Review of AirPlay on the iPad

IOS 4.3 is now available for download through iTunes . One of the things that came with the update was enhanced AirPlay. Which not only allows you to play iPad videos on your Apple TV as it did before, but it now also allows you to share your Itunes library including videos to your iPad, iPhone (3GS and 4) and iPod Touch. One of the coolest new features is the enhanced Airplay. Prior to this you could send video from your iPad to a T.V. that is connected to an Apple TV. The enhancement is now you can share your Itunes library on your iPad. To get this to work there are a couple of things that you will need to do. First turn on sharing in iTunes. To do this go to the Advanced tab and turn on Home Sharing. At this point you will need to enter your Apple ID and password. Then under Preference and the Sharing tab you can decide what you want to share. You can choose you whole library, just specific playlist or only certain types of media. You can also add a password, to limit the sharing to only those you give the password to. While you are in iTunes you may also want to check to make sure that what you are sharing can be played on your portable device. iPad can play H.264 MPEG4 and Motion JPEG video. For video I use Handbrake to do the conversion.  You will also need to have VLC installed for this to work. The iPad can handle ACC, MP3, Apple Lossless, AIFF and Wave audio files. Itunes itself is good and converting audio files.

Once you have everything set up on your computer, you are ready to set things up on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. On your portable device go into Settings the iPod fill in your Apple ID and password and you are set. Now when you open up the ipod app if you tap on Library at the top you should see My iPad and your shared library. Tap on your shared library and it will show up on your iPad. As it is working you will see a little circle fill up. One of the things that confused me for a minute was that I wasn’t seeing any of my movies or TV shows in my iPod application. Then I realized there is a separate app on the iPad called Video, that is where all the video files were.  Although video podcast do show up in the iPod application.

There are a couple of things that I did notice at this point. First it takes some time to load all the videos screenshots. The second thing I noticed and its definitely a bug is sometimes if you have the Info button highlighted and you hit play an error message will pop up and “Says Can Not Play Movie.”  Then in the same movie if you have the chapter bar highlighted and hit play it works fine.   I am sure this is a temporary problem and will be fixed quickly. However if you are having trouble playing videos you may want to try that, until Apple gets a fix out.  Once the video start to play they look and play fine. For someone like me with a 16 GB iPad being able to keep your videos on your computer or a network hard drive and play them on the iPad is a great solution.