Younity app lets iPhones and iPads legally stream DRM videos from your iTunes library

“iTunes shows and movies are protected by digital rights management (DRM) software, which limits how people can share and view them,” Eric Blattberg reports for VentureBeat. “But thanks to a file-sharing startup, iTunes videos are getting Netflix-style streaming capabilities — and it’s 100 percent legal, the company claims.”

“Entangled Media today updated its Younity iOS app [free], enabling your iPhone and iPad to stream videos stored on your computer’s iTunes library, no downloading or syncing required,” Blattberg reports. “To avoid legal troubles, Younity won’t share content purchased through iTunes, as you can with other content. Also, the app will send you over to Safari to stream your videos. ‘We’re obviously not going to strip off the DRM, because that would be illegal,’ said Erik Caso, Entangled Media’s chief executive. ‘We effectively had to reverse-engineer using your Apple ID and your DRM key and insert them into your stream, which we could do in the Safari browser but not our own media player.'”

Blattberg reports, “iTunes videos will stream in their original, full resolution, and you can view them while you are anywhere in the world.”

Read more in the full article here.

18 Comments

  1. Ahhhhh…I can already do this….home sharing, airplay etc.

    even when i am not home I can stream from the cloud content that i have put in the cloud.

    And don’t forget you can stream straight from apple anything you have in iTunes match or anything you purchased from iTunes.

    1. This is different. This is like Audio Galaxy Satellite before they were purchased by Dropbox, only it supports more media than just audio.

      This is personal cloud based. If you have a PC/Mac at home being used as a media server, you can access that with another PC/Mac or iOS device from anywhere. There’s no cloud in the middle, you don’t have to upload your media, and there are no limitations to the number of files.

      This article is a little too focused on the DRM aspect. That’s nice, but you can play other videos through this as well.

      I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but if it works as advertised, it will be a pretty cool personal cloud system compared to others available today.

      1. You can stream ANY MEDIA from Apple too. Anything you have purchased in fact.

        ……“your Apple ID and your DRM key and insert them into your stream”? Is this safe?

        Yeah, sounds very safe, very safe indeed. /s

        1. Again, this isn’t so much about what’s been purchased. Go shoot a video and import it into your iTunes library. Now take your iPhone out on the road and try watching that video by streaming it from your computer (without having synced it to your device).

          Have a large iTunes collection (more than 25K songs). You can’t stream anything.

          Have an iTunes library that you haven’t uploaded via iTunes Match (either because you haven’t yet, or because you don’t have a Match account). You can’t stream that.

          Have one iTunes library on one Mac/PC and another on another Mac/PC and try streaming a playlist comprised of songs from both libraries.

          You may have a mega-large photo library, no problem view any of your photos instead of what’s in your photostream.

          ““your Apple ID and your DRM key and insert them into your stream”? Is this safe?”

          Yes. The description of it is highly misleading, and the whole article’s focus on DRM is a bit weird since DRM media is the least valuable part of this since that is always available straight from Apple. However, I can see why they added this, and that is to avoid having some media listed that was viewable and not playable, as well as to facilitate LAN streaming; but it’s not some sort of DRM voodoo trick they’re pulling, they’re just recognizing which media has DRM and then sending it over to an app that can play it on your device.

      2. Actually, you can’t stream anything from Apple. If you are on the same home network, then you can stream using Home Sharing. However, if your computer with your content is at home and you are not, you are forced to download the content. You can start watching it before it is done downloading – but you need to be pretty patient waiting for it to buffer (it can take an eternity) and you better not plan on using things like scrubbing (fast-forward).

        iCloud does not stream video content, only audio. Even with audio, it actually caches it on your device and takes up storage.

        younity streams all your content for instant playback of music or video. Perhaps more importantly, younity unifies all the content you have across all the computers you have. It puts it all into a simply UI to browse, access or share it all instantly – no syncing, no downloading and no planning ahead.

