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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Apple needs an iLife Home Server, will it happen tomorrow?

Apple needs a product to tie everything together, we all have iPods, iPhones, iPads, AppleTVs and of course Macs.  The consensus has been that all of this will happen sometime via the cloud and MobileMe, probably once the Data Center in North Carolina comes online at the end of the year. 

I propose another option to do this that will work with the cloud and MobileMe, but not require it.  I call it the "iLife Home Server".  This would be a box that would be like a hybrid of a Mac Mini Server and a Time Capsule.  It would be small, have multiple hard drives and run a stripped down, headless version of OS X server or maybe even a server variant of iOS.  The key component of this would be server versions of iLife applications like iTunes and iPhoto that would act as central storage locations for all of your media files (music, videos, photos etc...) and documents.  There would then be a way to sync that data to each individual device on the network and to the cloud with a MobileMe subscription.  Syncing to the cloud then allows all of your portable devices access to your data wherever you have an internet connection as well as acting as an offsite backup of your media files and documents.

Apple iLife Home Server

Mac Mini Server / Time Capsule Enclosure
500GB/1TB HD
GBit LAN Port (3)
GBit WAN Port
802.11N(A/B/G) wireless
USB (2)

Integrated Router
Time Machine Backup
AFP/SMB File Sharing
USB Printer Sharing
iTunes Server
 - Streaming over LAN and Internet*
 - Syncing via network to Local iTunes Library
 - Syncing via Network to WiFi capable iDevices/AppleTV
iPhoto Server
 - Syncing via network to Local iPhoto Library
 - Syncing via netwrok to WiFi capable iDevices/AppleTV
 - Slideshow streaming over LAN
 - WebGallery Photo sharing via Internet* (MobileMe w/o uploading to cloud)
iWeb Server
 - Browser based server admin (accessable via Internet*)
 - Publish iWeb sites to Internet* (w/o uploading to cloud)
 - WebDAV folder sharing to Internet* (like iDisk)
 - Personal Domain Name* <MobileMeAccountName>

*Internet based capabilities require MobileMe subscription.

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