October 26, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
After being in beta for several months as a streaming service for DLNA, Skifta has graduated to “gold status” as a full-fledged product for Android. Now anyone with a compatible Android 2.2 or higher phone or tablet can stream their media to a PlayStation 3 or Xbox, laptop, friend’s television, phone, or anything else that accepts DLNA/UPnP connections. Or even from a computer to an Android device.
Skifta acts as an intermediary between Android phones or tablets and several different types of devices. It can stream music, movies, or photos from a phone to a television, but it’s also capable of streaming from a computer to an Android device. The latest version of the app adds the ability to access the service over 3G, meaning you could be miles away from home and still have all of your media content available.
Locally stored content, as well as that stored in your online accounts, are available for playback in Skifta. The app currently supports “channels” for Facebook Photos, Flickr, Google Picasa, Photobucket, Soma.fm, Napster, ShoutCast, Revision 3, and TED Talks among others.
“I’ve got my sights set on doubling [the number of channels] by 2012,” Gary Brotman, director of product marketing for NBU at Skifta parent Qualcomm, told me in a briefing. “Skifta is bringing all of your content to your fingertips irrespective of where you are.”
Brotman adds that Skifta’s mantra is “May your stuff be with you,” a reference to content being ubiquitous rather than having to seek it out in multiple places and stored in multiple locations. Skifta aims to be the media control point that integrates your many services. The company adds channels through the API’s from those services and there are plans to have all of the major streaming services included. Brotman declined to name specifics, but obvious channels in the pipeline are Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube. Brotman says the company is focused on securing more music channels with video as a second priority, and he teases that he has a “hit list of about 20 services right now.”
Anyone who uses media should explore how useful Skifta may be for them. A number of devices are compatible for DLNA and UPnP, so there’s a good chance your television, stereo, or gaming console purchased in recent years supports it. Download the app from the Android Market and you’ll also be able to access these features:
- Android “Share to” function supported. Long-press on a song or photo and it opens in Skifta.
- Skifta has language localization for English, German, Italian, French, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, or Traditional Chinese
- Supports Honeycomb tablets and Android 2.2 or higher
- For the 3G media streaming of local content to work, the host computer must be on and running the Windows/Mac/Linux helper app available at Skifta.com