While we wait for the iPad update giving us multi-tasking and a lot more goodies, now’s a good time to take a look at the iPad’s entertainment options. Here are a few multimedia apps that take entertainment on demand to new heights:
- Video on the iPad. Using the amazing Handbrake app [Win/Mac/Lin – free], you can rip your DVDs in much the same way you rip your own CDs into digital versions you can watch on your desktop or portable device. They do take up a lot of room on your iPad, but it’s nice to be able to load a couple to make that long flight a bit more tolerable. Use iTunes to move your movies on/off your devices.
- Netflix [free app/subscription service]. If you are a Netflix subscriber, you’re already aware of their streaming video option. With the free Netflix app, you can watch them on your iPad!
- Hulu Plus [free app/subscription service] is another subscription service offering both tv shows and movies from sources like NBC, ABC, Fox, A&E, PBS, Paramount, MGM and more. You can watch the latest episode of current shows the day after they are first broadcast plus you have a huge collection of older series. Need a MacGyver fix? They’ve got it!
- Newsy [free] is a video news service that produces short news stories that integrate coverage from multiple sources to present different points of view. It’s an interesting concept and a startup worth watching.
- The Pandora app [free] gives you access to their online radio service which gives control over the music you want to hear. You can create custom channels and as you rate the songs, Pandora learns your preferences and pushes the music you like to your device. Pandora offers both a free and premium [$36/year] service. Once Apple releases the iOS 4.2 upgrade (next week?), the multi-tasking feature will allow you to listen to music while doing other things on your iPad. Right now, when you leave the Pandora app, the music stops.
Now, I’m off to get my errands and chores done so I can enjoy a lazy afternoon at the movies . . .