Yes, you read that correctly. The iPxxx devices don’t natively support DLNA functionality, which rules out using Windows 7 Play To”, so I decided to see what could be done, at least as a proof of concept, to try to get this working.
The secret sauce was finding an app called PlugPlayer and installing it on my iPhone and iPad and seeing my iPxx devices show up in the Network Window .
I was intrigued, and not expecting much success, used Windows Explorer, right clicked a music file and saw not only my TV and Sonos Players listed, but my iPhone (via PlugPlayer) as well.
Then, the next task was finding which file formats would be supported.
Motivated by the upcoming yearly Halloween onslaught of youngsters and the not so young about to come through my condo complex, I started thinking about how to integrate an Internet capable surveillance camera with my connected home and devices. I’m not a “real” developer, but I’m a pretty smart geek (IMO) and I started looking around for ideas that I could borrow and customize.
My goals were to be able to check activity in my parking lot/walkway on demand from Windows Media Center, my iPhone, and my iPad. The web is a wonderful wealth of information, and putting this together was not really difficult. And definitely worth sharing with others.
I’m not easily impressed, but my jaw is hanging open today after installing two Sonos S5 Music Players to cover my home with end to end music. I’ve used computers, Media Center Extenders and all kinds of hardware and software in the past to move music around my home, but I always had to cobble together pieces and use separate devices and controllers to get what I wanted. What did I want? Well, everything imaginable. The list below is not in any particular order:
1. The ability to stream from ANY of my computers (using Play To or anything else) to more than one music player/renderer simultaneously.
2. To be able to control the volume above individually or together.
3. Play Pandora Radio and other Internet sourced digital music
4. Use existing/create new playlists
5. Use iPhones, iPads and iPxxx whatever to control and manage the device as a remote control (including graphical menus).
6. Use the system as an alarm clock with choices to wake from alarm, music, Internet music, whatever
7. Wireless connectivity in my Living Room
8. A system that was upgradeable.
9. Quality sound
I’m still stunned that I found a system that does ALL of the above. (And I’m betting I discover more features – I’ve only had a few hours experience with this all, so my exploration and discovery has only just begun).
I’ve been having quite the discussion with the AT&T folks on their Facebook Northeast Discussion board. I did (finally) get them to confirm that (at least in Northern New England) they’ve lit up 100 new towers with roaming coverage by establishing a partner roaming agreement with US Cellular. But not in Northern New England.
The update received today (Monday) demonstrates that AT&T isn’t being entirely transparent as they certainly have NO coverage at all above Lincoln NH anywhere in Grafton County.
I can’t help but speculate that this sudden new partnership deal could be part of a defense against a Verizon iPhone. In my mind, this move, coupled with the early deals on new 2 year contracts for iPhones that AT&T announced, lends more credence to the growing speculation about a January-February Verizon iPhone launch. (Hey, there’s no reason not to speculate). And this blogger will be first in line when that day comes.
I’d forgotten that I’d converted many Battlestar Galactica Recorded TV files recorded using Windows Media Center to mp4 files and stashed them away on a NAS drive.
I just had one of those A HA moments and uploaded one of them to my iDisk in the cloud (which comes with my MobileMe subscription). I had been thinking of iDisk as a place in the cloud to stash files, but not as a streaming server. I downloaded the iDisk app to my iPad (and to my iPhone) and yup, I’ve got another place to store media files that can be served to my computers and iPxxx devices over the Internet. Apple supplies 10GB of cloud storage space (compared to the 25GB Microsoft supplies with SkyDrive, but MS doesn’t seem to have an App in the App store <G>).
Here are a couple of captures from my iPad: