Have you ever tried playing a video from your local network using software such as VLC or MPlayer and had the video stop every few seconds? I have a solution (currently only available on Mac)! ScoutFS is a file system that will pre-fetch data to avoid this locking-up. Once a network share is loaded (or, indeed, any file system including a DVD or your own hard drive), ScoutFS creates a read-only copy of the drive in memory from which you can open the files without the choppy playback. Once it’s installed (I hope a fairly straightforward process), just drag a folder or disk onto the application in your /Applications folder and load the file from the newly mounted disk!
I will be working on a few more iterations of this software over the next week or so. Hopefully I will have this running on Linux machines soon. Check it out at http://ScoutFS.heresjono.com!