Two Recommended Non-Music Apps (and how I use them)
I have been using two non-music apps as of late, and although I have mentioned them in the past, I wanted to recommend them again. As a disclaimer, all paid apps on techinmusiced.com are referral links…the apps cost the same but techinmusiced recieves 7% of the sale price as a referral bonus. As a side note, since September, 72 people have purchased an app with a referral from techinmusiced.com. Thank you for your suppoer.
First, I bought a Mac Mini this summer to use as a media center for our home, and all of our media is on an external drive. We like to use the Mac Mini with our Apple TV to watch the movies on our hard drive (you can convert DVDs to Apple-friendly media with the wonderful app, Handbrake). I began wondering how I could access those movies on my iPad or iPhone, and I tripped upon the app AirVideo. Well, the people who made AirVideo brough out AirVideo HD this past fall. It works much the same as AirVideo. You install a program on your computer and tell it where to access media content, and then you connect to that program with the universal iPhone or iPad app. You can even set up the computer program to allow access to your movies from outside your network (such as watching a movie at school). If your relatives have the app, you can share the access code with them; and you can also use AirPlay to successfully show a video on an AppleTV or any other AirPlay receiver from your iPhone or iPad. This is a game-changing app. I did notice that the HD version also allows for a search of your movie library, which is important as you gain a lot of titles. Right now, the app is $2.99, and the computer “host” program is free.
Second, to use that MacMini, I have to turn the TV to a HDMI input, mess around with remotes, and deal with our wired keyboard which is at the TV (I don’t have a Apple Wireless Keyboard yet). I remembered that I have Splashtop installed on my iPad. So, I can control my computer with my iPad. I don’t find much use for Splashtop at school (this kind of program is the only way to “use” an iPad directly with an Interactive White Board), but being able to quickly link to the Mac Mini without turning on the TV is a HUGE benefit. I will often copy a DVD on my MacBook (the Mac Mini has no DVD drive), and then use AirDrop to send it to the Mac Mini. I can control the entire AirDrop process on the MacMini, as well as the eventual importing of the movie into iTunes and the proper tagging of the movie on my iPad. Granted, the iPad wasn’t truly made for this interface, but if I can be honest (and owning a Windows 8.1 tablet), running a Mac over Splashtop with an iPad is a better experience than the legacy Windows Desktop on a Windows 8.1. tablet (particularly a tablet as a tablet, without a keyboard/trackpad, like the accessories for the Surface series of tablets). Splashtop also requires a free desktop program. You can pay for access to your computer via Splashtop over the Internet (away from the network where you are working), but I only access computers that are on the same network where I am located. Splashtop is currently $9.99; it has made management of our Mac Mini media computer worth every last penny.
So: recommended apps: