ZumoCast Is Like Cloud Storage Without The Cloud, Or The Cost

ZumoCast is a new cloud storage service, sorta, minus the cloud. The application streams files directly from your home desktop computer to another Internet connected device.

A year and a half ago Y Combinator startup Zecter launched a cloud storage service called Zumodrive, with a twist – Zumodrive creates a drive on your device that is synced to the cloud. But instead of syncing those files with all of your other devices, Zumodrive tricks the file system into thinking those cloud-stored files are local, and streams them from the cloud when you open or access them. That makes it perfect for mobile devices with limited local storage.

HP has tapped Zecter to provide cloud storage on netbook devices. And they have mobile apps for all the usual suspects.

But that doesn’t solve the problem of storage costs. All the cloud storage startups are charging an arm and a leg for decent storage. 100 GB on ZumuDrive is $20/month, for example.

Enter ZumoCast. Install it on your Mac or Windows computer and tell it what files to make available to the app. Then install it on your iPad or phone and stream those files directly from your main computer. In tests today it streamed high definition video seamlessly to my iPad over Wifi. It looked quite snappy, actually.

CEO David Zhao says they use the same technology behind ZumoDrive to automatically adjust for bandwidth fluctuation, and transcoding on the fly means most file types, as long as they don’t have DRM, stream fine.

It’s a great application for accessing home videos, music and pictures. And the application also allows you to locally store a file as well if you like, so you can watch a DVD rip originally on your home computer during a long flight.

Best of all is the price – free. Zhao says eventually they’ll charge for additional services with a freemium product.

The app is still in approval at Apple, but Zhao says he’ll let as many TechCrunch readers get the beta version as he can. Use this URL – http://www.zumocast.com/?i=techcrunch – to sign up.