Do you want to watch movies on your iOS device, like your iPhone or iPad? Is there enough disk space on your device to actually hold these movies? Is the file format even iOS compatible?
Movie files can be extremely large and since these mobile devices typically only hold 8-64 GB of data, you might not want to store movies on the device.
With Air Playit, you can watch movies (as well as listen to audio) on your iOS device without having to waste storage space. It can also optionally convert and download the file onto your device.
It comes in two parts: the server software for your PC or Mac and the client software for your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad (Android version coming soon).
The first tab of the application displays all the information you need to connect, including the port number and IP addresses. This information should not needed if you’re connecting from a device that is connected via the same network.
Of course, you wouldn’t want anyone to be access your files, so there are options to set permissions. Folders can be restricted by a PIN number in three different groups: Admin, Kids, and Public. Each folder can be assigned to various groups.
Air Playit can also convert files into appropriate device compatible ones. There are many profiles available, including iPhone, iPhone HD, iPad, iPad HD, etc…
Air Playit can also be used to stream media to other computers. There is an option to enable access via a web browser. The web addresses are local IP addresses, so it appears the other computers must be on the same network. Files here are streamed via a .m3u8 file, which can be opened with VLC Media Player or iTunes, although I had trouble getting these files to play properly. (Update: This appears to be fixed in the latest version.)
Click the Add Server button and there will be an option to specify a server address manually or use a local Wi-Fi server (via the Bonjour service). Connection can be made via Wi-Fi or 3G. There’s a 4G option but no current iOS device supports it, so the option is useless right now. Beware of consuming all your wireless data if you’re streaming via 3G.
Remote connections might require some additional network configuration (such as router settings) in order to allow your computer to be remotely accessible.
The server will then be saved on the main screen.
Afterwards, there will be a list of available folders and files in the sidebar.
Air Playit supports both audio and video files. It supports a total of 320 different formats. Many supported extensions, like AVI video, are normally not supported on iOS devices.
Simply select a file to start streaming instantly. For local Wi-Fi servers, you are technically uploading and downloading simultaneously, so a fast network would be optimal.
The audio interface looks very much like the built in Music player on iOS devices. I couldn’t figure out how to get album art to show though. Unfortunately, there is no multitasking support through background audio.
There is also a feature to take a snapshot of any part of a video, which basically takes a screenshot of the current video frame. Simply tap the camera icon at the bottom.
You can adjust the playback settings to a lower quality setting if you experience playback issues.
A useful additional feature is the ability to automatically convert the video file into a device compatible format and store it on the device itself for offline viewing.
A very useful additional feature is to have your computer automatically shut down when the movie finishes.
There are a few typos and grammar issues here and there, which aren’t really that important.
Overall, everything works very well. Performance is largely dependent on the network quality and speed.
Air Playit is an excellent app to stream videos to your mobile device for free without having to waste any of your device’s valuable storage space. There are many similar apps available, but unlike Air Playit, most of them aren’t free and lite versions don’t really help. In addition, other apps don’t offer the ability to convert and download videos for offline viewing.
I highly recommend giving this a try if you want to enjoy movies on your iOS device without having to convert the files or waste storage space.