Thursday, August 19, 2010

OPlayer for iPad - CineXPlayer's competition - Multi-format Video Display

Olimsoft have released OPlayer - an application with multiformat support.

They claim to support MP3, WMA, RM, AAC, AVI, MKV, RMVB, DIVX, XVID, MP4, MOV, WMV, 3GP and MPG - an impressive list to say the least. It has a very similar file transfer method as CineXPlayer however has the added feature of streaming over your home network. This works extremely well through FTP and is very simple to use. You basically set an IP address on your iPad that allows access to OPlayers file directory over FTP. The process then becomes as simple as following the address in an browser and dragging and dropping files into the application. This is extremely useful for adding media from computers without iTunes installed.

If that wasn't enough there is also the additional support of streaming from your PC/LAPTOP/MEDIA CENTRE over 3G and Wireless. In practise I found this to be quite temperamental.

However all in all, this is a well rounded App and supports plenty of formats. I still found CineXPlayer's playback to be smoother but this shows a step in the right direction from developers.

Now all we need is a VLC media player for iPad.....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Verizon Fios App is Coming for iPad!

This newly announced app will allow existing Fios subscribers to view the same media on their iPad as their set-top-boxes. The app itself will effective be the same as the set-top box; which is also set for a design revamp.

Although the app is already finished, there are still discussions to be had between different studios and agreements to be made. Unfortunately this app is not scheduled for release until early next year.

However we must look at the positive side of things. Another company on board means that there is further competition. Afterall we need this for further innovation and competitive prices.

Elgato Turbo.264 HD Video Conversion - Hold off

Elgato have released a new conversion program. The user interface is simple to use with a list of media setting profiles preloaded for the likes of iPad, iPod, Youtube etc. This however is not restrictive as there is the option to create your own cutomised profiles.

There have been recent complaints that the audio is out of sync after conversion and at almost $50 this is something we could do without. Unless you are a power hungry media converter and regularly upload media to Youtube: there are plenty of free alternatives if you insist on pre-converting your media content.

CineXPlayer tried and tested: support for DIVX, XVID and more on iPad

Earlier this month CineXPlayer was released for iPad. The lack of hype surrounding its release caused it to enter the app store under the radar of the big Tech Sites.... INITIALLY!

However before long it was climbing the ranks of the 'Top 10 Free Apps' right to the top of the ladder. It must be good right? I was initially extremely sceptical given Apple's reputation for being less than willing to accept alternative format compatibility. However I was very pleasantly mistaken....

After downloading the APP you can view it in iTunes. To load media you select the 'applications' tab in iTunes and scroll down to view the cinexplayer app. It is then a simple process of using iTunes interface to browse and select media to transfer.

After loading media on the iPad you simply load up the app and select your file:
image from Engadget

I must state that the compatibility of file types is a hit or a miss. I successfully player XVID and DIVX codec types along side various other .avi and music formats.

Although not perfect this app is definitely worth purchasing as it will save you HOURS and HOURS in conversion. It is quick enough to load up a bunch of files and test them out and delete the ones which do not play. It is a real delight watching video on the iPad like this and even better when plugged into a TV with the VGA adapter.

Above all this app has one higher benefit: it proves to consumers and developers alike that the Apple iPad does in fact have the processing power to play formats not endorsed by Apple - I am excited to see what is to come albeit hoping that Apple does not withdraw this app!

HBO GO & NETFLIX iPad Players

Yesterday HBO announced some fantastic news for subscribers:

They aim to make the HBO Go player iPad ready within six months. This means that existing subscribers will be able to benefit from this at no extra charge. HBO have announced that the GO player will in fact be the only way in which you can view its online content.

HBO is the owner of numerous popular TV shows such as True Blood, Entourage, The Pacific, The Sopranos, Sex and the City, . In addition, HBO owns rights to films from Fox, Universal and Warner Bros.

It is speculated that this could cause much tension between HBO and
NETFLIX ; especially considering that HBO has almost twice the subscribers of Netflix. (approx 30 million) Critics reckon that any possible deals are now off the cards..

Vimeo HTML5 for iPad has arrived!!

Youtube's rival Vimeo have now made the transition to HTML5, meaning that the iPad can stream and display content including HD! Great news to see another company develop this new technology.

Content can be viewed by simply navigating to in Safari Browser

Air Video - Realtime Video Conversion / Video Streaming

Air Video is a nice alternative to converting your movies before watching them. In layman's terms it involves opening a program on your pc that converts the movie in real time, while streaming over your wireless network. It really is a fantastic program.

The 'server' program which is installed on your PC is trivial at best.

The only thing which you are required to do is specify the directory or directories that you wish to be available from your iPad. This can actually be top level and you can use the iPad to locate media.

The app for iPad is equally as user friendly:
(C) Stuff.TV

The menu bar at the top allows you to easily navigate your computer's directories while it can also support multiple server: PC, Laptop, Netbook, Media Centre etc.

The server program gives the option to convert offline or 'live conversion'.

Through a month of testing I have found the quality to be reasonable, however it is rather grainy when plugged into a larger TV (32") through the VGA adapter (yes this works with it).

Nevertheless it is a fantastic bargain at less than 5 dollars/pounds.