Monday, February 22, 2010

Mobile remote media browser

A couple of months ago I got myself a Motorola Droid (actually a Milestone in my country):


It's a pretty cool device, with an operating system (Android) that has a lot of potential, but also some warts. There are literally thousands of issues registered in their issue tracker, of which I have starred about 30 of them.

Anyway, I don't mean to write a full review of Android or the Moto Droid, but one thing that bothered me is that I couldn't find any free and easy streaming solution. Some solutions are awfully complicated, and others are way too proprietary for my taste. I just want to select a video file on my desktop computer and have it played on the phone.

So I hacked together a little web app that does just that. The web app sits on the desktop box and presents a filesystem browser. You browse it on your phone, and when you select a video, it opens on the phone's media player. It can also stream MP3, display images and text files and any other content that the phone can handle.




On a more technical note, video is streamed using VLC to create a RTSP endpoint. The video is transcoded on the fly to H.264 so that Android can understand it, which means that you can stream any video format that VLC supports (even with subtitles!). Too bad I couldn't get on-demand video to work yet (VLC does support it), which is why there's that "Kill VLC" button: when you quit Android's media player, the video keeps running on the server. Also, without on-demand video there's no way to pause or seek from the client. Transcoding settings are configurable so you can fiddle with the bitrate and video resolution (currently set to baseline profile, 500kbit/s, 640x360).

You can get it here:

Only requirement to run is .NET 3.5 SP1.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Using this on my N1 and love it. Thanks!