Home Sharing back again in iOS 9

As we speculated in our previous post, Apple has restored the much commiserated removal of Home Sharing from the Music app in the recent release of iOS 9.

You switch it on the same way you did prior to iOS 8.4 which bizarrely removed the feature without any notice.  We guess that it was removed because of Apple's desire to ship 8.4 with Apple Music which entirely replaced the previous music app, and now they've had some time to re-add the missing component.

For anyone who doesn't know, Home Sharing for the Music app gives your iPhone / iPad the ability to stream music from an iTunes library running on a desktop version of iTunes.  This is of course of interest to iHomeServer users many of whom use iTunes on a headless server to consolidate their personal music library and then stream from that library to all their devices.  This was no longer in the iOS 8.4 update but fortunately, is now fully restored in iOS 9.

For more details on how to enable it please see this link: https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT202190

Home Sharing issues with iOS 8.4

We want to advise iHomeServer users that in an attempt to rush out Apple Music, it looks like Apple didn't finish developing Home Sharing functionality for the new music app in iOS 8.4

As such, if you upgrade your iOS device to 8.4 you will lose the ability to stream music from your iHomeServer / iTunes server to your device.

This does not affect Apple TV or if you use iTunes to stream your music - these still work fine, and you can still stream your movies/television episodes to the Videos app on iOS 8.4.

For a workaround, you can use iHomeServer's web interface for iTunes which will let you navigate your iTunes library and stream media direct to your device.

Fortunately, it looks as if this is just a temporary thing, with Apple's Eddy Cue confirming that iTunes Home Sharing will be brought back to the Music app in iOS 9 which should be released in a few months time.  We are counting the days!!!

See http://arstechnica.com/apple/2015/07/eddy-cue-apple-working-to-bring-back-itunes-home-sharing-for-ios-9/ for further information.

Using iTunes 12.x 64-bit with iHomeServer

*** Updated post for iTunes 12.2 **

Apple released iTunes 12.1 for Windows 64-bit in April.  Although labelled as a minor upgrade, under the covers, Apple has made a major change to the distribution for 64-bit Windows.  iTunes 12.2 has just been released and shares the same issue.

The 12.x upgrade has a major flaw that it has removed support for importing / playing videos for computers with 'old' (in Apple's terms) video cards.  This seems to include virtual machines running iTunes.  It also affects iHomeServer when iHomeServer is running iTunes in the background as a service (because the Windows service session uses a virtual graphics card rather than your real hardware one).

Therefore, if you are using iHomeServer to run iTunes in the background on a 64-bit operating system such as Windows Server 2012, Windows Home Server 2011, or Windows 7 64-bit, you may find that iHomeServer is no longer able to add video files to your iTunes library.  You can verify this is because of the upgrade by looking in the 'Messages' window of iHomeServer.  You may see a message similar to the following (note this message is coming from iTunes, not from iHomeServer):

Video playback is not supported on this computer.

Fortunately, for the time being, there is a quick resolution to this.  Apple has provided an alternative download package for iTunes 12.x that continues to support 'old' graphics cards.  We have started testing this with iHomeServer running iTunes in the background and it behaves as before, correctly importing movie files.  The link for this download is here:


We will continue to work to find solutions for iHomeServer, and hope that Apple expands its compatibility of 64-bit iTunes version to remove this major constraint.  

In the meantime, we ask users not to upgrade to future versions of iTunes until we have verified compatibility or identified similar workarounds.

Accessing iTunes across a VPN

As most of you know, iHomeServer for iTunes provides a web interface that lets you access your iTunes library from most modern web devices such as PCs, tablets, smart phones, etc. Access to the web interface is limited to devices running on your local subnet because the connection is unencrypted and by default there is no authentication.

So what if you want to access your iTunes library remotely?

Well, we provide a secure way of doing this through our web site http://www.StreamMyiTunes.com.  After you have set up iHomeServer on your computer, you can create an account on StreamMyiTunes.com and then login securely with those credentials.  You'll then be able to connect back to your home iHomeServer computer through a secure encrypted channel.

This works great for most users.  However, if you are an advanced user and access your home network via VPN you may not be able to access your iHomeServer's web interface at all.  This is because you'll probably be coming from a different subnet to the subnet hosting your iHomeServer.  iHomeServer will therefore redirect you back to StreamMyiTunes to try to authenticate you.

This behaviour is because iHomeServer determines which connections are in your local network by checking the subnet of the incoming request with the subnet of your iHomeServer.  Fortunately, you can tell iHomeServer about additional subnets which form part of your local network by adding a registry key.

You can find details of how to add this key here:






iHomeServer now supports iTunes 12

Quick post to let you know that we have completed compatibility testing between iHomeServer v3 and iTunes 12 and are pleased to confirm official support for iTunes 12.

From your feedback in the past month, there's been a large number of iHomeServer users already using iTunes 12 on their system.

Please note that iTunes 12 is only supported on iHomeServer for iTunes v3



iHomeServer iTunes 12 compatibility testing nearing completion!

Apple released iTunes 12 a few weeks ago offering a sleek new flatten & minimalist interface plus various new features and performance inprovements.  This is a very quick post to let you know that our formal compatibility testing between iHomeServer and iTunes 12 is nearly complete and so far looking good.



We already have hundreds of users who are successfully running iTunes 12, however we will announce formal support here, on our official website, and of course our Twitter feed in the coming days.

Fed up with Windows lying about your connection status when tethering?

We were!

So we wrote "Tether Check".  Tether Check's a Windows app that runs in Desktop mode and sits in the system tray area monitoring your internet connection:

It's perfect if you tether your laptop to your mobile phone / 3G dongle / etc because without it, it's virtually impossible to know whether you have reception or not on your phone without pulling your phone out of your pocket.

