Monday, March 26, 2012

Stream Your Stuff

Ever wished you could play a media file on your iPad or Android device that was stored on your home computer? Air Playit by Digiarty, the folks who bring you WinX DVD Ripper, will do just that.

I received Air Playit as a bundle with WinX DVD Ripper. I didn't think much of it at first because I don't do much streaming and it pretty much sat there on the desktop. Then, someone asked me to give it a try.

Air Playit consists of two components: The server that you install on your desktop/laptop (available for both PC and Mac) and the player that you install on your iOS or Android device. The server is very easy to set up. Once you have the connection established you tell it what folders to share (or you can import an iTunes playlist) and you're ready to rock!

The portable device setup is just as easy. You search for a computer - the one you just set up should appear as available - and add it to your list. Just tap it and you're connected. All of the shared playlists and folders will be right there for you to choose from. Don't worry about formats or anything because Air Playit takes care of all of that and can convert on the fly if necessary.

Other features include being able to download files to your device for offline playback, stream remotely over the internet (even via 3G or 4G!), web-browser access (I'm still working on getting that one to work), and it works as an offline video converter. The best feature of all? It's FREE! (my favorite four-letter word)

I have some of my wife's "chick flicks" stored on my PC. We haven't been very proactive in getting them copied to her laptop so last night I installed Air Playit HD on her iPad. In less than 5 minutes (including finding and downloading the player) I was playing one of her movies for her and she saw just how easy it was to find.

Overall I give it 4 out of 5 stars. They put a lot of thought into the system to make it easy for anyone to use. The only two drawbacks I see are not being able to get the web server portion to work (and I'm a computer guy) and that there's no way to search or jump forward in a list. My movies folder shows 262 files. If I want to watch X-Men, I'm going to be swiping for a while.

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