iOS 4.3 features: Home Sharing

When iOS 4.3 launches, you will also be able to utilize Home Sharing from any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Home Sharing is a service that has been available between Macs for quite some time now. The Apple TV also supports it.

Some users may be wondering what Home Sharing is or how it may benefit them. In the simplest terms, Home Sharing is almost the opposite of services like AirPlay. Instead of pushing content from your iOS device to a television or other device, it will allow you to pull content from your computer to your device. Anyone who has an Apple TV should already be familiar with how this works. You simply pair your iTunes library with your Home Sharing compatible device and whenever iTunes is running, the device will be able to access your iTunes library.

For those of you who prefer watching movies on your iPad or other iOS device when at home, this may be ideal. I know this will be a service I'll take advantage of when someone else in the house is hogging the television. I can simply stream any of my iTunes content from my iTunes library to my iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. Anyone else think they'll utilize this feature quite often?

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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

iOS 4.3 features: Home Sharing


Figured out how to get it to work. Go into preferences in itunes, under sharing and check it. Then on your phone go into the ipod settings and type in your apple id and password under home sharing. (Would have been nice it it worked over 3g too at least for music) Click on ipod, tap more to the right and sharing should show up on the bottom of the list, if it doesn't restart the ipod app on your phone (shut it down in the multitasking bar).
I prob won't use it much, I'll stick to my litle synology box to stream my media to my phone.

done all this then it still says "cannot connect to media library itunes home sharing itunes 10.2 or later" you're right go no more ten on shared then on shared library but then it says it instantly can't connect, although apple might have just have put it in there without it actuslly working and are waiting for a another IOS releae or public release (example of game center in IOS 4 beta GM then come public release no sign of it until 4.1?)

it is not confirmed if it will work. I know that one security guy on twitter has the exploit, but has already come out and said it will not come out and will be saved until a later date

It's still easier and the interface is much better with Plex. Plus it allows me to watch movies off my media server rather than only movies that are locally in iTunes.

This is where computers are going. Pretty soon we won't even need much hard drive space on out main system. Everything will be pulled over an ISP. My local ISP already offers 100mbit packages for home use.

I will and can't wait! I was using a free app called AirView to accomplish this. It works ok but requires you to be in front of the computer to first accept the connection within iTunes then starts streaming to the iOS device. I am thrilled there is now an integrated iOS solution by Apple. Does anyone know how you will pull from your library? Will you do this via the Remote app?

I like to walk on our treadmill at home. I also like to watch movies or TV shows on my iPad while walking. This will allow me to just stream content to my iPad whenever I want without having to always sync just so that I can have content to watch while exercising.
Oh yes, I'll definitely be using this feature!!!

Mike you may want to try out ORB LIVE , for music / videos / tv (if you have a tv tuner card on pc) it works pretty good over 3g

So does this mean the iTunes streaming only works when you are on the same wifi network with your computer? Makes it kind of useless, I'm never going to watch a smaller screen at home when I have a 46" one hanging on the wall.

If I upgrade to IOS4.3 will I loose VLC? I will definitely use this feature but don't want to loose VLC which I use to watch movies when am away from home.

Assuming you got VLC from the App Store while it was still available, then upgrading to iOS 4.3 won't do anything to remove or block it. VLC was removed from the store -- new users can't download it -- but it was not revoked from iOS devices, or blacklisted in any way.
Think of the situation as if a developer voluntarily decided to discontinue his own application and remove it from the store. Apple's not going to sneak into your house and steal it away from you, any more than they're going to demand that you suddenly pay money in the alternate case where it was free when you bought it but the developer later decided to increase the price.

I know everybody says that they've seen this functionality everywhere else, but I will use it a LOT as I won't have to maintain an extra server/client agent for functionality that SHOULD have been baked into iTunes a few years ago!
God bless Plex, VLC, Zumo and all that, but this needed to be added. I will use the hell out of it.

So now my 3 kids can watch 3 different movies from 3 separate devices in 3 separate rooms from one iTunes library. Sounds great.

I'm looking for something that I can hook to my cable box so I can watch cable TV through my iPad anywhere around my house. I know there are a couple solutions (like Slingbox) but they have mixed reviews.

So cool. Will buy only 16 GB iPad 2, no need for higher capacity. Everything's sharing: iP4, Itouch 4 and iPad. Love it!

It uses Bonjour to detect local Home Shares. If the iOS device and the machine running iTunes are able to advertise Bonjour services to each other over the VPN, then it should probably work.
(Ditto for AirPlay, not that that would be as useful in a VPN scenario)

It will be great for the average user. For those of us that don't keep all our media in iTunes and already have other solutions (AirVideo, Zumo, Orb, Plex, etc.) it's no big deal.

I will definitely use this. Darn it though...had I been paying attention, I would have just gotten the 16GB iPad 2 for a little less than I just paid for a new 64GB iPad 1.

How would I best configure this with Plex? I have an iMac, iPod Touch (4th Gen) and will be getting a 16GB iPad 2. I have all media in an external HD connected to my iMac. I'm fishing for ideas from those who are more technically savvy than me.

I will use this a lot. I download a lot of content either directly within iTunes or separately and then convert and import into iTunes. I know there are a ton of other tools and ways out there to do this especially if you're jail broken... but I'm a bit of a purest and I like simplicity. So, with home sharing already in place between 4 Macs in the house, and a shared media server... so we can all watch whatever we all have in iTunes. This feature will make it even easier to watch or listen to content on the iPad or iPhone over my home's WiFi network. Simple, and clean. I like it. I will use it.

I will use it a lot. When in the kitchen, I often plug my iPhone into a little Sony music player with an embedded dock. But I was always limited to whatever I had on my 8 Gb iPhone (not so much). Now I have access to my whole iTunes library on the server.
Would like it if I could now use it in conjunction with Airplay to send to other speakers in the house, but Airplay on iOS forces you to choose between iPhone or speakers -- no multiple set-up like you get on the Mac version of iTunes Airplay.

Since the update, the Netflix player often displays "Trouble Playing This Title" error messages when none of the other Netflix players on my network have any problems. The Chrome browser displays "Aw, Snap!" errors on about half the web sites I visit. The Logitech Media Player only rarely decides to give me access to the files on my media server. And commands sent from the remote to my DVR are often delayed making it hard to control the DVR.