Yes, this is another iPad post. Sorry. It is still new to me and I am discovering lots of nice things (and a few not so nice things.) Apps are, perhaps, the biggest discoveries yet. Apps tend to make up for some of the things that Apple had left out. One such app is Air Video.
Air Video consists of two pieces: a Mac or Windows server and the iPad/iPhone/iPod application. On the Mac or Windows PC, you download and install the server and tell it which directories to include. There are other settings, but that is pretty much the only you need to set. On your device, if you purchased the full version (there is a ‘lite’ version that has a limitation on the number of videos that are displayed for each included directory and the videos are randomly selected) you will see all of the directories which you can then drill down into and see your videos.
Air Video supports a great number of codecs and wrappers, some are streamed as is, while others are converted on the fly. The live conversion works well, though it is slower to start. The speed is pretty impressive and, since the iPad is a terrific media consumer, the video is render pretty smoothly on the device. I cannot say how well it works on the iPhone or iPod Touch, but I imagine it works almost as good. So far, the only format that is not supported, other than encrypted video, is the Windows Media Center TV recording format. That’s OK, they are all high def anyway.
In addition to the live conversion, you can also do an offline conversion. You can also add the selected video to iTunes.
The latest version, 2.2.4, supports TV out on the iPad, which makes the thirty dollar dongle almost worth buying from Apple.
The application looks very nice and is super easy to use. One quirk I found was that, even though it found my Windows 7 box, I could not ‘see’ anything. I went in and configured the IP address and then it worked fine. Not a big deal, just a bit odd.
The full application is $2.99. It does require Bonjour on the PC side. I would recommend the free version first. If it works for you, then buy the full version, it is well worth three bucks.