I’m all about trying to make it easier to get my media shared, and since the xbox360 is so capable of playing movies and music, i wanted to eliminate the task of transferring files from my Mac to a USB thumb drive and then plugging that into my xbox console. You see, as much as i like media sharing, i am equally lazy about it and want it all to work seamlessly without wires and devices. This is where Connect360 comes in.
Connect360 is free to try in its limited use variation which basically allows you to install it and test it out but limits the number of photos, music and videos it shares unless you buy the full license. I tried it out, watched one movie using it and immediately bought a license. $20 buys you the full version, which you don’t need to download again, you just unlock the one you already have by putting in your registration info. But don’t let me convince you its the answer to your needs, you need to try it out and see for yourself, because, as they say, your mileage may vary.
In the Settings you will see a few options in case you want to change something set up during the install. I’ve left most of the settings as defaults for General, iTunes and iPhoto. This is the registered version, which seems to be unlimited in its number of files it will share.
The only setting i changed was how often to rescan the Movies folder, pretty much out of the box setup worked fine for me.
The program resides as a preference pane in your System Preferences (as seen in the first screenshot above) which you can easily turn on and off as needed. When you turn it on, it will take a few minutes to refresh the shared media (depending upon how many files you are sharing of course), and don’t be surprised if everytime you access the preference pane it wants to restart your System Preferences, its a quick process and for some reason beyond me, its the way the program works.
Once up and running, turn on your xbox360 and in your videos/music/pictures areas you will see “connect360” with your mac’s name which once clicked on will show you everything you have shared in each folder/service. So far watching movies over my wireless network, or listening to music, or just watching a slideshow of photos has worked flawlessly.
I know if you use a windows pc running Media Centre you can already share your files that way, but for anyone with a Mac who wants to share with an xbox360 (or two) Connect360 is a great and pretty inexpensive way to do it.