March 29, 2011
On the heels of Amazon launching a new cloud-based digital content delivery service, Apple just published a new post on its Tips & Tricks blog/site, to remind us how Apple and iTunes too, can stream your digital content to your iOS device. The feature, unfortunately, isn't really new, and doesn't even come close to what Amazon is offering. You've already heard of it, it's called Home Sharing. Introduced with iOS 4.3, Home Sharing allows you to access your iTunes library from your iOS device while on the same Wi-Fi network. We wouldn't have even picked this up if it wasn't, for the very strange timing. Is it a coincidence that Apple published this trick following Amazon's announcement? Certainly not. Unfortunately, this isn't an answer either. Of course, to less technical people Apple can boast that iTunes, just like Amazon Cloud Player on Android, allows you to access your digital content from a mobile device. Yes, it does supports some DRM-protected files, and even works with AirPlay. Some folks will go for it, but the fact is that Amazon now lets you access your content from anywhere, and even when your computer is off. What are we even talking about here? This isn't unusual for Apple. Most likely, they're still working on making their solution "just right," and they like to give people this kind of weak alternative in the meantime. Nevertheless, I wouldn't like Apple to lose the content delivery war over this, and lets admit it, this is frustrating. So please Apple, don't try to BS us this way. We know you can put iTunes in the cloud and it's time to do it. In the meantime, those of you unfamiliar with Home Sharing can check their advice, or Robin's great video explanation.