Home media server software company PacketVideo has been showcasing its Twonky Mobile media-sharing service at Mobile World Congress. It has just announced support for Mac devices and for iTunes and Airplay, having previously been available for Windows-based home media use and on Android devices.
Using a mixed ad hoc network setup consisting of tablets, smartphones, TVs, music streaming devices and a laptop, it showed how a fairly typical household with music, photos and video stored on a range of gadgets could send content to any display or output device from any other.
Maker PacketVideo demonstrated Twonky Mobile on a Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet PC being used as an oversized remote control to direct and redirect media from device to device. As well as logging on to a neighbouring laptop and browsing the media library for tracks to listen to, the Twonky server was able to bounce the Adele track chosen from the laptop and play it on a flatscreen TV, complete with its accompanying album art. Twonky then changed a single setting on the tablet to send the music to a Philips music streamer the other side of the room. PacketVideo likens the feature to a follow-me capability. Such functions can be found on expensive home audio systems from Sonos.
"People engage with media content on a variety of devices, and we wanted to make viewing that content on a mobile device as intuitive as possible. Twonky Mobile lets people tailor the way they view their media and experience entertainment, regardless of the brand of devices they have at home," said Osama Alshaykh, CTO of PacketVideo.
Twonky Mobile, the app that allows a smartphone or tablet to be used as a remote control to bounce media around the home, is currently available as a free download from the Android Market. It will be free until the end of March. There is also an iOS version that costs £2.99.
The app, which Twonky’s creators describe as a "discover media server", works with any DNLA- or UPnP-compliant device. The Apple TV and Apple Airplay devices can be used with the system. Airplay support is built in to the app.
As well as redirecting tracks or photos for playback from one device to a display or speakers, the app is able to copy media from one device on to the controlling one and then push it over to a third. An obvious next step, which is currently in development, is for Twonky to support automatic media synchronisation. For now, however, Alshaykh says he'd prefer to focus on the ensuring a smooth and straightforward user experience and add further features later.
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