I have never really made the effort to stream movies onto my iPad. The reason is that I only get the time to watch movies when I am travelling and I?ll take the time to upload my movies pre-flight.
However I have recently bought a new VPN router that supports a USB network drive. A network drive attached to a router simply means that your router acts as the computer and thus no computer needs to be switched on for you to access the DRIVE and its content. I put an old portable drive in and enabled file sharing via USB on the router and voila! Network drive enabled!
Not Just a FileBrowser, right?
With a network drive enabled, I can now stream movies/music from any device that is connected to my home network. My search to stream movies onto my iPad pointed me to FileBrowser. As its rather simple name suggests, Filebrowser allows you to view files over several platforms, a more in depth description follows:
FileBrowser is like having Windows Explorer or Mac Finder on your iPad / iPhone to access, copy and stream files from remote computers including Windows, Mac, and Network (NAS) drives.
You can browse machines on your WiFi network and view documents, photos or stream movies directly to the iPad / iPhone. You can also sync them through iTunes. Transferred files can be stored within FileBrowser to take with you.
And why would anyone want to stream files you may ask? Well, due to the memory limitations of the ipad/iPhone and the bulkiness of the laptop, steaming your movies off a 1 TB (or higher) Hard Disk gives you the option of watching an unlimited amount of movies anywhere within your home network.
That will do Pig ? That will do ? Task well done
Filebrowser is simply more than a file browser as it streams your content rather seamlessly. Connecting to your computer or Network Accessible Storage (NAS) device, or Airport Extreme Base Station (with contents) over WiFi or 3G using the SMB file transfer protocol, which means no third party software is needed.
FileBrowser does not auto detect a network so there is tad bit of work here in setting it up. Under location just select the address which you want to connect to:
For NAS on my router
I specified my Routers IP address (i.e. 192.168.0.1) along with the username and password (which are all provided with your routers documentation)
Other Computer?s shared content
You can add a new computer by typing ?username.local? in the ?Name or Address? field ? where ?username? is the actual name you chose for your Mac?s Home folder. With the same .local domain, FileBrowser can connect to an AirPort Extreme station (and thus open the contents of a shared drive) or recognize the folders you?ve decided to share (besides Home) in your Mac?s System Preferences.
But? Before you stream ? READ THIS!
For you to stream a movie directly to FileBrowser you must make sure that the movie?s format is in a format that can be played on the iPad. This means converting it to an MP4 or H264 format ? I use a program called Xilisoft HD video converter for this.
You generally hit and miss while downloading apps that fulfill your needs. FileBrowser did what it intended to do and proved pretty reliable. It was relatively easy to setup with loads of instructions and help files in case you lost your way. Filebrowser is a Universal App available on the App Store ($4.99).