I have owned a DroboPro for several months now. The DroboPro allows me to have over 10TB of storage by mixing and matching drives as I need to. It is a fantastic data machine that I have quickly fallen in love with. Best of all, it keeps all of that data safe by using only 2TB spread across multiple drives.
My challenge was to find a way that my iPad and iPod touch could access all of that data anywhere in the world. I was also looking for a way I could access that data from laptops and other computers with ease. After a little bit of searching I came across an application called ZumoCast (which had its first look on AppAdvice about a month ago). Unfortunately, that app has been discontinued for now. I did manage to find a few apps that replace the functionality of Zumocast.
StreamToMe allows you to access all the media files on your Mac or Windows machine anywhere in the world. It is a simple concept, but a cool one. It will even pull in your iTunes playlists, iPhoto libraries and lets you AirPlay video content to your Apple TV.
The first way I am using the app is as an iPod replacement. When playing music you can leave the app and the music will continue to play in the background. The app will also play videos over 3G with ease. I found that the iTunes integration is even better in this app than it ever was in ZumoCast. It turns out that StreamToMe is a truly great iPod replacement app that allows me to access an iTunes library of over 2TB anywhere in the world.
The app also plays great with videos. You can setup different video quality settings. If you have purchased iTunes video content the app will use Safari to stream it to your device. Video playback supports selecting different audio tracks and subtitle tracks. Air Video is another app for those that just want a great video streaming app. I have used this for many months and continue to use it to stream movies across the continent.
To access my PDFs and random other files I have adopted GoodReader as my go to file access app. It is fantastic for remotely accessing my DroboPro. The open in command allows me to load PDFs into iBooks. It truly feels like my iPad and iPhone have unlimited storage thanks to these apps and my DroboPro.
A problem came up: I could not send any files off of my iPad onto my DroboPro. The solution I found was to setup a free 2GB Dropbox account and have that Dropbox folder stored on my DroboPro. So now when I work with documents on my DroboPro they can be edited and saved back to Dropbox where I can later move them back into the appropriate folders. I can even setup Automator actions on the Mac to do this automatically for me! Before using this setup I actually paid $10 a month for a 50GB Dropbox account. These low cost apps have freed me of that $10 a month subscription and instead I just use my DroboPro.
I have also setup my DroboPro so I can access it from my MacBook Air. It is truly amazing accessing a DroboPro that is located thousands of miles away.
I have finally found a great solution enabling me to have endless, safe, and reliable storage anywhere in the world using my DroboPro and a few key apps.
I would love to hear how others are accessing their data from wherever they are. Are there better options? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments.