Dying to watch some videos on your shiny new iPad? Well so was I…until I hit the file format wall.
The theory behind watching a video on an iPad is easy right, connect your iPad to your computer with iTunes, grab the video file and drag it into the movies section in iTunes and let it sync…Well apparently I’m wrong, because iTunes returned an error of:
Well now that’s annoying.
I was faced with two options: convert any video files that I wanted on my iPad, then copy them (hard way) or find a better way (easy way).
Well it turns out that the guys over at www.inmethod.com have a huge time saving solution for us: AirVideo (both free and paid versions)
How it works. (Short Version)
1) Install “Air Video Server” on the computer that has the videos that you want to watch, and configure the folder that the files are in.
2) Install the AirVideo app on the iPad (or iPhone)
3) Run the App, locate the server, find the file, press play and Enjoy.
How it works. (Extended version)
The Air Video server is a pretty graphical front end to the FFMpeg software that converts the video files on the fly, then streams it to the client app on the iPad/iPhone. If the file is already in the correct format all it needs to do is stream it. This works similar to how YouTube works.
The benefits of this solution is that you don’t have to waste time converting video files, then coping them onto your iPad before watching them. It’s snappy and it’s fast.
The downside to this method is that it only works within the local network of where the server is. (I’m pretty sure you could port forward your firewall/router to allow external access, but then there is the added cost of bandwidth)
The free version and the paid version are identical with their basic feature set, but the free version does have the limitation of only being able to show 3-5 files/folders from the server at a time. (Which can make finding that particular video hard, on the positive side it means that you can add some random spice into what you watch)