iphone app review: iPiMP
Iphone app review: iPiMP.
If you’ve ever spoken to me recently, you’ll know that I am espousing MediaPortal to as many people as possible and one of the first things I did after getting my shiney new iphone was to download the iPiMP (iphone interface for MediaPortal) app from their site.
For those who don’t know what mediaportal is, shame on you!
I… er.. mean, it’s an opensource PVR solution for windows XP machines and in direct competition with others such as BeyondTV, MythTV and Microsofts own Media Centre. While not as feature rich as BeyondTV it does get the streaming of live TV across your network very well and all for the price of zero. Definately in my top 5 apps you must download if you run windows.
The iPiMP app has been designed by one of the community to provide you with a portable interface for recording shows and playing them back.
It’s not strictly an app that you install onto your iphone, you install it onto the PC running the TV server and it will serve webpages using the built-in apache server, saving you from jailbreaking it – which is nice. Just remember to change the port to something like 81 because it’ll fail to start it’s service due to the TV server already using this port.
When it asks where you store the logos for the channels you need to point it towards here
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Team MediaPortal\MediaPortal\thumbs\tv\logos
Sadly it doesn’t seem to pick mine up, so I need to spend a little bit of time troubleshooting this.
Once everything is installed without error, connect to your wifi network, open safari on your iphone and point it to the following
When you reach the logon window to enter the default details, the lack of screen space gives you the only real annoyance when the keyboard covers the text input boxes until you enter something (and I’ve found the auto caps’ing of the first letter to be a pain too, since the default admin account is lower case).
Once logged in you’ll be greeted by a very clean interface with simple tasks allowing you to see what is currently on, schedule recordings and watch recorded TV (as long as you set it up to transcode them to the supported format).
Sadly you can’t stream the live TV feed to your iphone, which would have been the truly killer part of the app but it does turn your iphone into a handy mini EPG and recording unit.
The TV guide is split into days, a now and next lineup (which is a bit confusing when tv logos aren’t working) and a very handy search feature.
Clicking on an entry will bring up some show info and a record button, clicking onto it brings up the various recording options.
As you can see, the record buttons get skewed out of alignment, but it doesn’t stop you from following it.
Returning back to home and then onto the recorded TV section, you can choose what time frame the shows were recorded in and browse the list of shows.
Just remember, if you haven’t set it up to transcode the recordings you won’t be able to watch them. This section also allows you to delete recordings – sadly it doesn’t delete the transcoded files, you’ll need to do that manually on your server – which gives you a small degree of remote management over your burgeoning collection.
Overall, the app is very well put together and would be a very handy compliment to anyone who has implemented mediaportal and also happens to own an iphone. Sadly it is missing a few features such as live tv viewing and remote control of a client, add them and that would turn it into a truly killer app.
As it is, iPiMP functions as a very handy EPG and recording scheduler with the ability to watch your recorded shows if you make use of the supplied transcoder.
Verdict: Worth running if you have mediaportal.
Catch an update to this review here.