Well, in all fairness, there's a open source version, though it is rather limited, and the project itself seems to slowly wither away.
Well, it depends on what you want I suppose. ownCloud does a lot of things with external storage, where we obviously have to store information about the files to offer search, sharing and all the other functionality. ownCloud 9.0 actually introduces the ability for ownCloud to use such features in the filesystem if they're there - or at least, a API to make the storage plugins do that. This is needed as we want to scale through the Petabyte storage barrier - see https://opensource.com/busines...
Sorry, ownCloud currently does no transcoding and things like that. While such functions could be added, it isn't there today. It can play videos - by providing them to your browser. Works for most formats, but not perfect. The music player is cool but doesn't scale, at least not to my collection (100 GB mp3's).
This is mostly meant as a 'file sync and share', that's the base of ownCloud: make your files available wherever you are, and wherever those files are (you can mount ftp, samba, webdav, dropbox and other things in ownCloud and get at your files in one place).
Hmm, I wrote the page, but didn't expect somebody to take the "a safe home for all your data" to mean you can sync your entire home. ownCloud is a replacement for the big proprietary end user 'clouds' like Google, Dropbox etc - give it one or multiple folders and the sync client syncs them between devices; you can share files, comment on them in the web UI, edit them online or locally and so on.
Sharing an entire home folder on Linux, no, that won't work. Lots of 'special' files and folders that won't be synced (eg symbolic or hard links, dotfiles and all that) because that would not work cross-platform, for one. And if you'd use two systems at once, you get loads of conflict files. Oh, and yes, permissions and user settings... probably wouldn't work either. The POSIX stuff is great but doesn't work on Windows or Mac so we just can't support that - lowest common denominator, sad but that's how it is - most of our 8 million users are on Windows.
Sorry that it didn't work out - and isn't designed that way. Hope you find another solution which can help you better.
The reason we don't support it is because it woudn't work on all platforms. Seriously, yes. If you know of a decent solution - let us know.
It's been improved but the company and community behind it are nearly dead (it wasn't primarily developed by ownCloud). So things were quiet until - Liberoffice Online came along and now Collabora is working on integrating that in ownCloud