One alternative is Plex which is what I’m using to stream local content to the iPad or iPhone. Because Apple treats Home Sharing as an afterthought on the new AppleTV I switched to Plex there as well. On an iOS device I can open the Plex app and be streaming music or any other content in just a few seconds. It’s flawless and fast. If I try the same using the new TV app or Music I just get a very slow loading indicator that never actually finishing loading. Actually, it might finish loading 1 in 10 times. Again, Plex loads nearly instantly.
So, Plex it is and that’s not a complaint because they have built a beautiful app. In fact, as apps go, it’s gorgeous and incredibly easy to use. Over the years I made the effort to add metadata so iTunes and the AppleTV would show nice descriptions and art. With Plex that’s not needed as Plex does all the work on it’s own and does fantastic job of it.
Yet another benefit is that with Plex I get fantastic searching abilities on the AppleTV or iOS devices. Search is nearly instant. By comparison, Apple’s native offerings do not offer search of Home Sharing libraries only streaming services.
It bugs me that Apple treats Home Sharing with such disdain after years of encouraging people to buy content from iTunes, anyone with a large library that would like to share content in the home is out of luck. But as it turns out it’s not a problem thanks to Plex.
Note: This post started as a tweet but it occurred to me that I should at least make a note here first. So it was intended to be a paragraph complaining about Apple’s Music and TV clients on iOS. But it seems to have turned into a little love note to Plex.