When you go out of reception, a semi-transparent alert appears in the bottom of the your screen so you know that internet applications may be unavailable.  More importantly, when you get reception back again, another alert lets you know you can continue to use the internet.

We found that it massively decreases the stress of working on laptops when out and about, because you are no longer blind to your phone's internet connection.  Having feedback on when you have or don't have internet access means you can focus on other tasks when you're out of signal.

Tether Check also gives you a graph showing your connection history over the past few minutes so you can see how reliable your connection has been before you do something critical like make an on-line purchase.

Try it for free and let us know what you think!

Major update to "iHomeServer for iTunes" software brings iTunes streaming to non-Apple devices including web browsers, Android, PlayStation 3 and XBOX 360


Bizmodeller has released version 3 of iHomeServer for iTunes - Windows software that extends iTunes with advanced media server features.

iHomeServer for iTunes version 3 is a major upgrade that enables iTunes streaming to non-Apple devices such as Web browsers, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, Smart TVs and Games Consoles (XBOX 360 / PlayStation 3) – in fact most of the devices in the modern family home.

Available now to both desktop and Home Server users, iHomeServer provides an innovative iTunes Web Interface that allows users to access their iTunes libraries from any device with a web browser - within the home or on the Internet. The web interface is pure HTML/JavaScript and does not use proprietary technologies such as Silverlight or Flash. As a result, it is compatible with a wide range of today's browsers and devices.

Furthermore, iHomeServer also includes an integrated iTunes DLNA server that lets users access their iTunes library on compatible Smart TVs, PlayStation 3’s and XBOX’s. Regardless of which device is used, content is arranged in the same familiar iTunes libraries and playlists presented in iTunes. iTunes metadata and artwork is also displayed on all supported devices.

This latest version of iHomeServer boasts an arsenal of features that work together and integrate seamlessly into iTunes making it a better media server: 

  •     Access iTunes library via the internet
  •     Access iTunes library from Web, Windows, Android, Blackberry and other devices
  •     Access iTunes library on Smart TVs, PlayStation 3, XBOX 360, Roku or other compatible DNLA clients – all without an Apple TV
  •     Automatically tag iTunes movies and television with cover art and metadata
  •     Optionally start iTunes as a Windows service so iTunes is always up and running even before log-in
  •     Rip home DVD collection straight into iTunes
  •     Support for Home Sharing, AirPlay and Wifi-Sync on iOS devices
  •     Media watch folders for drag and dropping new media into iTunes remotely
  •     Optional Add-in for Windows Home Server / Windows Server 2012 Essentials users that provides management of an iTunes library from the WHS Dashboard


Bizmodeller explains, “Since its launch in 2011, iHomeServer has gained a reputation with Home Server users as the defacto way of running iTunes as a standalone media server. With version 3, iHomeServer's comprehensive range of features are now available to both desktop users and home server users alike. The release also expands iTunes as a streaming platform so you can stream your iTunes media to most web browsers, Smart TVs and XBOX360/PS3 games consoles.”

iHomeServer is available for download now and is offered with a 30 days trial. iHomeServer is compatible with most versions of Windows including Windows 7, Windows 8/8,1, Windows XP SP2, Windows Home Server and Windows Server 2012 Essentials.


  • Note that DRM (Digital Rights Management) material is not currently supported.

When is version 3 of iHomeServer being released?

We are just finalising the user guide and adding support for streaming of your iTunes music and videos to additional DLNA devices (more brands of TVs). So version 3 of iHomeServer will be available to everyone within a couple of weeks.

Just to remind you of the key new features in iHomeServer version 3:

  • Automatic ripping of DVD into your iTunes library
  • Update your iTunes metadata on any device
  • Streaming of your iTunes music and videos using DLNA to Smart TVs, Windows RT Surface (using our rtRemote product available in the Windows app store), Android Smart Phones,  and many many more.
  • Streaming of your iTunes music and videos over the internet while away from home – on holiday, at work, wherever – with the ability to select a suitable transcoding option for lower bandwidth connections
  • Identifies which episodes in a TV series you have not already watched

Plus all the great features already in iHomeServer version 2:

  • Create multiple “Watch Folders” to synchronise your iTunes library with your existing media folder structure
  • Streaming to any of your Apple TVs (or anyother iOS device) through Home Sharing
  • Automatic tagging of your media with metadata, for example title, artist, producer, cover art
  • Automatically start iTunes on booting-up your server  / PC
  • Allows iTunes to be run on systems with no sound cards
  • If running it on a server, you can manage your iTunes library from the Windows Home Server Console


New version of rtRemote for iTunes is available in the app store now

We recently released an update of our Windows Store app for remotely controlling your iTunes library directly from the Windows 8 interface. The update adds support for new Windows 8.1 features such as the in-app search bar, new app size modes, improved network compatibility as well as some bug fixes.

rtRemote is the only app available for Windows 8 that provides similar functionality of the Apple Remote app for iOS devices – it turns your Windows Surface, PC or laptop (inc Windows RT) into a remote control for your iTunes library. So wherever you are at home, you can use your Windows 8 device to browse through your iTunes library, select a song or movie and play your music / films / etc to play on your Apple TV or AirPlay compatible speaker(s).


This release of rtRemote also includes a new killer feature called ‘Play Here’ that will let you stream your iTunes media library music and video directly to your Surface or other Windows 8 device – this unique functionality is powered by iHomeServer v3 so is currently only available to users of the iHomeServer v3 beta but will be available to all iHomeServer users when v3 is released.