Review: Air Video for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch

I was given a copy of of Air Video from InMethod to review. It provides simple and easy to use streaming of your videos from your local machine to your iOS devices over local network/internet. The product comes in two forms… a free server for windows /mac & a free (limited)/paid client for iOS devices.

The server is java powered and provides a simple interface to add/remove folders to share, conversion status, settings, remote enable and such. It is provided for Windows and Mac and uses java and ffmpeg. For some of the features the developer recommends use of a Core2 Duo or better cpu but will work on less. Remote access is possible if your router is capable of UPnP/NAT-PMP or you manually forward port 45631.

Now onto the iOS application… adding servers is simple since local network ones show up via Apple’s Bonjour and you can add remote ones via server pin that is configured on server or ip address. As the title suggests the mobile app is universal and works on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch… as of such there is two different interfaces tailored for the different resolutions but is equally as user friendly on both. It is capable of adding selected video to conversion queue or playing with live conversion but as I mentioned before the core2 Duo recommendation is for the live conversion but it does indeed work with lesser cpus quite well in my testing. Of course with anything that involves any kind of conversion there is a variety of settings you can change such as max width/height, quality for offline conversion, and bitrates for live conversion.

In my test I used various machines as servers for this but I settled on my hyper threaded atom dual core based NAS with 1gb ram. For most uses you could get away with using a lower cost machine to serve the content instead of a more costly one depending on number of users and the format of the videos.

As per playback it worked rather well even over internet. Before you choose to live convert or offline convert you can choose zoom level or volume boost. Also if you stop playback then come back later it will have remembered your position so you won’t have to scrub to the position you were last in. Performance wise the server machine does take a slight hit but what that’s to be expected with something that involves ffmpeg conversion.

Of course no app is without flaws… I was able to find a a few qwerks that are rather minor in the grand scheme of things such as sometimes connecting screen is upside down, status bar shows on bottom no top, or folder add inconsistencies in server.

Over all the app works quite well and delivers on the promised features. Despite of the minor qwerks I’d still recommend the app for any iOS device owner who wants to get more out of their device.

The full app costs $2.99 and can be downloaded here of course if you want to try out the free one it is available here.