Best iPad video streamer/offline converter?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by SteveJobzniak, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. SteveJobzniak, Mar 30, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017

    SteveJobzniak macrumors 6502

    SteveJobzniak

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    #1
    What's the best solution for putting movies/tv shows on the iPad?

    I looked and found two that seem good:

    - Plex: Great GUI. Terrible $5 a month subscription to be able to sync media for offline usage.

    - Air Video HD: One-time purchase. Lets you download and keep videos for offline viewing.

    So it looked like I was going to buy Air Video HD, but I dislike that the author hasn't updated it for a whole year and that makes it look abandoned (although there is activity on their desktop server component at least). And threads like this give a bad impression: http://forums.inmethod.com/topic/3259-offline-video-jerky/.

    Anything else I should be buying instead?

    I primarily need the ability to carry movies and tv shows offline while I am away from home. Streaming is a very nice bonus though.

    Perhaps I should instead be using some kind of media converter app for Mac (like Handbrake) and manually syncing? Or even some dedicated app that writes media directly via lightning cable and doesn't need me to keep a copy in my local iTunes library (Handbrake requires me to keep the media on my Mac too, for syncing via iTunes "sync all my videos to the iPad").
     
  2. masotime macrumors 68020

    masotime

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #2
    I have Air Video HD and I don't experience jerkiness of any kind.
     
  3. SteveJobzniak thread starter macrumors 6502

    SteveJobzniak

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    #3
    Thanks a lot for taking the time to post and clear that up. :)

    In your view, what are the good points and bad points about AirVideoHD, before I buy it?
     
  4. masotime macrumors 68020

    masotime

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #4
    It works pretty seamlessly for me. I think you need to install VLC player for some libraries to convert certain file formats, such as HEVC content, but otherwise it smartly adapts to whatever bandwidth is available. You'll need a computer serving the Air Video HD Server to be running 24/7, but otherwise I've never had too many issues.

    Streaming over the internet may be a bit iffy though, especially port mapping over a firewall, depending on your home router setup. I also have TeamViewer installed on my computer (it's free for personal use) which I use to remotely "restart" Air Video HD Server in case it has difficulty communicating with my device over the web.
     
  5. SteveJobzniak thread starter macrumors 6502

    SteveJobzniak

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    #5
    @masotime Thanks a lot again for taking the time to write, I truly appreciate it! Air Video HD doesn't have any trial so I had to rely on feedback. But it sounds like I won't have to fiddle with manual Handbrake conversions or paying for a Plex subscription. I'll be buying Air Video HD now! ;) And I like that they say they have multitasking and PiP support!

    I won't be using it over the internet. But I'll definitely take a lot of media with me. I bet that if their livestream transcoding is as good as you say, there won't be any problem with the offline ("downloaded") transcodes stored on the device since they probably use the exact same encoding process but just do it all at once. :)
     
  6. off_piste macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    #6
    I use Infuse for everything. iPhone, iPad, Apple TV.
     
  7. SteveJobzniak thread starter macrumors 6502

    SteveJobzniak

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    #7
    Nice. That has the polish of Plex but more media compatibility and just $6.99 per year (or $12.99 as a one-time purchase). It lets you stream MKVs without conversion, and the app on the device handles the decoding of such videos instead of needing a media converter-server.

    https://firecore.com/forum/topic/16168

    Seems like a great one. But it is kind of like a pocket media center app. A bit overkill for me.

    I bought Air Video HD and it is working well. I can browse folders shared from the Mac, play with live conversion or save to the device over the air (for offline use). Great and pretty cheap app and doesn't need any metadata or accounts.

    If anyone wants to go with a more media center-like app though, Infuse is clearly a LOT better than Plex.
     
  8. zorinlynx macrumors 603

    zorinlynx

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #8
    VLC is great. You can push files directly to the app over USB using iTunes (fast as hell!) or you can transfer media files over the network (slower, but may be more convenient).

    Also, it's free.
     
  9. masotime macrumors 68020

    masotime

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #9
    If the conversation is drifting to media players, I would also recommend nPlayer. It plays most video and audio formats (DTS as well, natively, or pure audio files like FLAC) with good options for folder organization, iTunes transfer and cloud downloads (WebDAV / FTP / Google Drive / Dropbox / etc).
     
  10. SteveJobzniak thread starter macrumors 6502

    SteveJobzniak

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    #10
    @zorinlynx Cool, so it's a real VLC media player which uses iTunes "file sharing" to dump files on it and can handle most formats. Great idea! I still like AirVideo HD though. Lets me set a quality like 720p when I convert for offline viewing. Saves space on the tablet.

    @masotime Thanks!
     
  11. FriendlyMackle macrumors 6502

    FriendlyMackle

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #11
    My solution for video I want to watch on my ipad is to convert files on my Mac, and then place them in Dropbox.
    Then on the iPad, I open Dropbox and I can play the files right there. No need to futz around with anything else.

    For the file conversion - which I use for all kinds of media, I have Permute. Which is a great(!) little program. Very simple and you can use both pre-configured profiles (iPad, iPhone, .mov, .mp4, etc.) and resolutions. It works beautifully.

    I pretty much convert all of my files to mp4 as I like the fact that in Preview on my Mac I can clearly see the image/video and have all of the resolution, time, and more in the info file.
     

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