While looking through the App Store for iPad apps, one of the applications that caught my eye was a simple looking app called Stream To Me. I’ve been looking for a while for an app that allowed me to stream my video collection that’s tied to my TV in the living room on my iPhone and now iPad. This app allows you to do just that. With it you can stream just about any audio or video file that your Mac can play down to your iPhone or iPad while you are both on the same wireless network. And the good news is that it does so simply, quickly, and at a great price.
For Stream To Me to work, it needs the companion app that runs on a desktop machine called Serve To Me. The server part will be able to transcode the video files to a version that can be displayed on your portable device, if needed. The bad news for many of you is that Serve To Me currently only works on Mac OSX machines. I have mine set up and running on a Mac Mini that I have connected to my TV.
Once you have Serve To Me installed, it’s a quick configuration to get it streaming to your iDevice. Just point it to the directories of files that you want to serve up. All of these folders will be displayed on the device when you connect to the server. If you add folders with lots of subfolders, that will work too. And there are sorting options in the app that allow you to flatten these out a little bit.
One of the amazing things about the app itself is how quickly it starts the video playing. I was able to get a video to play in less that 7 seconds from the time I launched the application to the opening credits starting. And once the video has started playing, you have full seek control, just like if it were residing on the device.
There are multiple sorting modes that you can apply to the folders. Also, there seems to currently be a little bug where these sorting preferences may or may not be saved. I’d love the ability to display a sexy movie list, similar to the iPad version of the ABC app.
This is a great solution for playing video to your handheld devices in the home — I use it to watch movies in bed — works great. But we’d love to see some enhancements. For one, we’d love to be able to stream while outside the home. And I’m sure that this can be done with some complicated VPN setup — but it sure would be nice to be able to have it all work from within the app.
Other things I’d love to see added to the app include the ability to combine folders. I have movies scattered across multiple devices. I’d love the ability to have a single movies folder in the app that combines all of those other folders. Also, the app while very well done, is in need of a little sexy design work. Imagine this app with the looks of the ABC app on the iPad and it would be killer.
Stream to Me is currently available in the App Store for the great price of $2.99. If you have a Mac desktop machine and a lot of videos you’d like to be able to watch anywhere in your house, I strongly recommend this app! While there are a few things we’d love to see enhanced in the app, as it stands now it’s very functional and very fast.
Released: 2009-08-18 :: Category: Photography
Tagged with: ffmpeg, home network, stream, transcode, video