PogoPlug Now With Less Plug

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PogoPlug, the host-it-yourself file sharing appliance, has a few new things for you. First there’s the PogoPlug Video, which adds easy streaming of videos from your location, without the need to transcode the source. Videos are streamable to the PogoPlug mobile apps on iOS and Android, as well as Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and “most media players and Internet-enabled TVs.” The other big release is the PogoPlug Software, available in free and premium flavors, which lets you use your Mac or PC as a PogoPlug. The $29 premium software supports streaming of music and video, while the free version does not.

I’ve been using a basic PogoPlug appliance on and off for a while now and on the whole I like it, though it’s not without its warts. You’re freed from having to upload source files to a place like Dropbox or Amazon Cloud Storage, and the new PogoPlug Video will allow you to eschew services like Vimeo for hosting videos of your cat; but you do still need to copy the source files to the PogoPlug device itself. The PogoPlug interface is a little awkward, with some weird UI elements, but it’s functional and incurs only a one-time cost.

The advantage of the PogoPlug software is that you no longer need to transfer files from your computer to the PogoPlug appliance: you’re simply sharing what’s already there. This will be a real time saver when you want to privately share a huge photo gallery or gigantic video with someone: it’s already on your hard drive, so just use the PogoPlug software to share it with them. All the recipient needs is a web browser. Easy peasy!

Mac users looking at the PogoPlug software: be advised that this works only with OSX 10.6. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to upgrade my ancient Mac Mini so that I can take the PogoPlug software for a spin.