Streaming Your AVI & MKV Video Files to the iPad

Air Video

Been wondering how you’re going to be able to play all your AVI and MKV movies on your shiny new iPad next month?  Here’s the answer, a little £1.79 app from the iTunes store.  We’ve confirmed with the developers of Air Video that the native iPad version is in the works, and we’ve tested it on the iPhone and are really impressed.  Here’s how it works..

Most of us have video ripped to our hard drives.  While in recent times h.264 (the only codec supported on the Apple devices) has become more popular, a lot of people have AVIs and now MKVs in other codecs.  Usually you are faced with hours of re-encoding followed by syncing to the devices limited storage in order to play these files on you iPhone / iPod Touch or now iPad.  But help is at hand with the Air Video app.  It uses ffmpeg to “Play with Live Conversion”, in a similar way that ‘PS3 Media Server’ does an on the fly conversion to allow you to play MKVs on it.  The app runs in conjunction with a free server application.  Versions are available for Mac OSX and Windows XP, Vista and 7.

The result is that your entire video collection (minus any DRM’d content of course) is now playable over your wifi network – and even over 3G with an experimental feature.  Knowing the iPad can be used to stream your video files completes another piece of the jigsaw for the device.

Air Video

“Is your iPhone/iPod touch full and yet it contains only a fraction of your video library? Are your videos in format unsupported by iPhone/iPod touch?  Think of all those AVI, DivX, MKV and other files in your collection that would take weeks to convert just to be playable on iPhone.  Air Video is the ultimate solution for these problems.  Instead of having to synchronize your videos to device you can now watch them over air. Suddenly the capacity of your iPhone/iPod touch is infinite and the nuisance of iTunes is gone.

iPhone and iPod touch are very picky about the video formats they can play. Normally this means you need to convert the entire video before you can watch it. This can easily take an hour!

With Air Video this is no longer an issue. Air Video supports almost all video formats and performs the conversion *on fly*. That means you don’t have to wait until the file gets converted any more. You can start watching it almost immediately.

Air Video

Air Video comes packed with features. It can share folders on your harddrive as well as iTunes playlists. It supports live conversion as well as offline conversion where the entire file is converted upfront. It lets you customize the conversion settings, adjust resolution, zoom and crop the video.

The free server software (available for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and Microsoft Windows) is needed to stream and convert the videos and can be downloaded at” : iTunes link to App : Plex Streaming to iOS : Klexi Streaming to iOS

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3 Comments on "Streaming Your AVI & MKV Video Files to the iPad"

  1. cfriedberg | March 12, 2010 at 4:45 pm |

    Been using this product on my iPhone for a while now, its just gotten better and better. Probably one of the best, if not the best paid app in the App Store…certainly tops in terms of bang-per-buck (or pound as they say…)

  2. Great article thanks, this is the app I’ve been looking for. They have a universal version out and I’ve tried it on both my iPhone and iPad and it works flawlessly and has a great interface too. Converting a 720p mkv seems to pose no problem to a 5 year old MacBook pro, which is nice.

  3. jirka - czech republic | December 26, 2010 at 8:38 pm |

    wow, that is truly great piece of software, I tryied the free version first, which allows u to run just few videos from youe library, and it works great. It even plays 1080p converted and downscaled to my ipad and it runs in only waits a few seconds in the begining to buffer the stream a bit and then it goes. I can only recomend.

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