Pogoplug Network Storage Appliance is Great: Mobile Apps for It are Interesting But not so Great

The Pogoplug USB drive sharing appliance (currently $48 from Amazon) arrived on Friday. It has three USB ports in the back and one in the front. I plugged in a 2TB Western Digital drive, setup my free my.pogoplug.com account, and started playing with it.

Pogoplug provides client software for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS (iPhone), Android, BlackBerry, and webOS. I installed apps on my Droid, Nexus One, iPhone 4,and iPad. None of Pogoplug’s mobile apps are speedy or stable. Every app crashed at least a couple of times during testing.

Photos on the attached hard drive eventually appeared on the devices. But, none of the videos played. This problem, however, may be because it may take a few days or weeks for the Pogoplug to transcode the video from their native format to, presumably, H.264 or some other format compatible with the various mobile devices. I have tens of gigabytes of photos and videos I’ve recorded over many years. So, it may take a long time for this transcoding to finish. The Pogoplug is essentially a small Linux computer. You can, for example, turn on SSH access and use a SSH app like putty (for Windows) or the native ssh app on Mac OS X to login in remotely to the device.

I’m very pleased with the Pogoplug itself so far. I hope, however, that faster and more stable mobile apps are released soon.

Pogoplug Network Storage Device Firmware Update Adds iPhone/Android Printing Support (ref: Sept. 1, 2010)