Thursday, August 09, 2012

Using an MacBook as a car server for multi-device home sharing doesn't quite work

Home Sharing is cooler than i'd realized. Since all our family devices use one Apple Store ID [2], and all media in the home was purchased with that Apple ID [1], each of the kids can stream anything on the family Library to any of their iOS devices. So in Videos we all can see ...

Since I've been envious Charles Stross' AirStash I wondered if I could move the movies to my Air, set it up for Home Sharing, then create a computer-to-computer network for use in the car.

It almost works. I can create the network (128 bit WEP at best on my Air, I used no security) and if I force the phone into Airplane mode/wireless enabled I can connect to the media library. Connect, that is, after a long pause where I suspect something times out. After connecting I can't see anything.

Given the long time out I suspect the phone wouldn't connect because it couldn't authenticate.

So it almost works.

[1] Is this legal? I think so. Is it what media owners want? Of course not. They the five of us to have five Apple IDs, and buy "Captain America" five times -- stored only in the cloud and streamed on demand. Happily for them, very few households have managed the trick of a unified device and media library.
[2] I personally have four. How many do you have? Did you realize you can't get rid of any? That your purchases and hardware registration and email may be scattered among them and even hop around? That your Apple ID is a huge security risk? That Cook needs to demote a direct report?  

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