The release of Apple TV a few weeks ago has opened up an intriguing new possibility: streaming music from iTunes on your home computer to your cell phone.
No, Apple TV does not stream over the Internet or across a cellular phone network, but the SlingBox does. And Sling Media, the makers of the SlingBox, confirmed to CNET News.com on Monday that the company is working on making the Slingbox compatible with Apple TV. The most likely--and compelling--scenario would be to allow the streaming of Apple TV content (which is synched with a PC) to a mobile device.
"It is definitely something we will support," said Brian Jaquet, a Sling Media spokesman. While he would not reveal any time frame for availability, he confirmed that the company is currently testing the interface and ensuring that the infrared codes and software can correctly control the Apple TV box.
If it works as planned, content could be streamed from the PC to the Apple TV to the SlingBox and finally to a phone running any of the three mobile platforms supported by the SlingPlayer software--Windows Mobile, Palm or Symbian. This set-up might be a bit complex and pricey ($300 for the Apple TV and at least $150 for the SlingBox) but it would make a person's entire music collection available practically anywhere without a fistful of pricey memory cards.
While that scenario could be compelling to serious geeks, the concept could enjoy much wider appeal should Apple step in create a direct and simple link between iTunes on a PC and its upcoming iPhone.
My colleague, Scott Ard, promoted a similar concept back in November, in a piece called, "What the iPhone Should Do." In it he said, "Namely, I would like to see an iPhone that connects to the owner's computer, allowing full streaming access to movies and music stored on the Mac (or PC). Call it 'iTunes to Go.'" He argued that the SlingBox was already capable of streaming music and video from a DVR, so adding the capability to iTunes on a computer and to the iPhone would be fairly easy for a company of Apple's technical prowess.
The iPhone is scheduled to be shipped in June, the same month that Apple's new OS, dubbed Leopard, will be released. It will be interesting to see if Apple's got a surprise in store that could really separate the iPhone from the pack.