While the Kindle Fire is actually quite capable of playing video files at very high quality (way higher than what the screen is actually capable of displaying), there is a lot of talk on the web about the limited (8GB) storage space available. Adding to that a maximum file-size of 2GB per movie results in limited options to actually get HD content on it.
But, if you stream your videos, video playback on the Kindle Fire become a lot better. You can of course upload your movie files to your Amazon Cloud, but that is quite time-intensive, and of course, with only 5GB available for free, you end up having to pay in order to store a nice collection of movies.
This guide will show you how to setup your own “movie cloud” for your Kindle Fire. Using your own computer as a cloud-drive, you are only limited to the amount of space you have available. No file-size limitation on the Kindle Fire to deal with, and as a bonus, there is no actual file-transfer involved, leaving the full free space on the Kindle Fire available for other purposes.
What you need:
In order to build your own movie cloud, there are a few things you need.
* Kindle Fire. While this guide addresses the Kindle Fire, it can actually be used for just about any tablet/smartphone device. As long as the device is capable of playing MP4 files, has wifi and has a web-browser. So if you want to build a movie cloud for an iPad, iPhone, Xoom, Galaxy Nexus, Playbook or even a Blackberry Torch this will work as well. Because this guide does not involve copying movies to your actual device, you do not need a USB cable to connect your device to your computer. Since the Kindle Fire doesn’t come with a USB data cable, you don’t have to go out and buy one.
* Movies in MP4 format. The Kindle Fire prefers video files in h264 MP4 format, so in order for your movies to be accessible by it, you will have to have a collection of videos in this format already, or use a conversion tool such as DVD Catalyst 4 to convert the movies (and/or TV shows) you have on DVD, in MKV/AVI/M2TS format to make them playable.
* Tools4movies’ DVD Catalyst 4. Because the MP4 Server application uses some files from DVD Catalyst 4, you will need to have that installed and started it at least once. The trial version is sufficient, but with DVD Catalyst 4 being one of the best DVD and video conversion apps for the Kindle Fire, picking up the retail version for only $10 is hard to pass up.
* Tools4Movies’ MP4 Streaming Server (free). The application that runs, and provides access to your entire video collection located on your computer’s hard drive (or drives that are connected/mounted to your computer).
* Kindle Fire
*Movies in MP4 format
guide), Some done using the Kindle Fire profile, others using Kindle Fire HQXT, Xoom HQ1 or HQ2 etc. As you can tell from the screenshot above, there are some files that are larger than the 2GB file-size limit on the Kindle Fire, so copying those over directly will result in non-playable files, however, these same files play just fine if you stream them from your own movie cloud.
If you do not have any videos in MP4 format, or if you tried them and they don’t work properly on your Kindle Fire, use DVD Catalyst to convert your movies. DVD Catalyst 4 has profiles for the Kindle Fire and will create video files that look and play perfect on it. For instructions, follow this guide and when you get to the point of copying the file over, come back to this guide to setup the streaming.
* DVD Catalyst 4
Because the program we created to run your movie cloud uses some small parts of DVD Catalyst 4, you will need to install DVD Catalyst on your computer. If you are already using DVD Catalyst 4, you are already setup, otherwise, you can download and install the trial version from here, or purchase the retail version using this link. The movie cloud program doesn’t care what actually created the MP4 files, so you don’t actually have to use DVD Catalyst for your conversions, but you do need to install it and run it at least once to make sure the files needed are in place. Do keep in mind that if you do use a program other than DVD Catalyst to create MP4 files for your Kindle Fire, and these files don’t play properly on it, streaming them will not make any difference.
* MP4 Streaming Server
The actual program that creates your own personal movie cloud. You can download it for free by using this link.
- Download MP4 Streaming Server using the link above.
- Open the downloaded zip file by double-clicking on it
Double-click on the “mp4ss_install” file.
Click through the installer. There is no spyware/malware/toolbars or anything, so just tap next-next etc.
At the last screen, remove the 2 checkmarks. If you leave the “Run …” enabled, you might experience a complication with adding files. Because the installer runs with certain permissions, things like Drag&Drop will not function properly.
After install, you will have a shortcut for MP4 Streaming Server on your desktop. Double-click on that to start the program.
If you do not have DVD Catalyst 4 installed, or, if you did install it but did not run it just once, MP4 Streaming Server will display a message and not start.
With the requirements taken care off, and MP4 Streaming Server installed and running, all we need to do is add some content to it, and access the content on the Kindle Fire.
* Use Windows Explorer/My Computer to browse to your MP4 video file collection:
* Organize the windows a little so you can see both your collection and MP4 Streaming Server:
When you have your content added, and if desired, organized your collection in playlists, tap on the gren globe button on the bottom right corner: