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Clunky, but streamed 2 movies. Not 3 DVD res movies at once though.
on July 26, 2013
The Maxell AirStash Wireless 8GB Flash Drive  is designed to stream movies to kid's handheld devices on long car rides. It probably has other uses, such as backing up photos or serving music, but I think movies is what everyone buys it for. That's why we bought it -- so we could stream iTunes purchased FairPlay DRMd .mv4 movies and television episodes to our 3 kids devices.
So, did it work?
Yes, but, unfortunately, not very well. I was able to stream The Avengers to two devices fairly well, but once I added a third device watching the same movie the stream became unreliable. The device is supposed to be able to stream 3 movies at once, but perhaps they mean 3 different movies. Or, more likely, it can't really stream 3 regular resolution movies at once.
Since we have 3 kids, this isn't a great solution. We might still consider using it, but the SanDisk Connect 64GB Wireless Media Drive Streaming is supposed to be available in the next 1-2 weeks. It is less expensive, has much higher starting capacity , and claims to stream a movie to up to 5 clients (so probably 3). We've processed an Amazon return on the AirStash, but we may still keep it if we can't get the SanDisk in time for our trip.
Beyond the disappointing, but not surprising, performance issues I'll quickly list a few observations:
It's a bit bigger than it looks in the Amazon photos, it can fill a good portion of an adult hand. It fit the chargers in our van, but for some USB chargers you'll need a USB extension cable.
Although it has an internal battery, it's clearly designed to run off a car USB charger. The manual suggests leaving it in the charger.
It's a pain to turn on/off. I'd kill for a simple switch instead of these quirky push buttons that require a manual to use. The indicator light is worthless when the device is charging, I found I had to unplug it to know it's power state.
It takes about 15 seconds to boot up, so be patient waiting for WiFi to appear.
The AirStash is controlled by the (WebDav client) iOS AirStash+ app configure settings. You can use this to rename it and play media. FairPlay DRMd media is passed to Safari, Safari in turn passes it to iOS QuickTime player (videos.app). As long as the DRM on the movie matches the iTunes account on the iOS device then the movie will play. There are no chapter controls, you can often move through the movie timeline but not always. For a single user movies play well.
I was able to lock up iOS AirStash+ fairly easily and had to kill and restart it several times.
On initial use I was told a firmware update was available. The installation directions were poorly worded, and, again, it's hard to see the power/firmware update status light when the device is charging. It worked after some fiddly.
I don't think you can stream a movie when it's connected to a computer. I'm not positive, but it didn't seem to work in my testing. It's fine when connected to a power supply.
You can put movies directly on the FAT32 formatted SD card or plug in the AirStash and it will mount.
It comes with a plastic cap that doesn't fit on the end of the AirStash. So it will get lost pretty quickly.
When I typed 'airstash.net' into my desktop Safari while connected to the WiFi I did not get anything back. It's supposed to show the file system, can't say why that didn't work. I didn't pursue further since I won't use the device that way.
- fn -
 The AirStash ships with an 8GB SD card, which is really only practical for testing. You can buy a 16GB version, but obviously that's a waste of money. Most will buy the 8GB AirStash then get a 64GB to 2TB SDXC card.
 64GB internal, plus external slot available.