!

Author: Ryan Underdown

My name is Ryan Underdown, I’m the director of search engine marketing for Web-Op where I get to work on lots of interesting projects. Please follow me on twitter.

2 Comments

  1. Thank you so much!!!

    To edit the connection settings for Songbird 0.3 go to “Advanced”, “Network” and “Connection Settings”.

  2. Pingback: howto configure privoxy and tor for linux

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