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HowTo Play .AVI Videos in Your AirStash

The AirStash is a handy iDevice accessory that provides external storage via standard SD memory cards of up to 32GB. iDevices have limited memory and lack the capability of expanding it with USB flash memory sticks. Full length movies, typically 700MB or greater, can quickly consume the capacity of an iPhone or iPad. External storage is very desirable. Cloud storage is available for a fee but access to it depends upon the availability of an Internet connection. The AirStash provides similar capability and does not require an Internet connection. Out of the box, the AirsStash will work as advertised  Store an iOS compatible file in it and it can be viewed or played with the free AirStash app. This leaves a lot to be desired. First, only files native to iOS can be handled and second, viewing or playing is limited to the features built into the iDevice. What do you do if, like me, most of your videos are in .avi (XVID) format?

The first problem (incompatible format) can be solved by transcoding the video to a compatible (mp4) one. Using the free cross-platform Handbrake app, I transcoded a 700MB .avi file in about 40 minutes. While it did play well after moving it to the AirStash, the procedure was time consuming and would be quite a nuisance to perform on every .avi. It also did not solve the second problem of having only the built-in player with limited features to watch videos. Here is a much better solution.

There are at least two, and probably more, iOS video apps that will play streamed media. The two that I am familiar with are the OPlayer and the BUZZ Player. In this this tutorial I will reference the BUZZ Player although the instructions are similar for any player that supports streaming media.

Preparation: Install BUZZ Player in your iDevice. With it’s USB plug, insert the AirStash into your desktop computer. Open the AirStash icon on your monitor and copy/move the desired .avi file(s) into it. The file will upload into the AirStash. Repeat for other files as you wish. Safely eject and unmount the AirStash from the desktop computer.

Step One: Start the AirStash by pressing its button until the green light blinks.

Step Two: Go to Settings on your iDevice,select Network and switch to AirStash.

Step Three: On your iDevice, launch a browser (Safari will do) and browse to http://airstash.net/files. A list of files on the AirStash will display.

Step Four: Select your .avi file, longpress on it until the menu displays.

Step Five: Tap COPY to place the URL on the internal clipboard.

Step Six: Quit Safari and launch BUZZ Player.

Step Seven: At the bottom of the screen tap the “+” button to bring up the URL dialog.

Step Eight: Longpress in the URL box until “Paste” is displayed.

Step Nine: Tap “Paste” and enjoy your movie!




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