Best video player apps for ipad

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by iPad100, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. Menneisyys
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    Menneisyys iPF Novice

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    Another crossposted article for today: Excellent multimedia player iMedia Player re-released as 'MPlayer' – with AC3 support!

    As has been pointed out in my yesterday's article, iMedia Player is an excellent media player. Its developers have just debut with a separate, commercial ($2.99; AppStore link) app, MPlayer, (at least according to the devs) officially licensing the (E-)AC3 audio codec.

    [​IMG]
    (AppStore description; also showing it being installed on my iPad after my purchasing it. As usual, click the image for the full-sized original.)

    While, in the AppStore, the seller / developer names are totally different (based strictly on them, I wouldn't have thought the two players have anything to do with each other), in the just-released iMedia Player update you're actually taken to the new player in AppStore:

    [​IMG]
    (a screenshot showing the dialog taking you to the new, AC3-friendly app in the AppStore. The background shows the biggest problem of both apps: the lack of Retina support - here, I try to play back my resolution tester MKV file with AC3 audio.)

    There are absolutely no differences between the just-released MPlayer 1.0 and the newly-released iMedia Player 2.0 update, except for MPlayer's not being ad-supported and, of course, supporting AC3 audio.

    This also means the pros / cons lists are the same for both apps (again, with the exception of AC3 support) – see below.

    Do I recommend it over AVPlayer(HD), the other player to officially support AC3? (As far as AppStore, that is, non-jailbroken players are concerned, of course. For jailbroken devices, I highly recommend the basically (you won't need to purchase the IAP if you don't need access to the icons in the filelist view – playback works just great without them) free RushPlayer+ and the completely free XBMC. Just keep in mind that XBMC has a little bit lower-quality H.264 / WMV / MKV decoder than the best titles out there.)

    Well, if you don't have a Retina device (anything newer than an iPhone 3GS, a 3rd-gen iPod touch, an iPad 2, not counting in the non-Retina iPad mini) and/or you don't want to play back any video in software and/or if you don't plan to play back high-resolution videos, then, this player can prove handy, particularly if you need SMB streaming or HTTP (Web) streaming / access / download, which AVPlayer(HD) entirely lacks. Otherwise (apart from the major problem of the lack of Retina support), the two players are pretty comparable. If you have both small-screen devices and iPads, MPlayer may be a better choice because you'll only need to pay once (the player being Universal), unlike with AVPlayer.

    However, do keep in mind that any time you'll need to rely on software decoding of high-resolution videos, the resolution will greatly suffer on anything Retina. In this regard, AVPlayer and AVPlayerHD are far better. Also, they lead in their MKV (MPlayer doesn't support MKV playback in hardware) and the newly-enhanced (see my yesterday's article) FTP support.

    The pros / cons list of MPlayer (the same applies to the free iMedia Player – except for the AC3 support, of course):

    Cons

    The biggest one: No Retina support on anything (both small-screen devices and the iPad 3/4) while software decoding (no such problem with HW-decoded, that is, iOS-native videos)
    No CC support in native videos (albeit they're played back in hardware)
    No full SSA subtitle support (text subs are supported)
    Pretty weak DVB TS support (no scrubbing support, doesn't detect 16:9 videos (renders everything in 4:3); while it renders DVB subtitles, it shows them over a pretty ugly background; interlaced fields are merged in a very ugly way when there's a lot of movement in the frame)
    No filelist sorting
    No metadata display

    Pros

    Official(!) AC3 support
    Universal
    Playlist support
    Excellent (fast) H.264 decoder – the player can (unless battery life is important) be used to play back even 1080p MKV videos
    Very fast and compatible WMV decoder (no WMA Pro audio support, though)
    Gesture-based ffwd / rewind support (20 secs in both directions; unfortunately, can't be configured)
    DTS support
    Absolutely flawless 1080i60 (ATSC) playback (no scrubbing / subtitle support, though)
    Passcode lock support
    Support for mp3 / ogg audio tracks
    Audio file playback-wise, WMA (but no WMA Pro!), FLAC, APE and WAV audio too (no WV or OGA files, though)
  2. Menneisyys
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    Menneisyys iPF Novice

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    And another review:

    Review: Media Player 'iMPlayer'


    A fairly new entry to the iOS media player scene is iMPlayer (AppStore links: small-screen version; iPad version. Both cost $2.99). I've reviewed the current (1.3.0) version.

