The built-in Videos app in the iPhone is shockingly barebones. To me, it’s almost useless. Like many geeks, I’ve taken the time to manually bundle in all the stock iOS apps I find no use for in a folder and send it to the last screen. Apps like Watch, Stocks and yes, Videos are one of them.
If you’re like me, you download movies from the Internet, and they usually come in MP4 or MKV format. But of course, I can’t just transfer these files to my iPhone or iPad and expect them to play as is. I could buy the $15 Mac app called WALTR and let it convert every video on the fly. But I don’t have the patience to attach the iPhone every time I want to transfer a video file.
If you’re also looking for a really easy, wireless way of transferring video files to your iOS device – well, good news – you’ve come to the right place.
How to Transfer Video Files Over Wi-Fi to iPhone via VLC
VLC on iOS has an iffy past. Its history is riddled with sudden takedowns from the App Store, but it looks like its current incarnation is here to stay. I’ve been using it for the past six months without any problems.
I’d say VLC is the best option for syncing and playing video files on iOS devices because not only is it free based on an open source project, but it will basically play any kind of file you throw at it. Yes, even on the iPhone.
To transfer the video file you’ll first need to make sure both your computer and the iOS device are on the same Wi-Fi network.
Then open the VLC app on your iPhone, and tap the red traffic cone icon we’ve come to adore over all these years.
From the sidebar tap the “Sharing via WiFi” button.
It will now change to show an IP address and a “.local” address.
Go to your PC, and in a modern browser like Chrome, type in either of those addresses in the URL bar.
This will take you to a page where you can either select the video files you want to transfer using the “+” icon or just drop in the files.
Any file you drag and drop will instantly start transferring to your iOS device.
One interesting thing about this feature is that it even allows you to transfer any file from the VLC app on the iOS device to your desktop as well.
Note: VLC is chock-full of ways to transfer files to the app. You can use the iTunes app, connect to any server on the PC (Including Plex) or just copy any file from a locally-shared network. I’ve used the Wi-Fi method here because it’s the most accessible and easiest to use.
How to Transfer Video Files Over Wi-Fi to iPad Via Infuse
With Infuse, the process is slightly different.
After launching the app, tap the “three dotted menu” button on the top-right and then select “Add files.”
This will bring up a list of all the different ways you can add files, from shared servers to iTunes Sync.
In our case, tap the “via Browser” button.
Again, you’ll see two different kinds of IP addresses.
Go to your desktop and enter one of these addresses in your browser.
Either use the “+” button to add files or just drag them in the page to start the transfer.
Once the transfer is done, you’ll be able to see the file in the app.
VLC vs Infuse
The only reason I’d recommend Infuse is because of its UI, especially on the iPad. Infuse will automatically add metadata, cover art and things like synopsis for every file you add. It will even automatically sort TV shows into seasons and episodes. Plus, Infuse has great features like automatic subtitle download.
But as I said, if you’re looking for simplicity, you can never go wrong with VLC.