Apple’s Home Sharing: Why is troubleshooting it so painful?

One of the most useful elements of Apple’s “digital hub,” at least for media like music and movies, is Home Sharing. This feature allows you to share your content across your local network to computers, iOS devices, and Apple TVs. However, it is not without its problems. It can be difficult–even impossible–to get Home Sharing to work on certain devices. Or Home Sharing may work for a while, then stop working. Problems are incredibly hard to diagnose with any networking feature, but Home Sharing is especially prickly.

A correspondent recently had a problem with Home Sharing, and it was quite difficult to troubleshoot. He was trying to use the Remote app on an iOS device to control iTunes on one of his Macs, and, while this had worked flawlessly for years, it suddenly stopped working. (The Remote app uses Home Sharing to connect to and control other devices.) He saw his Mac and Apple TV in the Remote app, but when he tapped either of them, he was unable to connect. He then attempted to re-pair the iOS device with the Mac, a process which requires typing a four-digit code that the iOS device displays in iTunes, but that failed as well.

The real problem was that there was no indication of what wasn’t working. And when we discovered the actual problem, it was actually quite simple, but there should have been some guidance.

Read the rest of the article on Macworld.