Applications like AirPlayer and AirServer (for Mac) or Shareport4w and Air Stream Media Player (for Windows) let you stream media from your iOS device to your computer, in most cases, eliminating the need to transfer files from device to computer. Quite a lot like VLC Streamer for iOS and Emit for Android, Air Playit reciprocates said functionality. The app works in conjunction with a desktop client (server application) to stream and download video and audio in up to 320 different formats from user-defined directories on a computer to your mobile device, either over a shared WiFi network or via the web. But that’s not all. The app features highly customizable video playback, the option to set varying permissions for shared media directories and an offline video converter particularly useful for older, slower mobile devices. As of this writing, Air Playit is only available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch but an Android variant of the mobile client is around the corner. The app may be new to the market, but it is undoubtedly among the most comprehensive and efficient desktop-to-mobile media streaming solutions around.
The connection between your computer and device is extremely simple to set up over a common WiFi network. Simply install the server application on your computer, launch it and add media directories that you wish to access from your mobile device. You may even add your iTunes playlist. The mobile device automatically detects your computer and adds it to the Local Server list. Tap Add Local Server and select your computer from the list that follows to start streaming music and videos from the directories you selected.
Tap the arrow in front of a server to set its permissions / level of access. Within the configuration menu that follows, input the PIN for one of three levels of access (Admin, Kids and Pubic) listed within the Permissions tab of the server application. You can alter the PIN for each access level from within the same tab. Said feature is particularly useful if more than one person in your residence plans on streaming media from your computer. You can then make certain directories available publicly while reserving other (private) folders for yourself.
Establishing a connection via web, on the other hand, might seem a tad complicated, but only if you’re unfamiliar with port forwarding. The developers have provided an introduction to the concept and a step-by-step guide to adding port forwarding rules to your network gateway. You may view it here.
The home/Servers screen of the app, in addition to displaying all added servers, contains shortcuts to audio and videos files downloaded from your computer. Tap a server to browse through its shared directories, stream and download media. The app remembers (caches) your progress through each viewed video and presents you with the option to resume playback from where you left off every time a previously viewed video is selected.
You can set each video to stream with, among other things, a different quality, bitrate, resolution (up to 1080p) and frame rate (FPS) of your choice or set separate values for all videos streamed over local WiFi, remote WiFi, 3G and 4G (from within Server Setting). The app supports up to 1080p videos. Alternatively, you can set the app to convert an entire video to a quality of your choice in one go before streaming (or downloading) it, for smoother playback (or smaller file size). To do so, simply tap on a video and select Offline Converter from the menu that follows.
Videos are converted by the server application and saved to the default Videos directory on your PC or Mac. You can monitor conversion progress from both the server application and the mobile client. You may alter the output directory from within the Setting tab of the server application.
In the mobile client, converted videos can be accessed from within a selected server’s Air Target folder.
Air Playit even features a couple of remote system control features. The app allows you to remotely shutdown or restart your computer – pretty handy for when your system runs into an unexpected problem or when you’ve had your fill of media streaming and want to give your electronic friend some well-deserved rest.
Download Air Playit for iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch
Download Server Application for Mac & Windows