Something flagged up an iPhone app to me this week called Air Video.
Here’s what Air Video does for me: it lets me stream videos stored in designated folders on my Mac (there’s also a PC version of Air Video Server) over wifi to my iPhone. Sounds simple? I guess it is, because it does exactly what it’s supposed to – but what it’s doing ‘in the background’ is converting on the fly the video file I want from a format that won’t play on the iPhone to one optimised specifically for the iPhone.
They provide a free version of the app that is limited in terms of how many files in a folder it will show when you’re connecting to your computer’s Air Video Server – it shows three files. The things that made me buy was that the list is random – it shows three items from however many you have in the folder. Refresh the list and it shows three different files. This means that someone who is extremely cheap could save themselves the $2.99 and work around that limitation by refreshing the list lots of time to get the file they want to show up. It shows a respect for their users, instead of “we’ll only let you watch the first 3 files in a folder” InMethod’s approach is “we’ll let you get almost all the functionality, we won’t stop you from watching any video in your served folder, but you’ll have to roll the dice to get it” thereby giving the user the opportunity to decide how much their time/irritation is worth.
Advanced users can also set it up to stream over the internet – instructions are in the FAQ for the software.