iPhone/iPad App Review: Air Video

Posted: 25/05/2010 in iPad, iPhone, Technology
Tags: , , , , , ,

In the beginning of video encoding, we are all familiar with AVI, MOV, MP4 video encodes and package files like MKV. Everyone uses MKV to view their videos and animes on their computers and Macs! But there are people out there who have gone and made their favorite shows mobile, using the iPhone/iPad, PSP, and all that. I would be one of those people! For the last couple of months, i always thought it was a bugger to extract MKV packaged files and convert it into AVI/MP4 for my iPhone/PSP, then i have to deal with shitty subtitle sizes that were not very clear and not suitable when more than one person wants to view the video on the iPhone/PSP! recently, i have found the solution to all those problems!

The app is called Air Video (http://inmethod.com/air-video/) Check out this site for more pics! Available on iTunes for AUD3.99!

Streaming – Air Video can stream videos to your iPhone and iPod touch. You don’t need to copy your videos to the device just to watch them.

  • Automated server discovery on local network using Apple Bonjour
  • Possibility to add custom servers by specifying IP address and port directly Can be used to stream videos over internet (see the appropriate section in FAQ)
  • Share disk folders and iTunes playlists
  • Optional password protection
  • Add videos to iTunes playlist from iPhone

Conversion – If the videos in your collection are not in format supported by iPhone, Air Video can convert them on fly (live conversion) or offline (entire file).

  • Videos that can not by directly played by iPhone can be easily converted. All major containers and codecs supported (mp4, m4v, mov, avi, wmv, asf, mpg, mpeg, mkv, 3gp, dmf, divx, flv). DRM protected videos as well as proprietary codecs are NOT supported.
  • Live conversion allows you to play videos without having to convert them upfront. Requires iPhone or iPod touch with firmware 3.0 or newer and sufficiently powerful computer.
  • Option to convert entire video before playing it (offline conversion)
  • Files converted offline can be put to conversion queue
  • Adjust quality, zoom and resolution for each video individually
  • Select audio stream (language)

FAQs that caught my eye are:

  • Air Video refuses to play some of my M4V/MP4/MOV files purchased from iTunes store.
    The files are probably DRM protected. Apple doesn’t permit playing such files over network.
  • Air Video refuses to play some of my M4V/MP4/MOV files.
    Those files, even though being in right format, probably have too high resolution or bitrate to be played on iPhone/iPod touch. You can, however, easily convert those files using Air Video.

Crimotaku’s summary:

Have already tested both the server and the iPhone client app, and it made me restless because i had a feeling like i just discovered and touched God in person. This app makes it possible for anime otakus to convert their MKV animes (with the choice to select one of multiple audio/subtitles in the MKV) for their iPhones. You must have an iPhone/iPad/iPod to do this tho. Because the the products would be a remote that allows u to remotely convert the wanted videos on your computer/Mac, even if you want to ‘Offline Convert’. Whats ‘Offline Convert’? Simple, use iPhone, use App, click and queue the MKVs you wanna convert, workstation/Mac converts .. then you go out having fun doing your regular thing and come back finding you have a batch of converted MP4 format files with clear subtitles, waiting for you to stream or adding it to your iTunes Playlist!

Its just that simple! No more choosing what bitrate you want for the video encodes, what codecs, bitrate of the audio codecs and all that mumbo jumbo! Convert videos in a few clicks or just stream it! This works over 3G as well (not for free, its ur bloody bandwidth!) but this is a wonderful tool to turn your iPhone/iPad into that mobile entertainment system at home using your wireless network!

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Comments
  1. Steve says:

    I don’t really see a need for this – if I want stuff on my iPhone I can just as easily convert it using something else, and the streaming doesn’t really appeal since the bandwidth for 3G usage would be ridiculous and if I’m at home with network access I would watch it on my TV, not my tiny iPhone.

    I suppose it fills a certain niche but not for me. Now, an app that actually ran MKVs on the iPhone: that would be awesome!

  2. Crimotaku says:

    It does run MKV on iPhones with live conversion. I plan to use this on the iPad which comes in a couple of days. I only watch anime on my iPhone on a plane or a bus.

    Coz when it comes to quality, its kinda annoying when u have to degrade the MKV to AVI and make blurry subtitles that get distorted when u enlarge the vid.

  3. Steve says:

    I meant actually run MKV on the iPhone – with this app, it’s still just a conversion, which I can already do just fine without having to use up all my data plan to stream it. You’d also have to have your computer on all the time and not let it go into sleep mode – that’s not a big issue normally but if you’re going on a trip somewhere it’s not ideal.

    If you convert an MKV to M4V, which runs natively on the iPhone, you can still have proper subtitles rather than hardcoding them to the image like you have to with AVI, so they’ll scale and look good on any screen. Programs like Handbrake make that a very easy process, then you just put it on the iPhone and don’t have to worry about having access to a network of some kind to stream from.

    That’s obviously less ideal than being able to just run the MKV on the iPhone, but it seems like much less hassle than all this streaming business and it’s actually just giving the same result anyway: a conversion.

    Like I said I do understand the purpose of this app, but it fills a role that I can already do more simply (in my opinion).

  4. Crimotaku says:

    Yeah, guess everyone has their own way of using the app or iphone. I just love making my home into a giant wireless box of media. You know, interfacing my collection from every screen possible!

    I wanna make a home like Iron-Man one day. “Hello Jarvis!” I really appreciate your comments! Coz sometimes i get blinded by flashy gadgets and then forget the obvious stuff. If i could interface my iPhone into my armor (Stormtrooper), i would! Actually i am in that process at the moment :) after my voicebox upgrade.

  5. Steve says:

    I hear you with the Iron Man thing – I want the giant holographic multitouch display Tony has in the movies! I get what you mean about this app helping you feel like everything’s all connected too. In that sense I understand its purpose a little more.

    Stormtrooper armour plus iPhone will be really cool! I don’t know what you’re thinking, but the first thing that popped into my head was fitting it like the little control panel Predators have on their forearms.

  6. Crimotaku says:

    Problem with iPhone is you need skin contact, but i already have special gloves made for the armor AND WINTER! =3 to be used with touch screen devices!

    The only cosplay the iPhone is good for is Celty from Durarara! I may do a male dullahan version of Celty in the future!

  7. Milo Putney says:

    Is it me or did this article make you want to buy an iPad?

    • Crimotaku says:

      I wanted the iPad before i found this app. In the beginning i wanted the iPad as a universal remote to all my devices connected to my home’s wireless network. Mouse/Keyboard/DJ box .. yeah .. plenty of uses. Not saying the iPad is the best thing in the entire universe, its just that i am a tool guy, and i love my tools! <3

      There are people who uses the iPhone to such a pathetic level by just playing games on it. Why not make it useful? This app just made my iPad a bit more interesting and useful, and ur someone like me, who loves his media .. well, this app would appeal more =)

      But i also know that there will always be people out there, who thinks Apple products are just super flashy non-gaming platforms of badness. But hey, thats how things work in the world. Love it, hate it, or just ignore it. 3 choices =)

  8. Steve says:

    It does run MKV on iPhones with live conversion. I plan to use this on the iPad which comes in a couple of days. I only watch anime on my iPhone on a plane or a bus.

    Coz when it comes to quality, its kinda annoying when u have to degrade the MKV to AVI and make blurry subtitles that get distorted when u enlarge the vid.

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