One of the things that make iTunes really annoying is the fact that you can only sync a very limited number of video formats with it. If you need to play any video that is not in MOV or MPEG-4 containers, you will have to use an encoder to make it playable on your iPhone or iPad. This extra step proves to be a real hindrance for many people wanting to use their iDevice as a full-time video player. AirMovie is an app that takes away the encoding bottleneck and lets you stream videos from any PC you want. The streaming can be done on any good internet connection (Wi-Fi or 3G), and you will be able to play any video on your iPhone without having to worry about its format!
In order to stream videos from a computer, you will have to install the AirMovie server on it. Download the desktop server application from the service’s official website, and once you have done that, just run the EXE. The AirMovie server works for all Intel-based computers running Windows XP and later versions. Once the application has been installed to your PC, there isn’t much that remains to be done. If you want to make the whole streaming process safe, check the Set Password option and set a 4 digit password. The real task of the application is to provide you with a PIN that will act like the main identifier for your personal server. Just hit the Get Pin button to know your key. If there is an error message (a very rare scenario), go to the Help menu and follow the instructions provided there.
The next step is to choose the videos you want to make available on your AirMovie server. Although there is an Add button available in the application, you will have to manually drag and drop a folder consisting of videos to the server’s Folders area. Individual files can’t be added to AirMovie and you will have to put videos in folders for the service to access them. Once all this has been done, hit the Save button.
On your iPhone, go to the AirMovie app’s first tab and hit the button located in the top-left corner. Here you will be asked to enter the PIN provided by the desktop server. Inputting the key opens the main view of the server, listing Folders and Files separately. For us, the main view did not show any videos, but that doesn’t mean they are not there in your server. You can easily access video files using the search button and typing any part of the hosted video’s name (at least that’s how things worked for us). From the settings menu within AirMovie, you will be able to set options like Auto Play Next Video and Low Quality Playback. The app is smart enough to detect your internet speed automatically and adjust the video’s resolution accordingly. There are many public servers in the app as well, and it is possible to access them in the menu named Share Server.
AirMovie is available as a free download in the App Store, and is optimized for iPhone and iPod touch. The desktop server won’t cost you anything as well. The app has got an Android version too, which is pretty similar to the iOS one.