ZumoCast: What Remote Should Be

by Bakari Chavanu Oct 01, 2010

This week, Apple introduced an updated version of Remote for its mobile devices, as well as the revamped version of Apple TV. Remote, according to Apple, is “a free, fun, and easy-to-use application that turns your iPhone or iPod touch into a remote control.” Well, whoop-de-do. In the era of cloud-streaming media, what’s there to get excited about controlling your iTunes media player from your iPhone?

Sure, Remote is going to be useful for AppleTV users because in addition to remotely controlling your iTunes library, via Home Sharing in iTunes 10, you will also be able to display photos from your iPhoto library onto your Apple TV. But even this feature is like an old school television re-run. It’s great to remotely control the media player on your home computer, but it seems that in the planning meetings for Remote, Apple got lazy and failed to realize that users will want to stream their media content to their mobile devices as well as control their media on their local computers.

Remote's deficits are made crystal clear in comparison to a free app called ZumoCast, which streams your entire collection of video and music tracks on your computer to your iPhone, iPad, and web browser without the need to upload or sync.

I'd like to add ZumoCast to a growing collection of cloud-streaming apps that I wrote about a few weeks ago. This powerful and free(!) gem for Mac and Windows users works via Wi-Fi and 3G access. All you need in order for ZumoCast  to work is to download the server side application and install it on your computer. This program will automatically connect to your iTunes Music Folder, but also—get this—it adds your Movies, Music folder, and Documents folder to the collection as well. You can also add any other folders on your hard drive to the program. So it works similarly to the popular file sharing sites and applications, Dropbox.com and MobileMe, but with a better user interface.

ZumoCast is also like Dropbox in that you can export text, PDF, and other related files to other supported apps on your mobile device.

ZumoCast takes off from an old favorite streaming music app called SimplifyMusic, which is no longer available in the App Store. SimplifyMusic allowed you to not only stream your iTunes library to your iPhone, but it also enabled you to share your library with other iTunes users via the Internet.

Well, guess what, with your free ZumoCast account you can access your music files and other folders via a web browser as well. The web version of ZumoCast even includes a media player interface for both your music tracks and videos. Not even with a $99 per year MobileMe account can you get such five-star service.

In my experience with ZumoCast, I found it to be relatively fast and so far no crashing. I‘ve had some video files that would not play on ZumoCast, but all the videos I have in my iTunes library have played okay.

It’s because I use cloud applications like ZumoCast  that my 16GB iPad and 8GB iPhone are never filled to capacity, because I can always wirelessly connect with my files on my local computer.

Even if ZumoCast were not a free application and service, it’s well worth having on your mobile device. Get it today, and if you like it give the developers some much deserved high ratings.


  • This is a bit of an apples vs. oranges comparison. My thought, while reading the article, was “Well, whoop-de-do. Why would I want to stream content to my iPhone when I’m sitting in front of my flat-screen HD TV? Gee, what I really need is a good remote!”

    While I’m excited about products that provide more flexible delivery of mobile content—and I’ll definitely be checking out ZumoCast—picking on apps like Apple’s Remote because it’s exactly what it was designed to be seems pointless.

    James Bucanek had this to say on Oct 05, 2010 Posts: 1
  • I agree, try comparing two products that are supposed to be doing the same thing.
    Pity that Zumocast can’t actually do what REmote can, i.e. control my computer iTunes!

    Parky had this to say on Oct 06, 2010 Posts: 51
  • James, you make a point. I think my bias comes from not really being a tv watcher, but at the same time, I just think Apple could have easily created an similar app to ZumoCast by now.

    Bakari Chavanu had this to say on Oct 06, 2010 Posts: 47
  • The ZumoCast desktop software handles all file-sharing aspects and it supports adaptive transcoding. That means the audio and video quality will adjust on the fly to offer the best experience based on your web connection. -BikesDirect

    BikesDirect had this to say on Aug 11, 2011 Posts: 5
  • Although the I-Phone is quite a nice gadget, I’m surprised to see that such a “mini-computer” doesn’t have registry cleaner application designed for it. Maybe the future will offer us that.

    IBMdude had this to say on Sep 19, 2011 Posts: 50
  • Zumocast works great for me, I use Windows Home Server and iPod Touch.
    JESSIE from remove drm

    JESSIE had this to say on Oct 15, 2011 Posts: 1
  • I would love to have remote that can control most of my devices including, TV, iPad, heating and air conditioner and music at my house but it really is too expensive at this point

    US military bases

    ledlauzis had this to say on Oct 24, 2011 Posts: 16
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