Hey guys, I wanted to chime in with my $0.02. I plan on examining the above solutions in more detail later, but allow me to describe my method of streaming that I am rather fond of.
I have a few Android devices, all of which are streaming content from my computer over WiFi.
Please Note: Each Android is rooted with a CIFS-supported kernel with CIFS Manager installed. The methods below should be possible on iOS, but I have not tried it. Jailbreak may be a requirement.
The beauty of CIFS is that it mounts a network share folder to your phone or tablet's sdcard. This tricks the phone or tablet into thinking that all the content is actually stored on the device.
Examples of why this is awesome:
1. Bypass the limitations of streaming applications; no DLNA server required; no browsing with a network file explorer for every song or video; PLAY CONTENT AS THOUGH IT'S STORED ON YOUR SDCARD.
2. Mount terabytes of content right to the phone/tablet
3. The ability to either mount any of your network shares, from any or many computers, into any or as many folders as you want.
MOUNTING CIFS SHARES FROM A NETWORKED COMPUTER TO YOUR MOBILE DEVICE OVER WIFI:
1. Root your Android
2. Install CIFS-supported kernel
3. Install CIFS Manager from Google Play
4. On your computer, create a network share folder (Example: C:\Share)
5. Add a new share to CIFS Manager (Example: 192.168.1.1/Share ; /sdcard/Media ; username ; password) You may need to find the path to the CIFS.ko and other modules (depending on Android version). Username and password are the username and password of the sharing computer.
6. Mount share in CIFS Manager
7. Open your favorite media player and play content from the "Media" folder on your sdcard (from Example in Step 5.)
Okay, you wonder how this is portable without a computer network, batteries, and a wireless router in your backpack all the time, right? Well, on nearly all laptops/netbooks with Windows 7 installed, you can create a virtual access point using the laptop/netbook's built in WiFi card. The laptop/netbook can be connected to WiFi (public, private, whatever) and still broadcast a private WiFi network SSID with WPA encryption that your mobile device can connect to. If you are getting internet from the public/private WiFi, then internet traffic can pass through right to the virtual and private network you just created! In a normal routing setup, traffic would have to pass from the computer into the router, and then out of the router and into your mobile device. With a virtual adapter, you can broadcast traffic straight from your computer to your mobile device (and still get internet access on both the laptop and mobile device).
Examples of why creating an infrastructure access point on your laptop is awesome when combined with CIFS:
1. Hotels (especially hotels with poor WiFi-- now I just broadcast straight to my mobile device from my laptop (particularly useful with HD movie streams)).
2. Car audio, if your mobile device is your source, now share all your content from your laptop.
3. Walking down the street, keep your netbook or laptop in your backpack and stream all your content to your phone.
4. Use your mobile as an audio source across the house or in the yard over WiFi, even if you don't have home internet or a wireless router.
CREATING AN INFRASTRUCTURE ACCESS POINT WITH LAPTOP'S BUILT-IN WIFI:
1. Follow the simple directions found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klHzMyYFGeQ
2. Create a batch file and add in the following: netsh wlan start hostednetwork
3. Each time you restart the computer, the above command must be run in order to start the WiFi AP. Just run the batch file created in the step above.
Lastly, the icing on the cake-- VPN!
Mounting CIFS shares on your mobile is possible over VPN. Now you can stream all your content on the go with your computer at home. The built-in VPN client in Android ICS and JB work fine (I've had trouble with GB and Froyo)
CONNECTING TO VPN NETWORK AND MOUNTING CIFS SHARE:
1. Install VPN client-- I use VPNRoot, an excellent app that supports MPPE encryption and can connect a VPN connection without the need for PIN, pattern, or face unlock. I have the donate version (free version limitations may be a problem.)
2. Connect to your home/office VPN via the VPN client. I use DD-WRT supported routers with PPTP VPN Server enabled. DynDNS will give you a free dynamic DNS host if you don't have a static IP.
3. Use CIFS Manager to connect to network share. Please note that all your internet traffic will be ported through the VPN, so beware of increased latency.
1. On some Androids, I disable Media Scanning (with Rescan Media Root) so its not scanning terabytes of stuff over WiFi at bootup.
2. With apps like Poweramp, I disable the auto-scan feature (I add the share folder in Poweramp's settings and wait for it find the content.)
3. A traffic monitor either on the sharing computer or on the phone is helpful (long wait times while scanning for content can occur in some apps.) CIFS-mounted folders are quick to browse, but can take a long time to add content into a media player.
4. If your Android throttles the WiFi network with the screen off, the WiFi High Performance Widget can override the throttling.
Edited by headfinoob - 7/30/12 at 5:10am