Cloud Engines updates Pogoplug media sharing device

On Friday, Cloud Engines introduced the second generation of its Pogoplug multimedia sharing device. The Pogoplug is designed to plug into your home or small office network and let you access and share content of USB hard drives over the Internet using a standard Web browser.

The new version adds several new features. First off, it now has four USB 2.0 ports instead of one so you can connect multiple USB hard drives or flash drives without the need for a USB hub. Along with that, there’s now support for global search across multiple drives. (It still connects to your router using gigabit Ethernet.)

Also new are improved transcoding and wider support for streaming movies on the Web or to an iPhone app; the ability to automatically sync photos, music, videos, and other content from apps such as iTunes and iPhoto; tighter integration with Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace; automatic organization of your music, photos, and videos; and an address book that remembers the e-mail addresses with which you’ve shared content for future sharing. (Many of the enhancements will be available to current Pogoplug owners as well.)

Pogoplug supports OS X 10.4 and higher as well as Windows XP and Vista, and Linux; Safari, Firefox 3, IE 7, IE 8, and Chrome Web browsers; and hard drives formatted as NTFS, FAT32, Max OS Extended Journaled and non-Journaled (HFS+), and EXT-2/EXT-3. Although there are no specific bandwidth requirements listed, the company says that a typical DSL connection (with 512 Kbps upload speed) works fine.

It works with H.264 video, as well as common photo types, but doesn’t support DRM media.

Cloud Engines expects to ship the new Pogoplug before the end of the year for $129, and is currently taking pre-orders.

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