If you have many PC’s or laptops in your household, with video files and movies scattered all over the place and different hard drives, then consider this: InnerTube is a small software that lets you easily set up a web server on one (or more) machines, and broadcast your videos to any number of other PCs or laptops.
This free software employs a simple web interface through which you can watch your videos. It uses the DivX Webplayer browser plugin and supports a number of common formats (AVI, MKV, M4V). Videos can be streamed and watched or otherwise downloaded on the remote machines.
The reason you might use a web server like this one rather than, say, something like Dropbox to share your media is that with InnerTube you can stream your media rather than download it locally. This is important insofar as your video library is likely to be hundreds of gigs in size.
Here are some pros and cons.
Fairly easy to set up: launching the server is a one-click affair.
The web-based player is excellent: and supports full-screen playback. The install instructions are fairly clear. What may be unclear, though, is that you don not need to install the DivX player on your machine, just the DivX Web player in your browser.
Does not support some major formats:specifically, WMV and FLV.
Does not display some supported videos in the list of videos: some file extensions that ARE supported nonetheless do not appear on the list unless you go in and edit the index.php file in the server machine; e.g. MPG, MP4 (the latter worked when renamed to MV4). I was able to edit the index.php file so it sees these, which shouldn’t have been necessary.
Locks you into a folder structure: however, if you have your media library organized just so, you can keep it as is and use symblic junctions to clone your files into the folder structure used by InnerTube (this very cool freeware can make this quite easy).
Installing the DivXplayer Webplayer: you only need the web player, but the installer will give you several options you don’t need. Choose the Webplayer only as per the screenshot to the right.
Ads: appear on the the the movie list screen, but these can be removed easily via editing the index.php file.
The verdict: this software is excellent yet flawed. It works really well and does exactly what it is supposed to do, but has some minor annoyances that are described in the CONS section above. It could and should have covered all video files straight out of the box.
Although I haven’t tried it, InnerTube can (probably) be used to broadcast your media files to remote locations over the internet if you configure your router to allow it to do so.