Sunday, May 20, 2012

Could that have been any easier?

Nikki's been talking for a few weeks about what a good idea it would be to take some of our films with us when we go away, just in case (unlikely I know *cough*) the in-flight movies suck. I've been procrastinating, because all our media - both DVDs and BluRays - are ripped to MKV format and this won't play natively on the iPad, but with the trip imminent the time for procrastination ran out yesterday and I started doing some research. It didn't take me more than a minute or so to find GoodPlayer.

With a "best video player for iPhone" recommendation from Lifehacker, many positive forum postings and a price tag of only £1.99 it wasn't a hard purchasing decision. Little did I realise that the traditional simplicity of getting my hands on an app from the App Store was only the start of this easy ride.

I launched GoodPlayer and it instantly found two media sources. Well actually it's the same source but GoodPlayer supports a variety of access formats, so it gave me the option to connect to our film collection via SAMBA/CIFS or UPnP/DLNA (apologies to those of you who don't speak geek).

Clicking on the first took me to the file share list and I navigated quickly down through the folders - multimedia / video / movies - to our list of 400+ movies. Choosing one at random, GoodPlayer asks if I want to stream it, or download it. I chose stream (for now), and the movie started playing.

Just like that.

The whole process from finding the app to watching the movie took less than five minutes. Sometimes, computers and related technology get in your way. Sometimes they can even make you tear your hair out. Other times they *just work* and this was one of those times. Brilliant. Vibrant colours, crisp almost-high-def stream (from a standard definition movie file) and no buffering or streaming problems at all now that our downstairs network has been boosted by the TPLink Powerline adaptors.

It took Nikki less than five seconds to declare she wanted a copy too, and half an hour later we both had a download queue of 4 of 5 films which our NAS was happily serving up to the iPads at 3MB/sec (download time for an average film about half an hour) as well as delivering a film to the TV. Should help the flights pass more enjoyably :o)

1 comment:

Mary Sue said...

Thanks for the information, John. Time to get my media in order.