Apple confirms it's trying to fix Home Sharing for iOS 9

Updating iOS for Apple Music disables streaming iTunes songs from a Mac, and it'll stay that way for at least a couple more months.


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iOS 8.4 users who’ve relied on Home Sharing to stream their music from a Mac will have to wait until at least iOS 9 to get the feature working again.

Home Sharing lets users stream their iTunes songs over Wi-Fi from a Mac to iOS devices, Apple TV boxes, and other Macs. Last week, Apple disabled this feature for music in iOS 8.4, which is the same update that enables the new Apple Music streaming service. While Apple flagged the lack of Home Sharing as a “known issue,” the company didn’t say when it might bring the feature back.

Now, users have an answer thanks to Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and services. Cue wrote on Twitter that Apple is “working to have Home Sharing in iOS 9.”

Apple hasn’t given a reason for why Home Sharing for music stopped working, though 9to5Mac has speculated that Apple Music created some licensing issues for the feature. Apple Music subscribers can only stream to one device at a time, so it’s possible that Home Sharing could have acted as a workaround, letting users stream to multiple devices even for tracks they don’t actually own.

Until a fix arrives, users who rely on Home Sharing should avoid iOS 8.4 and Apple Music. Otherwise, third-party solutions such as Plex and Subsonic will have to suffice. If you’ve already updated, keep in mind that Home Sharing will still work with Apple TV, and with video files on all devices.

Why this matters: As we explained last week, Home Sharing is hardly an obsolete feature. For Mac users, it’s an easy and free way to share a large music library with multiple networked devices, avoiding the subscription costs that come with iTunes Match ($25 per year) and Apple Music ($10 per month). Cue comments don’t make the return of Home Sharing seem like absolute certainty, but at least Apple is working on it.

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