Thursday, March 3, 2011

iTunes 10.2 (and iOS 4.3) Finally Brings Home Sharing to iPhone, iPod touch and iPad

The release of iTunes 10.2 yesterday and planned release of iOS 4.3 on March 11 bring important changes to the Home Sharing feature of iTunes. 

More than 18 months after the initial release of Home Sharing (see Apple Missed the Mark with iTunes Home Sharing), apply has finally made some cool enhancements to this feature, including:

  1. The most important is the fact that as of March 11, Home Sharing will be extended to iOS devices.  Prior to these releases, Home Sharing was limited to iTunes clients running on a PC or a Mac.  For instance, you can see your iTunes library that sits on one PC from another PC anywhere in your house.  Now, you can see the entire iTunes library from any iOS device.  This means you don't have to sync your entire library to your iOS devices (as long as you are on your home Wi-Fi).  This is great news!

  2. Play count tracking is now extended to iTunes clients (and iOS devices).  Prior to this being the case, playing your music from an iTunes client other than the client that contains the library did not contribute to the tracking of the Play Count.  This impacts how Smart Playlists keep track of your most/least played songs, never played songs, etc....  In order to take advantage of this feature though, you must enable it by going to Edit --> Preferences --> Sharing and select the "Home sharing computers and devices updated play count" check box.

Additional exciting changes are also coming in 4.3, including hot spot (i.e. 3G Internet Sharing). I will post a review of this feature once 4.3 is released.