LaCie Announces LaPlug Media Sharing Device, Confuses Me in the Process
LaCie recently announced a new black box called LaPlug. According to their press release it is, “a simple solution to share any USB hard drive or key over a local network. The LaPlug also offers a convenient way to access data, at home or on the go, as well as share personal files such as vacation or birthday photos with family and friends. Additionally, the LaPlug can stream multimedia content and back up multiple computers to one central location. Even better, all this functionality can be achieved with USB hard drives a user already owns.” This confuses me.
Let’s not even acknowledge the fact that if you are running a Media Center you can pretty much already do this with no additional hardware. What boggles my mind are the claims that this thing makes.
- It will stream movies/tv shows to your PS3/XBOX360/TV
- It will allow you to share files with ease
While I do believe it is possible to stream movies to said devices, I’m going to guess that it can only do it if they are in the right format. There’s a reason there isn’t (currently) a section on how to stream movies from your Mac mini to your XBOX360. It involves taking the video and transcoding (reencoding it on the fly) to a format that the appropriate devices can handle. This is something that is possible, but it requires a decent amount of horsepower to do so. Something I don’t think this device is capable of. So there is one feature shot down.
“Sharing files with ease” is a tough statement to make. Sure, there are services like Dropbox that do literally allow you to share files with ease, but you upload your stuff to them and then they make it easy. Here you are just sharing files off of your home computer. This is actually an easy thing to do, but you need to ‘open’ your computer’s network connection so that people outside your network can get access. This part is not easy, it’s potentially harmful to your network, and most people don’t do this unless they need to. LaCie doesn’t mention any of this, and I’m wondering how it works to be honest.
Like I said, this isn’t a replacement for Media Center users, nor is it even a product that many of us would add to our setup, but it is interesting none the less. It’s clear that accessing your media is the next wave of computing, and having your files available everywhere is key. I’ll be curious to read reviews on this. Video and Press Release below.
Today LaCie announced the LaPlug, a simple solution to share any USB hard drive or key over a local network. The LaPlug also offers a convenient way to access data, at home or on the go, as well as share personal files such as vacation or birthday photos with family and friends. Additionally, the LaPlug can stream multimedia content and back up multiple computers to one central location. Even better, all this functionality can be achieved with USB hard drives a user already owns.
SHARE USB DISKS ON YOUR NETWORK-WIRELESSLY
The LaPlug turns any USB hard drive into a network storage device, sharing files wirelessly throughout the home. Simply connect the LaPlug to the network then connect the drive to the LaPlug. Instantly the user has an easy and cost-effective way to make files stored on their USB hard drives more accessible than ever. For ultimate convenience a user can connect a USB printer to the LaPlug and make it wirelessly available to all computers on the network.
ACCESSIBILITY AT HOME AND ON THE ROAD
Not only does the LaPlug make USB hard drives accessible throughout the home, it even supports remote access. Instead of emailing large files between friends, just give them access to the LaPlug – all they need is an Internet connection. The user can even set up a custom web address, so access to the LaPlug is as easy as typing a URL.
It is easy to access USB drives connected to the LaPlug from any networked equipment that’s UPnP™/DLNA®-certified, such as the PlayStation®3 or Xbox®360, as well as the LaCie LaCinema Classic HD. If a user has movies on a USB key they can just connect it to the LaPlug then play the movie using the multimedia device on the network. Instantly watch movies from the comfort of your living room even if the LaPlug is located in another part of the house. The LaPlug also plays music files from a USB drive or streams music to computers on the network running iTunes®.
CENTRALIZE BACKUP FOR CONVENIENCE AND SECURITY
The LaPlug offers a convenient way to automatically back up all computers in a household onto one central location. Use the included backup software or Time Machine®. Either way, simply configure automatic backups once then rest assured knowing all data is secure. Since the LaPlug supports Wi-Fi, once the computer is configured the user does not need to connect it to the LaPlug in order to initiate backups. It works as soon as the computer is connected to the local network.
The LaCie LaPlug will be available through the LaCie Online Store, LaCie PROgram+ Partners and LaCie PROgram+ Resellers starting at the suggested retail price of $74.99 (VAT included). For more information, visit www.lacie.com.