When AirPlay was introduced late last year, many were frustrated by how limited it was. You could only use it to stream media from iOS devices to your bigger screen at home. What most really wanted was the reverse of this, allowing you to stream media through your iPad or iPhone. With Home Sharing in iOS 4.3 onwards, this is exactly what you can do.
If you want to watch a movie on your iPad, or listen to a new album that you just bought on iTunes on your computer, you no longer need to wait for the two devices to sync before you can get playing. After a quick setup process you can take films or songs from your computer and play them wirelessly, as long as both are connected to the same wireless network. This not only makes the whole process quicker and easier; it also means that if you’re close to capacity on your iOS device, you won’t need to spend time deleting items before your media can be made to fit on it.
Step 1: Share and share alike
First, go to iTunes’s Preferences (on your Mac) and select Sharing. You can choose to share you entire library, or just select certain playlists or types of media.
Step 2: Home Sharing
There are no Home Sharing options in Preferences. Instead you need to selected Advanced in the menu bar and turn the function on from there.
Step 3: Can I see your ID?
You’ll need to log in using your Apple ID in iTunes and the iPad Settings menu. This ensures Home Sharing stays private, and that your computers are up to date.
Step 4: iPod on your iPad
On your iPad, go into the iPod section of the Settings app. Enter the same Apple ID as you did in step 3 to make sure you connect to the account correctly.
Step 5: Who’s in the library?
When you open the iPod app you’ll see a new Library tab on the left. Tap it and you’ll be given a choice of which to use, including your new Shared Library.
Step 6: Connect and play
Upon tapping the library, you’ll instantly connect and have access to the full collection from your computer, as well as all the podcasts, audiobooks and playlists.
(Click on the image below to zoom in and view the annotations)