There are a number of useful applications, which allow you to access and stream content from your Mac or PC to your mobile device. Depending on how much cloud storage you have available from services like Dropbox, iCloud, or PogoPlug; you can access a good amount of files, but of course it’s somewhat limited if you run out of space.
Knowing first-hand this can happen quickly, you might want access to files, which you haven’t uploaded. Tonido (Free, App Store Link) solves that problem by allowing you to stream or download files from your Mac or PC by combining a mobile and desktop app with the addition of cloud service.
Besides movies and music, you can view and download other media such as document and photos. There are a number of files types that Tonido supports for every form of media. If you’re streaming video, files which can be converted include AVI, MP4, MKV, VOB, XVID, and WMV. When I was streaming video on my iPhone, it worked pretty well. I tried to watch a few movies and I didn’t notice any lag at all over Wi-Fi. If you’re trying to stream over 3G or 4G, it can slow down at times, so you may need to give it a few minutes to load from what I experienced.
You can also stream your entire music collection from your Mac or PC to your mobile device. There are a number of audio files supported including FLAC, OGG, WMA, MP3, and more. If you happen to have a large library of songs on your computer you’re trying to stream, it can get confusing at first to navigate and search for songs on Tonido’s interface. The file structure for streaming files is similar t that of a Mac or PC, but if you want to manage or add songs to a playlist, it’s not as easy as if you were doing it in the music app for iOS.
Tonido also lets you view and access photos saved as jpges, pngs, gifs, crw, and more. The app also supports remote file access for documents that gives you the ability you browse files such as word docs, download them to your device, edit them, and re-upload them. There are a number of other programs and apps that have this feature, but the whole process seems to run a lot smoother in Tonido.
The app also has AirPlay ability, so you can stream a movie located on your Mac through Tonido onto an AppleTV. It’s quite simple to set up and even when you’re streaming through AirPlay, it doesn’t skip a beat. I didn’t experience any lag or buffering while watching any movies.
Tonido is free to download for desktop and mobile. When you sign up, you’re given 2GB of data to sync your files plus the use of five devices to access your content on your desktop. If that doesn’t quite fit your needs, you can upgrade to the Pro version for $39.00 per year, which lets you sync 100 GB of data as well as the use of unlimited devices to sync your content. There is also a Biz version available for small businesses. It offers all the features of a Pro account, but lets you sync 200 GB of data for $99.00 per year.
For myself, the free account worked just fine. I didn’t feel the need to sync more content or add more devices just because I keep all my content between a few devices and desktops. Once thing about Tonido I found to be complex was signing up for an account and setting everything up. It isn’t quite explained too well, but once you download the desktop app, you sign up for a membership and you’re given a log in address that’s used to sign in to your devices.
If you sign in from a second desktop, you’ll need to have a code emailed to you. It’s just not as easy as signing into any other account. I suppose it’s intended this way for security purposes. Overall, Tonido is a solid and simple way to access and stream your files anywhere and best of all, it’s free.
Price: Free, App Store Link
- Supports a wide range of video and audio formats
- AirPlay support
- Save, edit, and re-upload documents
- Somewhat confusing to sign up and get everything started