No, not a Mac Daddy, that's a different blog. I'm starting to post here because I've had a number of friends ask me how I set things up in our house to stream music and movies around so easily. They've also been interested in how we manage to bring most of that media with us on some pretty epic car trips.
My user base is probably familiar to many dads:
- Wife: Is happy to have music and movies easily available in the house. Is willing to spend about 2 minutes learning how to make that happen. Wants to make sure our pictures are saved and backed up. Doesn't want kids spending all their free time on "something with a screen". Wants her workout playlists to just f*$&%ing sync between her iPhone and Mac, is that so much to ask?
- 2 girls, 9 and 7. Old enough to use certain websites, but not to have free surfing privledges. Need something to do in the car when we drive from Houston to Vermont (and back) every summer. Want to be able to pick movies to watch when friends come over.
- Me: Aside from keeping the rest of the user base happy, I have a few requirements of my own. I like to have either my music or the radio going pretty much all the time when I'm at home, including outside. I also don't ever want to see another physical DVD in my life. I'm not shuffling through a stack of them looking for ``Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses'' Why isn't it here? Did you guys take it downstairs to watch on the big TV? No? Then where is it? You didn't watch it in the car on the way to Galveston, did you? What do you mean maybe? Either you did or you didn't. Yes, you think? So now I need to go out to the garage to get it? There isn't something else you can watch instead? No? Fine, fine, I'll go.
There's nothing particularly whizz-bang about the setup I've put together to handle all this. It uses lots of Apple products off the shelf, as we were already relatively Apple-centric with an iPad, iPhones, and a Mac in the house. But there have been some software and hardware tweaks that I've used to make things work for us pretty seamlessly.