Windows Media Center vs. iTunes Home Sharing

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Update (Oct 29, 2013): With Home Sharing turned on and iTunes11, all my devices(iPad, iPhone, Netbook) are synced with my main PC (i3, Win7) with medias in an external HD! Sweet. No fuzz with Win Media Center anymore.

How: with your iPad, iPhone, open Music app, and look for Share in More… click your library. For other PC, install iTunes and turns on Home Sharing.

(Nov, 11,2012)So I had been using my 7 years old resurrected HP laptop as a media center with my music library residing in one of my external HDs. It had been doing a decent job, but sometimes it had been a hit and miss; for example, adding new materials, sometimes, they showed up and other they just didn’t. It took me a while to learn to play all songs with shuffle, and to do a search (it only takes up to 4 characters I remember). I used it for about a month, then I figured out it was easier to pop a CD into my DVD player to play music with my AV receiver  (Those you attach with big speakers!).

Anyhow, a light bulb moment today! Since I have to turn on my main laptop anyway for either streaming – Windows Media Center or iTunes – and I have my iPad, why don’t I use iTunes’ Home Sharing instead? Besides, my music repertoire is already in iTunes. The only worry I have is the output quality through the headphone jack to a pair of RCA plugs to my AV receiver, I test it and it sounds decent!

So what is nice about using iPad as my media center instead? Well, everything is now touch base! and the library recognition is painless and seamless. What you see in iTunes is what I get on my iPad, and ‘Music’ app is easy to use and to find and pick songs. I can also stream videos with Home Sharing.

How to turn on Home Sharing in iTunes (PC): Find the Advance Tab, Turn-on Home Sharing using your Apple ID

On iPad, iPod Touch, and  iPhone under music>settings>turn-on Home Sharing, and ‘Music’ app, under ‘more’ >sharing>select your music and video library.  This means I get the same libraries on my iPhone too, an additional tool to play my music and videos at home.

With the PS3 system, it will recognize Windows Medias automatically if you turn your sharing on in the PC. That’s another option to stream your medias at home. I guess that’s the same for the Xbox 360.

Now I don’t have a Window Surface, so I don’t know if the touch-base experience will be the same?! With an Android tablet, I believe Boxee is perhaps a good option, it works with iPad too.

There you have it, I figure it will be cool to use this setup for your Christmas Party! Sure, you can download music to your iPad and plug it to one of those extended speakers, but with my way you have access to thousands of songs !!! and additional audio settings with your AV receiver.

Cheers.

Find my iPhone/iPad2 in iCloud

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While I was fuzzing with my Photo Album and Photo Stream trying to delete photos on my iPhone4, I learned something else: Find My iPhone when you log into iCloud.com. That’s the place where you can look at the stuff in your iCloud if you have set up to upload your pictures, contacts, backup, etc.

Fig 1. iCloud.com

Once you log in with your Apple ID, you will not miss a mid-size icon “Find My iPhone”.

Fig 2. To get to iCloud settings on iPhone, or iPad

As long as you have turned ON “Find My iPhone” setting on iPhone, the location will be shown on a map, in your browser after you log-in to iCloud, much like any GPS driven application. The coolest part is you can remotely lock your device! and also send a sound message to locate your device, i.e., to scare the guy perhaps, and if he has your device on, or you also have the option to send a message. After you send a sound message, you will also get an email saying that the Find My iPhone has been activated.

Overall, I think this is a good to have, especially for the remote lock feature.  Another way to secure your phone is with the screen lock. In the option, you can select to delete all your information on the phone if after 1o wrong attempts of the passcode. Well, it’s a bit Mission Impossible… perhaps, it should self-destruct with 10 attempts?! LOL.

Of course, if you lost your phone, call your service provider immediately, so that they can de-register your SIM-card. With Rogers, I can do it through My Rogers on the web.

So back to my original fuzzing. I like the photostream feature, where you take a picture with your iPhone and it will display on your iPad, or iPhoto (if you are using Macbook,etc) , but I can’t delete any pictures in the Photostream folder (Now I know they are cached up in iCloud)! So the trick is to log-in to iCloud, on top right , your Apple ID name will show, click and a drop down will give you the setting option, click and select Advance. There you will be able to Reset Photostream. However, make sure that you turn off photostream setting and on again on your device for the change to take effect.

Well, there is always something to learn!

Cheers,

info: http://www.apple.com/ca/ipad/built-in-apps/find-my-ipad.html

Setting up Photostream on a PC: http://www.apple.com/ca/icloud/setup/pc.html