The Jolly Gamesman and His Many Toys
Air Video for the iPhone, iPod Touch & iPad
As I took the bus into work the other day, I was dismayed that I had not synced my iPhone to my computer recently and had only the episodes of The Wonder Years that I had watched the previous day. How could I possibly get through the day not knowing what romantic future Kevin Arnold had with Ms. White after his stunning performance of JFK to Paul Pfeiffer’s J. Edgar Hoover?
Thank the maker that I had just set up Air Video.
Combining my Air Video 3G connection and Air Video, I was able to connect to my computer and browse my entire media collection while on the road. Mere moments later, Joe Cocker was pulsing through my earbuds. This is where Air Video is brilliant. No longer are you restricted to the storage size of your iDevice, the location where you access your files, or even the format you acquired them in.
Using a simple yet secure 9 digit PIN system, Air Video hosts a server on your computer. So, whether you are sitting on the bus with an iPhone watching a movie over 3G, or sitting on the toilet at home on the Wi-Fi network, you can have access to all your cinematic entertainment. Sharing these PIN’s and passwords with friends and family will also allow you to access a potentially endless amount of digital media. (You don’t have to be a networking guru to access it remotely, as the PIN is unique to your media library and also has a password.)
As the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad are set up to only play videos in iTunes format, users can be restricted to what content they can play on their device. Another part of Air Video’s brilliance is that it can encode your movies or TV shows on the fly, enabling you to watch any video file on your device that you wouldn’t have been able to do without a few hours of re-encoding.
On a local network running off my Windows 7 PC, it took seven seconds to load and buffer a 100 minute movie. Streaming over 3G or a public Wi-Fi network can take a bit longer to buffer, but nothing unbearable. Air Video displays a list of locations on your computer that you have designated as your media library. The larger your library (mine runs 3 + TB) the better idea it is to keep it organized, so finding what you’re looking for on the move will be as easy as possible.
As a growing numbers of iPhone users are embracing the iPad, Air Video has presented itself as a universal app. What this means is that it comes with one install that is device-aware, displaying itself properly on either device. Early iPad adopters can appreciate this over the 2x scaling that most iPhone native apps use while running on the iPad. The interface is shared between both devices so there won’t be any confusion for the user as they jump back and forth, depending on the size of the screen they wish to stream to.
They say cloud computing is the future. A future where we access all of our content over the internet, making the type of computer in front of us as we do so irrelevant. For the masses, this would no longer require an expensive upgrade cycle, and a less intimidating operation experience. With mobile devices getting bigger screens and more powerful processors, I’m excited about the thought of no longer being tethered to a couch or a desktop to consume my daily dose of the boobtube, as anti-altruistic as my use of the technology may seem.
~The Fine Print~
Price: $2.99 / A desktop client is required