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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Create Your Own Personal Cloud - Without Using Dropbox or Pogoplug

Recently, I told you how to bypass an iTunes sync and download video straight to your iPad with Dropbox. I also wrote about how to create your own personal "Dropbox" with Pogoplug.

But a few days ago, I stumbled on an app quietly sitting in the App Store that allows you to stream, view or download just about any file on your desktop - without iTunes and without hardware of any kind.

Zumocast is an slick little app that you download onto your PC or Mac as well as your iPad or iPhone. This app is so quick and duh simple to set up that when you suddenly see the entire contents of your laptop or desktop staring back at you from your iPad or iPhone, it's pretty trippy. Especially when you consider you haven't had to convert or sync a thing.

Stream your heart out
The app is free and gives you access to every document, photo, video or piece of music residing on your PC or Mac. You can stream video and music to your heart's content and view, but not edit, all your non-media files.

The wrinkle comes in not with streaming videos, but with playing those you actually download to the iPad in fullscreen. That's where I found the software a bit buggy. Many times video that I tried to play fullscreen would be masked by the menu area to the side of the viewing area. On subsequent tries things worked as you'd expect. Playing video less than full screen was always fine.

I tried correcting this spotty performance by downloading various sizes of video files, but in the end it beat me. I had to go back to Dropbox's solid and flawless fullscreen performance on downloads.

Temporary blemish
But don't let this temporary blemish - which I expect will be corrected in the next version - turn you away from everything else Zumocast has to offer. Streaming video fullscreen worked fine for me as did music. And viewing all your desktop pics and documents from your iPad display is pretty clever.

While you're mulling that over, check out the first video I downloaded from my laptop to my iPad via Zumocast - a fun three-minute blast from LDS hip-hop violinist Lindsey Stirling. It kicks off classically and morphs into the Black-Eyed Peas. For a "throw-up" (graffiti tagger terminology for a quick piece of work) in an underground parkade it's pretty amazing stuff.

Catch more of Lindsey's tunes - plus her AGT performance - on YouTube.


  1. Wow - works great, Ray. Thanks for this great find!

  2. Thanks, Mike. A new update has just been released which looks like it has addressed the issue of spotty performance of full screen play on downloaded video. Pretty awesome product now!