Chromebooks might well not be anyone's first choice for media playing, especially for audio as the Chrome audio player doesn't amount to much. And (for security reasons, apparently), there's no DLNA / UPnP support.
Given that solid-state Chromebooks have little built-in storage and rely on "the cloud" for data, a method of playing audio on the Chromebook without storing it locally was my goal. Also, the user here of our Chromebook finds drag-and-drop a bit tricky, so the web interface to the streamer has to be drag and drop free.
So I've been looking around for something simple and lightweight for serving our mp3 collection from our Windows-based network to the Chromebook, taking into account the fact that it has to have a web client for playback.
The answer seems to be a music server called "Sockso" which doesn't seem to have been mentioned here before (according to the search engine). It's a small download (5.1 MB zip file) and doesn't need installation as such on the host PC - you just unzip it to the location of your choice and run it from there. You point it at your audio file directories and that's about it, unless you want to use the more advanced features (eg passwords for remote clients).
The feature list from the Sockso site is as follows -
Simple setup (no install! just double click and go!)
Supports MP3, OGG Vorbis, Flac, AAC, and WMA
Easy web-interface for your friends, and a GUI for you!
Online flash music players, playlists, search, etc...
Download single tracks, or entire albums/artists or playlists
Statistics like most played, recently popular, etc...
Completely customizable/skinnable web interface
User and site playlists
Web and Gui-less console modes for running on servers
User account control, with playlists
Uploads from users
Album art for artists and albums
Re-encoding of output streams to save bandwidth if needed
Cover Flow style artwork view
Last.fm related artist and scrobble log integration
Multi-format access logs
Translations: Dutch, Norwegian, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Chinese and German
Folder browsing view
Last update seems to have been in May 2012, but if it ain't broke it doesn't need fixing. It's open source.
It plays on the Chromebook fine, also tested on a Nexus 7 and Archos TV Connect.
Its merits for me are that it's light on resources, and provides a surprisingly rich experience in its web client interface (which has a slightly dated look but works well once you hover over the various mystery buttons to see the tool tips). Having a choice of about six different actual players is a bonus too so you can pick the one that works best on the device you have. And the server works on Windows, Mac or Linux.
Perhaps it's too simple for some, but I'm surprised that it doesn't seem to be very well known. Or perhaps it is and I'd never seen it mentioned.