Seagate Unveils Wireless Mobile Storage and iOS App

Even with a 64 GB iPad(s aapl), I find myself wishing I had more storage at my disposal for my iOS mobile devices. My home media collection is probably in the terabyte range thanks to extensive digital backups of disc-based media, and though remote streaming is sometimes an option, it isn’t an ideal solution. Hence the idea behind Seagate’s(s stx) new GoFlex Satellite mobile wireless storage.

The 500 GB portable hard drive wirelessly connects to any Wi-Fi enabled mobile device, and can be used to store music, movies, pictures and documents of various types. iOS users can then access that media using a free companion app from the App Store designed specifically for use with the GoFlex hardware. If you’re using an Android or other device, you can access your media using a web browser. The GoFlex Satellite can stream media to up to three devices at a time (great for family road trips), has a battery life of 5 hours of continuous streaming (or 25 hours in standby mode) and retails for $199.99.

This is a smart device for a mobile world where continuous cloud-based streaming of multimedia content simply isn’t a realistic possibility yet. Connection quality can degrade remote streaming experiences, and bandwidth caps mean that any significant streaming could result in costly overages. The GoFlex provides local Wi-Fi streaming, so no connection to a remote server is necessary, and changes in signal quality shouldn’t be an issue. Plus, you’re not using your phone’s data plan, either.

Prospective buyers should be wary of two things: media has to be in a format that your iOS device can read natively, and if you’re using the browser-based media player on an Android(s goog) or other device not made by Apple, streaming doesn’t seem to work so smoothly as of yet based on early reviews. Still, if you’re an iOS device owner who finds themselves running up against either storage or bandwidth limits fairly often, and who also consumes a lot of media, this is probably a pretty good investment.

Anyone have better/more sophisticated suggestions for those looking for a portable media server device?