View Full Version : Are there more apps like AirPlayer ? Streaming and instant seeking without conversion
Feb 26, 2012, 01:49 PM
There are tons of apps that convert movies on the fly and stream to the ios.
They are nice, and it's good we have that option. But they have some disadvantages. For once they can use the computer CPU to max, and sometimes a slow CPU laptop is not enough. And if you wanna seek and skip back a few seconds in the movie, you have to wait ...and wait.
While AirPlayer is able to stream movies like mpg or avi to your ipad without conversion. It won't use the computer processor and more importantly you can seek and fast forward instantly without wait for re-conversion.
The seek time is similar to native player with movies loaded on the ipad.
And you can choose from 3 plugins : FFmpeg, default and QuickTime. With the quicktime plugin you will be able to play mp4 files with the native hardware.
Are there more apps like the AirPlayer ?
Feb 26, 2012, 02:25 PM
Just so I am clear on what you are asking for you, you are looking for streaming app that doesn't do any conversion on the host computer correct? Are you looking to be able to stream over 3G or just wifi?
Feb 26, 2012, 02:49 PM
Yes, streaming without conversion. Because in this way I am able to fast forward or backward without waiting.
3g or wifi or both.
Just to be clear there is already an app that can do this. But surely there must be others.
I just discovered it can browse also songs and pictures.
Feb 26, 2012, 02:57 PM
Streaming without transcoding is not a good idea.
The device has to do the decoding without the support of hardware.
You would drain your battery really fast.
And for skipping within streamed media, if the container does not support re-entry without decoding lots additional data, it does not make much sense.
What I want to say: There's a reason the industry invented live feeds in packetized streams to allow for error recovery and adaptive quality.
You can not expect to get that out of a codec, that was designed to maintain the highest possible quality using the lowest possible bitrate. (i.e lots of reference frames, no loss of data, etc.)
(reading my post I realize that I could not really bring my point accross, but I think what you want is not practial. Existing solutions need host based transcoding for a reason)
Feb 26, 2012, 05:47 PM
I think maybe I wasn't clear enough. There is already an app exactly like this. It works pretty well except for higher resolution movies. That's why I'm trying to find alternatives.
Draining the battery. - As I said, in the app settings you can choose 3 different plugins. One of them is the native hardware movie plugin which has much better performance and I'm guessing it doesn't drain the battery.
And software playback plugins are for those who are already using a player like OPlayer for .avi formats. But AirPlayer allows you to skip the part of copying the avi movies on the ipad.
I'm not sure I understand your post about skipping, but let me explain again my point.
Right now, the streaming with transcoding apps won't allow you to seek and fast forward. Or rewind 4 seconds back because perhaps you dropped your popcorn and you missed a scene. You can do that, but it's very slow. You have to wait until the server encodes again that portion.
While with the existing AirPlayer app it's instant - just like that movie would already be on your ipad and you were playing that movie with the native player.
Feb 27, 2012, 04:23 AM
I think goodplayer app does have this functionality.
It's just not very reliable. Mkv files do not play properly.
Air video is best IMO if you want great quality.
Feb 29, 2012, 11:29 AM
You can also try Buzz Player HD, which can find local networked PC and Mac. It supports AFP, SMB,...quite useful for what the OP asked for.
But i myself prefer StreamToMe over anything else :)