        Hope that helps clarify things a bit. Happy to answer other questions.

        Thanks,
        Erik Caso

        1. That’s a bit misleading.

          Any video content you’ve purchased from Apple can be played over the net. It’s a fine distinction between streaming and progressive downloading, but for the most part, consumers don’t know the difference, and you’re making it sound like as if streaming is inherently better. It’s not, and neither is the lack of buffering.

          Younity seems like a really great product. I haven’t had a chance to fully use it yet, but there’s a definite need for this, and I’ll be testing it fully in the next few days. I just think your messaging is getting lost a bit in its positioning as is evident by people here (and other communities) who are getting confused and don’t see the use cases.

          1. Hi Kevicosuave,
            I’m not trying to be misleading at all, I hope it doesn’t seem that way. Technically, downloading and streaming are very different and that was simply my point. Apple lets you download, while we stream. Steaming lets you scrub forward and backwards and is only using a limited portion of a file/video at any given time.

            You are absolutely correct that you can download and start watching something before it is done, but that is quite different from streaming, whether it is start time, scrubbing or many other factors such as having the required storage for you to even download it.

            One of the big things our users brought up was that they never had the storage to download, so even if they wanted to wait for it, it wasn’t an option.

            I definitely hope you like trying out younity. If you have comments or suggestions, hit our support boards. My, our CTO and every developer in the company is there to answer questions or listen to your feedback. We love input from users – as this release shows.

            Thanks,
            Erik Caso

            1. Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that you were intentionally misleading, just that the way that you’re messaging it may be confusing people.

              Thanks for engaging!

  2. This is very very interesting. I’m giving it a go and waiting for the scan to finish. This could let me easily stream ripped movies from anywhere and share specific ripped movies with family. We’ll see how it goes…

  3. Hi folks,
    Just saw this post and wanted to fill in some details around the questions I see here.

    Can you stream DRM’d purchased content?
    Yes.

    Is this safe?
    Yes. We don’t ever have your Apple ID/DRM keys (I don’t believe it is possible to actually retrieve them, only apply them) – your phone stores these, not our app. This is why we use the Safari browser instead of our own media player. We are doing something tricky, but totally legal and completely safe for you. We never have anything more than your email address (which we use for your account name).

    Can you stream non-DRM content, like ripped DVDs, home videos, music, etc.?
    Yes, absolutely. That is the point of younity. We merge all the content on all your devices into a single UI so you can stream it all. We merge your iTunes account and libraries on different computers. you even get things like playlists from your different computers.

    Let us know if you have any other questions. Happy to provide more detail. You can also read more about this specific feature at: http://getyounity.com/blog/stream-media-movies-tv-shows-itunes-account-iphone-ipad/

    Thanks,
    Erik Caso
    CEO

    1. Thanks Eric!

      Looks like the app on my Mac is doing another deep scan. Tried for hours last night to finish downloading the metadata on my phone and it’s still trying.

      Your ideas ratings don’t seem to have up/down votes. I’d like to send over 9000 up-votes to nas (remote itunes library) support.

      1. Hi Joe,
        The file scan can take anywhere from a few minutes to a looong time. I’ve got over 1TB of content (~60K files) on a 3 year old iMac and it takes about 22 minutes for my scan to complete. Once the scan is done, my iPhone 5S downloads metadata in about 90 seconds. My iPad 3 takes just over 2 minutes. What you are describing sounds pretty strange, unless you have multiple TBs of content and 100Ks of files. Sounds like you hit up our support site, but let me know if you have an open ticket and we’ll make sure we get you squared away.

        We switched over to FreshDesk from GetSatisfaction and we’re missing a lot of features we used to like. You should be able to hit the ‘thumbs up’ to vote something up (we don’t have a voting down option).

        Thanks,
        Erik Caso

            1. Yep, that’s it. Not seeing it in Safari or Firefox. Feel free to email me through your support center if I can help provide some more info.
              Super excited for the remote volume support!

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