***OFFICIAL***: iPad/iPad2 Accessories, Cases, Apps and "Magic" Thread.

Discussion in 'Apple and Mac OS X' started by ajreynol, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. ajreynol

    ajreynol Notebook Virtuoso

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    I did pick up the VGA adapter. it works well, provided the app you want to use works with it.

    Air Video works marvelously with it, for example. But if your app isn't supported...you get absolutely nothing. very hit/miss.


    gonna be writing a brief review of StreamToMe soon. It's basically Air Video, but it does music too. :D
     
  2. ajreynol

    ajreynol Notebook Virtuoso

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    App mini-review: StreamToMe

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    StreamToMe is one of a few apps that define the iPad's usability: it allows you to connect to your home PC via your local network or remotely (via remote wifi OR 3G) and access your home media.

    In the case of StreamToMe, you can stream your music folders, iTunes Library, and or Movie folders. Pictures below. Setup is easy for home use, but requires rather technically advanced networking knowledge (specifically, how to set up a DNS or static IP address for your modem and how to set up port forwarding for your PC) in order to set it up for remote/3G usage. If you can handle that part, this app will very likely be worth the purchase.

    StreamToMe works by installing a client app on your desktop/laptop computer (Windows or OSX) to which the StreamToMe iPad app connects and access the files in the folders which you specify on the desktop client. This allow you to control what gets shared, which is important for security.

    During my 4 or 5 months of use with the app, I find that it works perfectly over your local network, but will occasionally pause or scale up/down quality based on the quality of your remote wifi/3G connection. It will play music even after being minimized. Navigating and sorting your music/movies in multiple ways is convenient and straight forward. Your ability to stream to multiple iPads is a function of the power of your CPU and the amount of bandwidth you have available. I personally have successfully streamed four different 720p movies to 4 different iDevices simultaneously on my internal network using my i7-920 desktop...but expect lower results if you have a less powerful CPU because the app transcodes the videos in real time. This app is well supported and is updated regularly, so I'm sure any additional quirks will be ironed out over time...but really, it's just about perfect as it is.

    There are a few things that I would like to see this app do that others do better:

    -Audio boosting. Some video files were recorded a little quieter than I'd like, so the ability to boost the audio beyond the standard volume controls would be very valuable.

    -Manual quality settings. When streaming remotely, it's good to be able to specify some maximum or minimum bandwidth settings. StreamToMe does it automatically. Usually it makes the right decisions...but sometimes you'd just like to have that control yourself, you know?

    This app, in my opinion, represents the best of the "multiple media" apps...the apps that allow streaming for more than just audio or just video. Because it can do audio AND video, it becomes a very effective one-stop-shop for your entertainment needs.

    Pros:
    +Extremely consistent performer for streaming video and music
    +Easy to navigate your folders, even if you have a lot of files to scroll through
    +Playback begins quickly
    +Music and movies scale darn well over 3G or wifi outside of your network

    Cons:
    -No control over max/minimum bitrates.
    -No audio boosting control
    -Complicated to set up for remote access
    -Video quality limited to 720p

    9.5/10

    Available for all iDevices.

    Homepage: Projects With Love: StreamToMe

    StreamToMe for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store

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    note: this app does support VGA or video out.

    note: this app does support horizontal and vertical viewing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2015
  3. ajreynol

    ajreynol Notebook Virtuoso

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    App Miini-Review: Air Video

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    In the same vein as StreamToMe, Air Video is a media streaming app that allows you to connect to your computer and stream video from anywhere.

    Assuming you read the short critique of StreamToMe above, Air Video is different in that it ONLY does video. But...it does video better than any of the other applications that I've found so far. It has all the video customization options that StreamToMe and others DON'T have, including the ability to fine-tune the resolution, boosting the audio when needed and streaming quality over various types of connections manually.

    It's also probably the most stable of all of them, rarely if ever having any issues when switching quickly from one video to another. It also has a wonderfully simple networking setup where your desktop client (yes, it connects to a desktop client just like StreamToMe) is given a PIN number (and you supply a password). All you have to do is punch that pin number into your iDevice and it...just works.

    Air Video is my go-to video streaming application. Whether I'm at home or in an airport, its options for video playback are simply too good to ignore. If I couldn't afford multiple apps and I wanted to also stream music, I'd probably go with StreamToMe (you really can't go wrong with that app)...but Air Video contines to be the most consistent and enjoyable option for me thanks to its rock-solid stability, rare connection drops, manual steaming quality controls, and dead-simple networking setup. It only does video...but it does it perfectly. I can't think of anything it doesn't do that I'd like it to. Let us all hope that one day Air Video supports music too.

    Pros:
    +Everything it does, it does with excellence.
    +Extremely stable over 3G, scaling well
    +Easy to configure for usage outside of your network.
    +Full control over bitrates based on your connection type
    +Sound boosting options
    +Subtitles and audio track options
    +Video quality that can exceed 720p (up to 1280x800)

    Cons:
    -Does not do anything other than video. You'll need something else for your music/photos/files needs.

    My score: 10/10

    Homepage: About Air Video

    iTunes: Air Video - Watch your videos anywhere! for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store

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    (full screen mode not pictured, but it looks like any other video in full-screen)

    note: this app does support VGA or video out.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2015
  4. ajreynol

    ajreynol Notebook Virtuoso

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    App Mini-Review: ZumoCast

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    ZumoCast is the newest of the streaming apps that I've come across. It's different the the other 2 in some interesting ways which making it a compelling choice on its own. I'll just talk about what differentiates it from the others.

