iOS 4.3 features: Home Sharing

Wondering how to enable the new Home Sharing feature in OS 4.3 so you can stream your iTunes library from your Windows or Mac PC without having to sync? Apple introduced Home Sharing for PCs last spring in iTunes 9 and enabled it for the new Apple TV last fall but it took until now to get it on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. However it requires a little setup. We'll show you what to do after the break!

To enable Home Sharing on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 4.3:

  1. Make sure Home Sharing is enabled on iTunes on your Mac or Windows PC (you'll find it under the advanced menu and you'll need to login with your iTunes account to activate it) and is on the same Wi-Fi network as your device.
  2. Launch Settings on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad
  3. Scroll down and tap on iPod
  4. Scroll down and enter your iTunes username and password under Home Sharing (if you enter the wrong information, you'll get a popup telling you it can't be enabled).
  5. Launch the iPod app
  6. Tap on More on the bottom tabs
  7. Tap on the new Shared icon at the bottom
  8. Tap on the computer name you want to access under Shared Libraries
  9. You'll be taken "back" to the iPod app but you'll now be seeing your PC's library instead of your local device library (it can be a little confusing at first but the PC library name is written on top of the scroll list).
  10. Choose your music, TV, movies, or other media just as you would have previously, but it'll now stream from your PC over Wi-Fi.
  11. To change back to your local device library, tap on More, tap on Sharing, and select your local device from the top of the list (you'll see a checkmark next to whichever library is currently the active one).

That's it! A little complex and it can be confusing, but it works and for media you only want access to occasionally, it can save you a lot of occasional syncing. If you have any questions or any Home Sharing tips to share, let us know in the comments!

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