Device Home Sharing: What You Need to Know

Amongst the few other noticeable additions. which made their debuts on the iDevice with Apple’s iOS 4.3 release 5 days ago, was home sharing. What this did, since the this feature was already existent from computer to computer, was enable you to use your iPod or iPhone to access your computer’s (or multiple) library. For me anyways, being an iPod Touch 4G owner, this was probably the most significant thing to look forward to in the update – in other words, it was my motivation to go through the lengthy process of downloading and installing the update on my iPod. Others may be toying around with their new Personal Hotspot-enabled iPhone, but me, I’m having some fun with this new addition which makes things easier.

The idea behind home sharing is to let family members who have access to the same iTunes account but different iTunes libraries gain access to one another’s media. It’s extremely beneficial if you don’t have much free space available on your device or don’t want to sync just to get something on your device that you’ll only be using once and then deleting (videos for example). If you know how to enable this feature between computers, then the process on your device and computer isn’t too much different.

How to enable home sharing:
1. Turn on home sharing on your computer by either finding the Home Sharing tab in the left window of iTunes or by clicking on “Advanced” and then scrolling to “Turn on Home Sharing”. You’ll be taken to a page where you enter the iTunes account information corresponding to the account you want to use.

2. Turn on home sharing on your device by navigating to Settings—>Music and then scroll down to the section which is titled “Home Sharing”. Here you’ll type the same iTunes account information which you used for your computer. If not, the feature will not work correctly.

3. To listen to music, you go to the music app (iPod app; iPhone), click on the “More” tab and then find the “Shared” option which will display your available libraries with which you can share. Once clicked on, you can navigate through the same categories as if you were listening to the existing music on your device (playlists, songs, artists, albums, etc.).

4. For videos, you’ll navigate to the video app (iPod, iPad) or iPod app (iPhone) accordingly. You can then select shared, click on the desired library and start watching videos.

I’ve been using the feature excessively for the past few days because it’s pretty useful for those of you, including me, who are too lazy or simply don’t want to sync your device to get music or videos. It loads quickly and works flawlessly. Even though it doesn’t serve as a full substitute for your music, given the fact that you can only use the feature at home, it’s a great way to quickly access any media that you don’t have on your device.

Got questions or comments? How was your experience with home sharing? Did your music buffer at all? Let us know in the comments below.