AVPlayer Reviews

Best iOS video player

about AVPlayer · · Helpful Not helpful

This is in my opinion still the best video player app for iOS, and definitely worth the purchasing price. Apart from the obvious wide support for different video and subtitle formats, this is mainly down to four reasons for me:

  • Hybrid decoding. In contrast to most other apps that claim wide video format support, AVPlayer is one of the only ones that actually can play 720p and even 1080p video fluently (on my iPad 2). The reason is that while other players implement decoding for additional formats in software, AVPlayer actually takes advantage of the device's hardware decoding capabilities where possible. For example, you cannot play back an MKV file using the built-in video player, even if it would support the codec, simply because it cannot understand the MKV container. What AVPlayer brilliantly does (when Hybrid decoding is activated in options) is demux the audio and video streams from the MKV, and sends the raw video stream only to iOS for hardware decoding. The result is a huge performance boost, and the ability to play back Full HD video fluently where other players struggle even with some SD material. This is literally the only reason why I even found out about AVPlayer, too. Word everywhere was that AVPlayer was the way to go for playing HD MKV files on an iPad. A trusted friend confirmed it, I decided to risk the purchase, and haven't looked back since.

  • Wireless file transfer. No more going through cumbersome iTunes syncing. This is just a fantastic comfort feature. You can have the app start an FTP server which you can access via WiFi using any FTP client software, and use it to copy video files directly into the app's data folder. As watching video is the main thing I do with my iPad, I think it's been about 2 years since I last even synced with iTunes, thanks to this feature.

  • Playback gestures. Many players support them, but few have the functionality I find most important: seeking back or forth a certain number of seconds. Gestures in AVPlayer are configurable. Often, I don't understand a line of dialogue, for example because of some noise happening around me. Then I can quickly swipe my finger to the left to jump back 5 seconds, and listen to the sentence again. I wouldn't want to miss this feature in a tablet video player ever again.

  • Comfortable interface. Most other video playing apps have minimalistic interfaces with don't go much farther than a play/pause button, a seek bar and a volume slider. I hate it! It makes you go through half a dozen menus to change any option, if the option is even there. When you bring up the AVPlayer's OSD GUI, you have shortcut icons to all of the most important functionality. Enabling or disabling subtitles takes me 2 seconds at most in AVPlayer, while in other players I usually had to stop playback and open some separate menu. Again, if I don't understand a line of dialogue, after jumping back 5 seconds I can quickly active subtitles to read the words I don't understand, and just as quickly disable them again.

You'll get used to the last two features very quickly, and won't understand why all other video players seem to be so hard to use. You'll love WiFi tranfer for saving you from iTunes headaches, and even from having to hook up a cable to your device just to load a few new videos. And the killer feature, hybrid H/W decoding, is such a simple but brilliant idea that makes it easy to recommend this app to everyone who wants better video playback on their iOS device.