    1.) It's Desktop client app actually syncronizes with a website (zumocast.com), giving you the ability to access music and movies via your web browser! It's pretty darn cool and depending on your utility for such a feature, it's a big deal.

    2.) It can play back not just your movies and music, but it can also open your photos, word documents, PDFs, and text files! Maybe more, but that's what I've tried so far. This makes it much more of a complete package than the others and a rare breed amongst iDevice streaming applications. It's really amazing.

    3.) You can download files from your desktop computer into ZumoCast. Music, Movies, files...anything can be downloaded in to the application's media folders.

    So what don't I like? Well, a few things:

    -I think the user interface is a bit clunky compared to the others on the iDevice. The images are nice and big, but they're so big, it forces you to do more scrolling than you would in StreamToMe or Air Video.

    -Like StreamToMe, it doesn't provide any streaming quality options like Air Video does. This is fine when it picks the best bandwidth to stream at...but it can be annoying when it doesn't and you're subject to random pauses until it figures it out. With Air Video, you can decrease the maximum stream quality until you get a smooth picture all the time.

    -The web interface doesn't work with all browsers.

    None of those are big issues...just minor annoyances or inconveniences, really. But I do wish both Zumo and StreamToMe offered the ability to manually control the bandwidth because when you're on the road, the pausing and stuttering can be irritating.

    My score: 9.9/10

    It does everything the others do and more, but an interface with smaller graphics would go a long way for those of us with lots of music or videos to have to scroll through. And the app recieves regular updates, so it's gotten much better and stable since launch. You can't go wrong with this app.

    Homepage: ZumoCast - Stream your media to iPhone, iPad, and any browser. It's your personal cloud.

    iTunes: ZumoCast - Stream videos & music instantly for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store

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    Web interface screenshots: (click the links)

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    Note: This app does offer vertical and horizontal viewing.

    Note: This app does offer VGA / video out playback.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2015
  5. ajreynol

    ajreynol Notebook Virtuoso

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    I'll be going over a few of the better RSS readers tomorrow.
     
  6. ajreynol

    ajreynol Notebook Virtuoso

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    just realized that I forgot to mention:

    with Air Video, you can Convert a movie from whatever format it's in into an iDevice friendly format, which gets automatically added to your iTunes Movie menu.

    you can even queue up movies if you know you want several to take with you at some point. then just sync your phone and you're in business. I love all of these apps...and it's hard for me to choose just 1 so I'd kinda recommend them all if you can spare the change. lol
     
  7. ajreynol

    ajreynol Notebook Virtuoso

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    App Mini-Review: Pulp

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    Pulp is an RSS reader that's formatted to look like a newspaper. You can add RSS feeds from your Google.com/reader account or go with the set the provide by default. It offers the ability to save articles for later, change the formatting of articles, and read full articles without switching to Safari (it opens a safari browser inside the app) to do so, maintaining style consistency. You can also add your own Section headers (like "News" or "Lifestyle" as you so desire, which I like.

    I find that Pulp is good for when you want to see just a handful of RSS stories at any given time. It's clever in its design, but can be irritating if you're the kind of person that prefers speed and performance over style or likes to have quick-scrolling access to dozens (or hundreds) or articles.

    Pros:

    +Clever design, similar to the USA Today app
    +Being able to read an entire article without having a mini-browser open up is great
    +Quite stable and works as you expect an RSS reader to work
    +Provides categories to put certain RSS feeds in, providing logical separation.
    +Perfect for light-usage RSS reading, IMO.
    +Works well in vertical or horizontal modes
    +The various formatting options allow you to truly capture that newspaper feel while making each section different based on your specifications.
    +Can publish to your Facebook/Twitter account or eMail any article directly from the article interface.


    Cons:

    -Some RSS feeds didn't load at all
    -RSS feeds that don't include images wind up having empty image placeholders.
    -Scales up poorly. if you like having more than 5 or 6 stories per RSS feed available, you have to do a lot of scrolling and button pressing. It can become very cumbersome.
    -It reloads images every time you click on a tab instead of loading all of them into a storage cache like some other RSS apps do.
    -No ability to publish to services like Delicious, ReadItLater, MobiReader, or others.

    My score: 8/10

    Homepage: Acrylic - Pulp for iPad

    iTunes: Pulp for iPad for iPad on the iTunes App Store

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2015
  8. MissLeiona

    MissLeiona Notebook Enthusiast

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    We have this cover, and it is awesome! We have the iPad for our almost 2 yr old and she throws it on the tile floor and it is still going strong! I would absolutely recommend this. We have had our iPad since about 2 weeks after release date and no scratching! We also have a Zagg Invisi-Shield on it as well and those are awesome. Perfect for an almost 2 yr old.
     
  9. ajreynol

    ajreynol Notebook Virtuoso

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    hoping someone offers a review of the new Apple cover and the new Garage Band software...
     
  10. 2.0

    2.0 NBR Macro-Mod® Super Moderator

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    Renamed thread to include iPad 2 since many of the apps and accessories are usable on the newest iteration of the iPad.
     
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