Setting up iTunes Home Sharing for streaming to iOS devices – Tutorial Guide

The latest feature Apple introduced in the new iOS 4.3 along with the latest version of iTunes 10.2 is not exactly cloud streaming, but at least the new Home Sharing feature between iTunes and the iPad, iPhone, iPod is a move in the right direction.

What is Home Sharing?

Home Sharing on iTunes has been around for while but it has been limited to sharing libraries between computers/macs, and not with iOS devices such as the iPad 2 or the iPhone 4 (available on all devices running iOS 4.3).

What home sharing does is allow you to access your entire iTunes media library on a computer/mac directly from within the iPod app on your iOS device as long as you are connected to the same network.

How to set up Home Sharing on your iOS device

We have pulled together this quick step-by-step guide as to how you set up Home Sharing on your iOS device. We have used an iPhone 4 in the examples, but the process is the same across all iOS devices running iOS 4.3.

Step 1: Make sure you have latest iTunes and iOS

The first step is to make sure that you have the latest version of iTunes 10.2 installed on your computer/mac and that you are running iOS 4.3 on your iOS device.

You can check that you have the right version of iTunes by opening your current version, go to ‘iTunes’ –> ‘About iTunes’ on a Mac and ‘Help’ –> ‘About iTunes’ on a computer. That will tell you which version of iTunes you are running. If you do not have the latest version you can go to ‘Check for updates’ under the same menu.

If you are running the correct version of both iTunes and iOS, or have finished upgrading to the latest version, you can go to the next step.

Step 2:  Enable home sharing on compute/mac

You need to make sure that home sharing is activated on your computer/mac (process is the same for both).

Go to ‘Advanced’ –> ‘Turn on home sharing’ and fill in your Apple iD (the same as you use for purchases in iTunes).

When you enable home sharing in iTunes you have to use your Apple iD and password when you want to connect any other device, be it another computer or iOS device, so make sure you remember both.

Step 3:  Turning on home sharing on iOS device

First of all, by iOS device we mean your iPod Touch, iPhone, or Apple iPad running iOS 4.3.

To turn on home sharing you have to go to ‘Settings’ –> scroll down to your ‘iPod’ setting –> scroll down to your ‘Home Sharing’ setting and input your Apple iD and password.

Homesharing - turning on home sharing for iOS device

Step 4: Open the iPod app and use shared libraries

The final step is to make sure that your shared libraries can be accessed. Go to your iPod app on your iOS device and open it up just like you would if you were to listen to music.

Go to the ‘More’ function at the bottom right corner of the screen and tap on it, which will give you access to all the more functions on the iPod app, including ‘Shared’.

Home sharing on iOS device - ipod screen Home sharing - shared libraries

Tap on ‘Shared’ and you will get a list of all the shared libraries available for you to connect to (could be more than one depending on how many computers, macs or iOS devices you have activated home sharing on).

Pick the library you want to use to access all the media inside that library directly on your iOS device.

Home sharing on iOS - shared libraries and media Home sharing on iOS - shared media

Note that you can play any media file in your share iTunes library on your iOS device that is available to actually play in iTunes, even non-iTunes downloaded video as long as it is in the right format for viewing through iTunes.

If you are looking to stream other video formats to your iOS device you can check out the AirVideo app. It will require you to install some server software on your home computer first, but if you enjoy viewing your videos on your iOS device but want to keep the file on a separate computer, then it is a good alternative.

We hope you found this guide/tutorial useful and feel free to leave a comment below to praise / ask questions / or assist with issues around this process.


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