Big Changes at Pogoplug, Including New Video Version

Big Changes at Pogoplug, Including New Video VersionBig Changes at Pogoplug, Including New Video Version

We’ve been keen followers of developments at CloudEngines, the outfit behind the Pogoplug network-attached storage device, ever since we reviewed the first one back in late 2009. This month, a little over two years after the Pogoplug debuted, brings a whole raft of new offerings from the company — including one that may bring a big surge to NAS popularity in general.

Of the three new items, the biggest news is the $200 Pogoplug Video, which shipped last week and is already shelves at select Best Buys. If you’ve been following our posts about Pogoplug, our biggest complaint has been its lack of ability to stream video files that aren’t web-friendly to iDevices — primarily because the Pogoplug hardware lacked the processing oomph to transcode video on-the-fly to a suitable format. But with new hardware’s processor boost (and accompanying software upgrades — see below) should suddenly make video streaming from the ‘Plug virtually hassle-free. It’s a pretty big deal: now, presumably even your technologically-allergic Uncle Shmellenbop should be able to watch movies streamed over the Internet from a ‘Plug sitting at home (or wherever).

Right now, as far as we can tell, Pogoplug has the only widely available, consumer-oriented, plug-n-play hardware able to this — but if it proves popular, it’s sure to spawn rivals.

Also, Pogoplug will soon be offering two flavors of a stand-alone software product, presumably to compete with the likes of Tonido, et. al. who seem to have jumped ahead of the pink-clad outfit recently in the realm of software solutions. The Premium option is pay-to-play and will let users use all the Pogoplug service features from their own computers; the free version will do everything except stream video.

Finally, the refresh of the Pogoplug web interface and iPhone app is the least significant update — but everything certainly looks tidier. Pogoplug says their also working on an update for the iPad version of the app, which should add to the appeal of the Pogoplug Video.

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  • Alex

    If you visit their support forums for any length of time, ( a minute or two will do), you will quickly discover that their products are not working for their customers. They especially do not reliably work on the Mac platform, (the drive software in particular). All the Pogoplug devices have problems with losing the connection with any external drives connected through USB. This is not a new issue. it’s been around since the introduction of the product.

    I own a GoFlex Net device and it will not maintain a connection to an externally connected WD Passport drive for more than four hours. So, whenever I leave home, I cannot count on the Pogoplug device to provide access to my drive. And isn’t that the whole point?

  • elimilchman

    That hasn’t been our experience with the pair we tested:

    http://www.cultofmac.com/pogop
    http://www.cultofmac.com/pogop

    Also, the forums hardly reveal the level of dissatisfaction you’re implying. Still, interesting observation; we’ve a GoFlex Net currently in the process of being tested, we’ll see if we can’t shake it loose.

  • Jane Tech User

    “All the Pogoplug devices have problems with losing the connection with any external drives connected through USB”

    …Yeah I’m gonna have to disagree with this statement. I don’t have connection problems with my Pogoplugs at all. I have 4 drives attached through USB and they’re always there. I access the drives from all 3 major operating systems and they’re all working great. I get the feeling you own a Pogoplug pro…those seem to get the majority of complaints out of all of them (from what I can tell by the forums anyway).

  • fujii13

    I just picked Pogoplug Video yesterday from my Best Buy. I’m a victim of this USB connection issue. 99% of my videos give me an “Access Denied” error message when connecting via the Android App, Video Not Found when connecting through the web app, and I’m getting inconsistent reliability when writing to the drive locally through the P: drive. Specifically getting my torrent client to write to it for a period longer than 30 seconds straight. Again, I get the Access Denied message from uTorrent.

  • Unhappy Pogoplug User

    This “update” completely broke the existing iPad app. To add insult to injury, the new iPhone app will not work with the iPad, thus making Pogoplug completely unusable for iPad. The Mac version is unstable is unstable and can fail at random times. This company did not handle this “upgrade” very well for users. It is hard to understand how you can release a software update that breaks so much existing functionality.

  • David

    “It is hard to understand how you can release a software update that breaks so much existing functionality.”

    That is probably because you are not a programmer. Its difficult stuff, so much relies on other parts of the software. I’m sure they will fix the issue soon.

About the author

Eli MilchmanWhen he was eight, Eli Milchman came home from frolicking in the Veld one day and was given an Atari 400. Since then, his fascination with technology has made him an intrepid early adopter of whatever charming new contraption crosses his path — which explains why he's Cult of Mac's test editor-at-large. He calls San Francisco home, where he works as a journalist and photographer. Eli has contributed to the pages of Wired.com and BIKE Magazine, among others. Hang with him on Twitter.

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