Watching videos on your iPad using air video iPad
There are two parts to the solution, for getting your videos off your Mac or your Windows computer. You can download the air video app from the iPad application store within iTunes which costs €3.39, but you also need to go to the website of Air video and download the airvideo server part of the equation. So what happens is, is that the server pushes out the video and the application that is on the iPad, takes in your video and plays it. It is not necessary to do any conversion of video to make it iPad compatible. It is very simple, start the server version of Air Video on your Mac or Windows computer and then open the Air Video iPad application to choose your movie. Use Air Video to convert movies to iPad format.
It is a simple download to get the Air Video iPad server. I would recommend that to get to the website to download the Air Video server software, that you first go to the App Store and click on the link to get to the developer’s website. You can also do a search in your browser to find the site that you need, but just in case there are bad sites out there, then why not use a link that you can be sure of to get the Airvideo server.
When you first open up the Air Video Mac server, it will open up the preferences for the application. It will also put an icon in your menu bar, so that you can access the application that way also. In the preferences the first thing to do is to set up some shared folders. So if you click on the Add Folder button you will get a dialogue which allows you to add a folder in which you have some movies. It is quite likely that the first folder to add will be the movies folder, which is in your user home folder. If you have more places in which you have movies stored, you can add more folders to the list.
Using AirVideo iPad to Convert Movies
The Air Video server will also convert video to iPad for you. When you click on the tab in the preferences, it will just tell you if there are any files being converted. You can have a file conversion started from Air Video iPad, iPod Touch or the iPhone.
The next tab in there in Air Video Mac, is for the settings of the server software. You can set it to start at login, ask you for a password and to listen on a custom port. Personally I prefer to not have it start at login, but maybe you will spend more time watching videos, that you will stream to Air Video iPad from your main computer. You will be wanting to have it more available to use.
The next tab is called Remote and that is for you to enable access from the Internet. That facility is a beta facility at the moment and I think I may wait until it is fully implemented. The next tab along is for subtitles, when you are able to choose the font for the subtitle, and your preferred languages. One more tab available in the settings is called Logs. Most likely, the only time that you will want to look at the logs for the conversions and whatever else it registers, will be if you have some problems.
Getting to use Air Video iPad to watch a movie
So you have your server running and you have opened up the Air Video iPad application on your iPad. On the left-hand side of the screen you will see, not much actually. What you need to do first is to tap on the plus icon to set up your server. I clicked on the name of my computer in the left-hand panel. I clicked on the name of the folder that I have shared, from within the server preferences and I got a list of movies that I could watch.
In Air Video iPad, when you tap on a movie that you would like to view, the right-hand side of the application shows you some details about the movie you have chosen. At the top is the name of the file, followed by the resolution, that is the pixel size of the video, the duration of the video and the file size.
In the bottom section of that right-hand side, there are four buttons, Play, Convert, Add to iTunes and Play with Live Conversion. With the file that I had chosen in Air Video iPad, I pressed the play button and it did just that. It played the movie within the right-hand section of the Air Video iPad application. I did the same with, Play with Live Conversion and once again, the video started playing.
When the video is playing within the Air Video iPad app, you have the various controls available to you, such as the pause button and the slider which shows how far you are through the video. And over on the right hand side of that area, there is a button you can tap to make it go full-screen.
When you tap the Add to iTunes button, you get a pop-up window which gives you the opportunity to say where you want the video to be saved within iTunes. Just tap on the library you want to use for your video, and it moves out of the way, job done.
Looking at the settings within Air Video iPad
In the top right-hand corner of the Air Video iPad application, you will see two buttons one of which is called Global Settings. Give a tap to this button and you will save the settings, that are available to the application. When I first opened the global settings, it showed me a max width of 800 pixels and a max height of 720 pixels. Seeing as the size of the iPad screen is 1024 x 720 pixels then I changed the max width to 1024. I left the slider which determines the quality for off-line conversion at the 70% setting. The next setting, is to have it set to always play videos full-screen, I switched that to on.
The next section in the allowed bit rates for life conversion you have three areas to make changes if you wish. I suggest it is probably a good idea to go with the default settings, unless there is some reason why you need to change it. You can make changes for how it works over local Wi-Fi, remote Wi-Fi and over 3G. Tap on the button, Hide, when you have made all of your changes.
The button that is in the top right-hand corner, next to the global settings is the Queue. Tap on that button if you want to see the videos that are queued for conversion. In that dialogue, you are also able to edit the queue and to stop the current version if you need to.
Getting the best use out of Air Video iPad
When you choose a video that is not in a native format for the iPad, such as an AVI file, the options in the lower part of the screen underneath the movie in the Air Video iPad app, are different. In this case the options as you get are just play with live conversion and convert. If you tap the button play with live conversion, basically what it does is to stream the video to your iPad, so that you can watch it even though it is in a format that would not normally play on the iPad. The other option is to tap on the Convert button, and you get a small dialogue asking you to select the destination folder. All I’m getting at present is, current folder. Next you will see a message which tells you that the video was successfully added to the conversion queue. All that is left to do then, is to tap on the button, Continue.
What do I think about the air video iPad application?
To start with, we have to say that that the price is excellent. But then it is no good having a small price for an application and a useless app that doesn’t do what it is supposed to do. In this case though with Air Video iPad, I have to say that the Air Video application is absolutely marvellous.
Using Air Video iPad, you will be able to watch your videos on the iPad easily, streaming from your computer without you having to do any copying files to iPad. This is a great time saver and also it is very good if you have a smaller amount of internal memory in your iPad. It saves you having to fill up your iPad with large files of video.
Aside from the fact that Air Video iPad is a video streaming application, it is also great to be able to convert video to iPad format. You can be sure that by using this Air Video Mac and iPad application your video will be converted, perfectly to work on the iPad. You can use this application to convert your videos ready to play on the iPad, to save having to mess with the Handbrake presets in that application.