Streaming iPhone video

M7 Air Video is an amazing app I have wished for but never thought I’d see actually happen, given the App Store’s dodgy rules about approving applications like this.

The other day I had a bit of insomnia, noticed my phone on my nightstand and wondered to myself if there was any hack, any way I could somehow stream videos from my desktop computer downstairs (both downloaded video and iTunes movies/shows). I was just thinking about trying out some media server apps to see if I could make it work when I saw this pop up on Lifehacker today. I’ve downloaded, installed, and gotten this app to work wonderfully. You can even jump ahead to different parts of a streaming movie and it’ll render in just a few seconds.

It’s a pretty handy app if you use one desktop computer as a “base” for a media center with other devices (like AppleTV, iPhone, etc) talking to it. Plus, you don’t have to take up any space on your iPhone (and I guess iPad eventually) with the movie itself, as it is just streamed in real time. 

I haven’t tested remote access outside my network, but if I could stream a new show from home to an iPhone sitting in my hotel room while traveling, I would say we’re truly living in the future now.

5 Comments

  • StreamToMe (http://projectswithlove.com/streamtome/) is also worth checking out.

  • Have you tried Orb? It basically lets you access your entire audio/video/photo library from your phone. Won’t handle DRM video of course, but pretty simple to set up and use.

  • Have you actually tried it with iTunes movies/shows? Because their site suggests they don’t support those (“DRM protected videos as well as proprietary codecs are NOT supported.” from the “Features” page of their site).

  • It’s kind of weird — it plays movies I’ve paid for from the iTunes store, but it doesn’t seem to play TV shows paid for from the iTunes store. I don’t know if TV has different DRM or what, but the movies (seemingly with DRM of some kind) work just fine, where TV does not.
    Typically I get my TV shows from other means :) so it should stream ok.

  • I used this on the train today during both ways of my hour-long commute. The streaming over 3G worked great, and the picture quality seemed on par with what I was getting over my local network (read: very clear). The were a few hiccups here and there, but given that I was on a moving train, I was pretty impressed with the performance.
    There was one point where the train was sitting at a station where my phone could only pick up an EDGE signal, and the app rebuffered and started playing at a noticibly lower — but still watchable — quality.
    A little tip for watching over 3G: Always use the live conversion playback mode. I had some videos that were formated for Apple TV, and while they didn’t need to be converted to stream to my 3GS, they would buffer endlessly because of their high resolution and bitrate. The live conversion playback mode streams an optimized version that shouldn’t have any major buffering issues on a solid 3G connection.
    It’s really a great app. My only wish is that it could read iTunes metadata and sort those files accordingly (trying to sort through TV shows that have been ripped to iTunes is kind of cumbersome). That a maybe a less hideous launch screen.

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