DIY: How to Stream Media Onto Your Android Device Easily from Anywhere

OK, let’s assume a few things. First off, let’s assume that you don’t mind watching your media (which includes your favorite movies, music or TV shows, etc) on a phone screen. If you have an HD2 running Android, an SGS or a tablet of some kind, chances are you probably enjoy this experience more than if you had a smaller screen. Secondly, let’s also assume that you already know how to plug your phone in to your computer, copy your .AVI or .MKV or .MP3 file across, and then play it on your phone. Let’s also assume you’re sick of waiting for files to copy and wished you could do it all remotely. Or, you ran out of space on your phone but want to have everything available.

Using this simple setup, you can control my torrent downloads easily, queue new material up, then stream it directly onto the phone, all without having to even be near the computer, let alone plug anything in. The computer handles the downloads and transcoding on it’s side (so if you’re transcoding HD media, you may need a reasonably quick computer). It also allows for streaming of MP3s on the computer, so you don’t need to carry your music with you.

(I will also assume, that all the material you’re watching, is 100% legit of course, and does not infringe on copyright.)

Requirements:
1) A PC running on home network (this can be running Windows [for which this guide is aimed at], Linux or any other platform which VLC runs on).
2) An Android phone that has network connectivity, either by 3G or by Wifi
3) Download a copy of the free and open-source VLC Media Player and install it.

STEP 1) Start VLC => View => Add Interface => Web Interface. A small tick will appear next to it. If this doesn’t work, consult this page.

STEP 2) On Phone, Install VLC Stream and Convert.

STEP 3) In this program, enter IP address of your PC, it will connect.

STEP 4) Your media now shows up on the phone browser, ready to play. Note that you can adjust quality settings (resolution/bitrate) in the settings of the program. Also initial load and seeks will take a few seconds to buffer, but it’s still much quicker than waiting to copy the entire file to the phone, let alone worry about space limitations.

That’s it, you’re done. You can now stream MP3s, MP4s, MKVs, or basically any type of media file (VLC supports nearly everything), from your computer, to your phone, on the fly, from anywhere. It even works when you’re on the road (as long as you have 3G connection), just forward the appropriate ports. Note that it’s a good idea to reduce streaming quality if you’re watching your media on the road, unless you have a super fast 3G connection.

BONUS STEP: If you are technically inclined, be sure to check out Transdroid, my favorite Android Torrent manager. It will allow you to connect to and manage your Torrents on your PC (if you use one of the supported clients), as well as initiate searches from your phone. So if you think of something you’d like to watch later, punch it in, queue it up, then when you get home it’s ready to watch (or stream to your phone), all without having to actually use the computer at all.

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7 thoughts on “DIY: How to Stream Media Onto Your Android Device Easily from Anywhere

  1. Doesn’t work. Way more complicated than these simple instructions. After hitting ‘connect’ for wlan, the system goes zombapp…no info, no message, nothing. Not ready for prime time.

  2. Make sure if you have opened the necessary ports on windows firewall, or unblock the program.

  3. Pingback: Asus Transformer TF101 Review (Part 2 – Software) « senk9@wp

  4. Looks like we are in the same boat. VLC will stream music and audio fine..but video is more of a problem. so yes..same problem as you

  5. Getting audio, but no video on my Tmobile MyTouch 3G. I know it’s an older phone, but was curious if anyone ever got it to stream video.

  6. This is a very easy app to use and the features are wonderful. I like the ease of port forwarding. I found my self wanting new media though. I will be sticking with my Remote Access app from my employer, DISH Network. I can stream live TV, on demand content, and all of my DVR recordings to my Android. It’s nice to stream my music using VLC, but nothing beats Remote Access for video.

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