Do-It-Yourself Mobile Content Streaming

When it comes to mobile content, in particular mobile media, the paradigm has been, at least until recently, to preload (or sideload) a device with content. iPods have to be synched with your computer to load them with the latest tunes. With the iPhone/iPod Touch, accessible over 3G wireless networks and with an option to connect over wifi at broadband speeds, the need for sideloading has become somewhat obviated. Services like Pandora will even stream music directly to your device on a song-by-song basis, no need to download anything.

Most if not all the options are third-party services, that are either for-pay or advertising-supported. Now, a new set of home media platforms are making it possible for individuals to set up their own streaming music service for their own use. The HP MediaSmart EX487 is such a device. Gizmodo has an in-depth review of the home media platform, which has massive storage for audio and video content. One feature that stood out was the ability to access your media content through the Internet, even from an outside network. HP provides a service to map your home IP address so that you can get at your music anywhere you are.

With the high-speed capabilities of iPhones and other mobile devices, this makes an interesting personal streaming option a reality. Streaming won’t replace storing songs on a device, which makes them instantly available, but it might temper the race for increasingly larger storage capacities, and stunt the growth of services like Pandora. In general, a third-party, centralized solution is usually more cost-efficient for the average consumer, but the higher-end more sophisticated consumer may begin to opt for personally managing access to their media collection.

It’d be interesting if HP released an iPhone application that allowed users to connect directly to their own media servers.