If you have too much media in your collection that you want to access remotely, sometimes even the largest size iPods won’t do. Here is how you can use ZumoCast to access your entire digital library from virtually anywhere.
ZumoCast is a free and easy to install service and utility that allows you to access your entire digital media library from virtually anywhere. With a few simple steps you’ll be able to stream your digital collection from home to your iOS device over Wi-Fi, 3G, and any Windows or Mac computer connected to the Internet.
For this article we ran ZumoCast on Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit and used an iPod Touch 4th generation iPod Touch over Wi-Fi on a local network.
Install ZumoCast Client on Your Computer(s)
Getting started is extremely simple. First download and install the ZumoCast software on each PC or Mac you want to access (link below). Installation is quick and easy following the wizard and accepting the defaults.
After installation, you’re prompted to create an account if you don’t have one yet.
After signing up for your ZumoCast account, you can select the media you want to access. By default your local Music, Videos, Pictures, Documents, and Desktop is selected. Then you can add any other folders you want.
It’s worth noting that it works with external drives and network locations. We were able to access terabytes of digital media from our Windows Home Server. This is nice so we don’t have to install any extra software on the server.
The ZumoCast icon lives on your Taskbar. Right-click it and go into Preferences or go to ZumoCast Web Access – more on that below.
In Preferences, click on Manage Content to add or remove folders you want to access.
In settings there are a few options to change its behavior. You might want it to always launch during startup so you know you’ll always have access to your media while away.
Install ZumoCast iOS App
Now it’s time to install the ZumoCast iOS app…which is free…to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch either from the App Store via iTunes or directly from your device (link below).
After it’s installed on your iOS device launch ZumoCast and you’ll be greeted with a welcome screen.
You’ll be prompted to sign up for the service if you haven’t already, but since we signed up when installing the desktop app, tap the Sign In button.
On your Home screen you’ll see a list of computer(s) that you have the desktop app installed on and content that you’ve downloaded to your iOS device. Like in this example where we have three different PCs we can access.
Now we can browse through all the folders we added when installing the desktop software.
Here we are accessing an MP3 that is on an external drive connected to our computer. You’ll have the option to play the tune or download it to your device.
Here we’re streaming some music from our collection from the home PC on our iPod Touch.
Provided you have the correct metadata and artwork, it’s displayed while you’re listening to your favorite tunes.
Over our Wi-Fi connection there was little to no lag time when playing a movie from our collection.
You can also access your office documents as well. You can download them to your device, or read them. If you’re in a pinch and need to get a document easily from another computer, this works very well.
Here is an example of displaying a MS Word document…
Or viewing a PowerPoint presentation.
ZumoCast Web Access
Not only can you access your collection from an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch…but also from any computer through your browser. Like with the iOS app you can browse and play your music files.
Watch your video and movie collection.
You can access everything in you collection including movies, documents, music, and pictures…just like with the iOS app. When we tried it from another computer which wasn’t on our local network, there was some buffering time before music and video would play, but that is to be expected.
We weren’t able to test it out over 3G for this article, but we’ve read good things about it. If you’ve tried it over 3G on your iPhone or iPad leave a comment and let us know.
You might need an important document in a pinch, or have access to your pictures, music, and video from anywhere. Maybe you only have an 8GB iPod Touch and Terabytes of digital media you want to access from your iOS device or another computer. There are a lot of ways where ZumoCast can be useful! Instead of having the hassle of syncing your digital content through iTunes on your computer, ZumoCast makes it easy to stream anything no matter where you are.
Programmer by day, geek by night, The Geek, also known as Lowell Heddings, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on Google+ if you'd like.
- Published 10/6/10