    [​IMG]
    (AppStore page; also showing it being installed on my iPhone 5 after my purchase. As usual, click the image for an enlargened version.)

    In the pros / cons section below, I've elaborated on the player very thoroughly. To recap all those: in a word: I do NOT recommend this player, unless you really need adding / managing bookmarks in videos. It's just too weak (while, taking its pretty bad performance into account, heavily overpriced).

    The only advantage of the player is the ability to add bookmarks anywhere, in any kind of a video, along with a small framegrab of the video. Unfortunately, very few other players are capable of this. An example using the standard Monsters MKV test video (link):

    [​IMG]

    Incidentally,

    1, the screenshot above also shows there's no Retina support when software decoding is used; hence the low resolution

    2, also, pay special attention to the errors the (very weak) H.264 decoder of the app is introducing to the decoded frame. For example, to the left of the green animal (or whatever) on the left, you can see rectangle-shaped green blotches – those have been introduced by the decoder. (The second thumbnail at the bottom also shows such problems.)

    3, should you want to manually back up (or migrate to another iDevice) your bookmarks, they're under Library/BookmarkDir, directly accessible via, say, iExplorer. A screenshot of the above-listed Monsters thumbnails (along with some other ones):

    [​IMG]

    The detailed pros / cons lists:

    Cons

    Software-decoded videos are played back in low-res on Retina screens
    Non-Universal, which is further made worse by the high price
    No AC3
    No DTS
    Absolutely no streaming support
    Absolutely no support for audio-only files (WMA, FLAC, APE, WAV, WV, OGA stb.)
    Absolutely useless (very slow) H.264 decoder
    No MKV hardware playback
    Absolutely no SSA subtitle support
    Absolutely no textual subtitle support in MKV files (see Monsters)
    No gesture-based ffwd / rewinding
    No playlists (however, you can still create folders in the app)

    Pros

    Excellent, unique bookmark support
    iOS-native files are played back in hardware (and with Retina-friendly resolution)
    Apple CC tracks displayed in iOS-native files
    Good WMV support (also WMA Pro) – albeit not as fast as that of, say, AVPlayer.
    Tolerable DVB TS support if you don't need subs / multiple audio tracks (scrubbing and aspect ratio changes supported; however, merging the interlaced frames is very ugly when there's plenty of movement on screen. There's no subtitle rendering or audio track changing.)
  3. wake1
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    wake1 iPF Noob

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    What is the best app for playing mainly mp4 and non hd mkv's? Preferably with a audio boost feature?
  4. lhamilton
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    lhamilton iPF Novice

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    I tried nplayer recently and found I'd wasted my money. It won't access my dlink sharecenter NAS.
  5. ocinnhoj
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    ocinnhoj iPF Novice

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    been using "It's Playing" video player ever since and im so satisfied with it
  6. lhamilton
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    lhamilton iPF Novice

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    Nplayer never responded to,my query but I've found that if I use SMB/CIFS instead, I can access my NAS. It can play some mkvs but not those with dts encoding.

    Then I upgraded my FileExplorer to the non-free version and it plays everything including dts! I also like FileExplorer because it lets me browse my epub books on the NAS and import them into my ipad book browser.

    Linda
  7. JackLea
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    JackLea iPF Novice

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    I just use AVPlayer, I think it's strong enough with good performance.
  8. Anny266
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    Anny266 iPF Novice

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    VDownloader is a good d/l + player
  9. Beards
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    Beards iPad Fan

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    Do you have a link for this App?
  10. Anny266
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    Anny266 iPF Novice

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  11. Beards
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    Beards iPad Fan

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  12. Anny266
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    Anny266 iPF Novice

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    I meant this one bt messed up with the link with that lite version....

    Attached Files:

  13. Beards
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    Beards iPad Fan

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    That one makes sense.
  14. ipaduser786
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    ipaduser786 iPF Noob

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    Hye Guys

    Does VLC play MKV files. I need videos for my kids on IPAD2 to play while travelling.
  15. Mattness
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    Mattness iPF Noob

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    Downloads HD all the way. Awesome app.
  16. GrumpyCat
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    GrumpyCat iPF Noob

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    AVPlayerHD For sure!

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