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View Full Version : Media player devs: a viable way to re-enable AC-3? (Users: make 8player play AC-3!)




Menneisyys2
Dec 1, 2012, 02:52 PM
Today, I played with the just-released update of 8player (AppStore link (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/8player/id375860275?mt=8); the free version (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/8player-lite/id383221354?mt=8) is definitely worth giving a try, particularly if you're into UPnP), an excellent UPnP media player (and a not-so-decent local one).

Upon tapping a direct camera AVCHD test file (as has been explained in several of my articles, they all contain AC-3 audio tracks), I've seen the following message:

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/81986513/122012/01-ffmpeg-ios/ffmpeg4iosIn8PlayerHelp1t.jpeg (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/81986513/122012/01-ffmpeg-ios/ffmpeg4iosIn8PlayerHelp1.jpeg)
(as with all images in this article, click the thumbnail for the original shot!)

I've tapped the FAQ button and what did I read (pay special attention to the annotated part)?

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/81986513/122012/01-ffmpeg-ios/ffmpeg4iosIn8PlayerHelp2t.jpeg (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/81986513/122012/01-ffmpeg-ios/ffmpeg4iosIn8PlayerHelp2.jpeg)

Yes, you can, by adding one single file to the Documents directory manually via iTunes, re-enable AC-3!

All you need to do, as a user, is indeed going HERE (http://ffmpeg4ios.org/index.html), downloading the single ZIP file linked there (currently, at version 1.0, from HERE (http://ffmpeg4ios.org/releases/ffmpeg4ios-1.0-lib.zip)) and copying it, via iTunes, to the same directory as you'd do with standard videos:

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/81986513/122012/01-ffmpeg-ios/ffmpeg4iosinDocsDirt.jpeg (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/81986513/122012/01-ffmpeg-ios/ffmpeg4iosinDocsDir.jpeg)
(the ZIP is selected in the filelist)

This made 8player play back the AC-3 (and other Dolby) audio tracks again.

Needless to say, it works just fine without jailbreaking (above, you can see I've done this on a non-jailbreakable iPhone 5) and without using third-party apps like iExplorer – after all, all you need to do is putting a single file in the standard Documents (and not, say, Library) folder of the standard iTunes.

I've tested the same add-on ZIP file with the apps (EC Player, It's Playing, BUZZ Player, HD Player Pro) listed in the previous screenshot. All of them had to remove AC-3 support (see THIS (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1499648) article for the background). Unfortunately, none of them support the ZIP file, while the majority of them is based on FFmpeg.

Hope this changes in the future, (also) these players adding support for using external, non-embedded, user-added libraries to play back this essential audio format, whose lack of support caused by Dolby's extremely high licensing fee demands, has made iOS as a whole a lot less desirable for generic multimedia playback – now, I'm seriously considering getting a Nexus 10 or a Surface Pro (or even RT if its price drops) for my video playback needs because of not only Apple's restricting hardware playback, making absolutely flawless MKV playback impossible if you don't jailbreak, but also developers being forced to remove AC-3. I again recommend checking out the user reviews collected in my previous, dedicated article (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1499648) to see how acute this problem is and how much damage it has done to the entire platform.

My recommendation to developers is as follows: do the same as the 8player developers and, by telling users to copy the external codecs manually to your app, give us back AC-3 support. Hopefully Dolby can't do anything with external libraries you don't actively distribute with (inside) your apps and/or, at last, reconsiders their licensing fee demands and comes up with ones that are actually payable. Say, $0.3...$1/copy sold, depending on the AppStore price of the app itself (for example, a dev selling a $5 player can surely pay $1 per copy for a license but a $2 player can't), without any additional, e.g. annual fees - that is, no absolutely unreal punishments like $25k/year for developers of players that don't even sell that many copies a year.

UPDATE (03/Dec/2012): as is pointed out HERE (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=16416495&postcount=11), in both versions of 8player, the AC-3 track of iOS-native files (mov / mp4 / m4v) is only played back if you explicitly disable hardware acceleration by disabling (just switch off the switch at Settings > Players > Video Player > Native Player). This, of course, doesn't need to be done with non-native containers - MKV's, AVI's etc. - as they're always played back in software, without utilizing hardware acceleration, independent of the state of the switch.



rsxmachine
Dec 1, 2012, 04:56 PM
Today, I played with the just-released update of 8player (AppStore link (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/8player/id375860275?mt=8); the free version (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/8player-lite/id383221354?mt=8) is definitely worth giving a try, particularly if you're into UPnP), an excellent UPnP media player (and a not-so-decent local one).

Upon tapping a direct camera AVCHD test file (as has been explained in several of my articles, they all contain AC-3 audio tracks), I've seen the following message:

Image (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/81986513/122012/01-ffmpeg-ios/ffmpeg4iosIn8PlayerHelp1.jpeg)
(as with all images in this article, click the thumbnail for the original shot!)

I've tapped the FAQ button and what did I read?

Image (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/81986513/122012/01-ffmpeg-ios/ffmpeg4iosIn8PlayerHelp2.jpeg)

Yes, you can, by adding one single file to the Documents directory manually via iTunes, re-enable AC-3!

All you need to do, as a user, is indeed going HERE (http://ffmpeg4ios.org/index.html), downloading the single ZIP file linked there (currently, at version 1.0, from HERE (http://ffmpeg4ios.org/releases/ffmpeg4ios-1.0-lib.zip)) and copying it, via iTunes, to the same directory as you'd do with standard videos:

Image (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/81986513/122012/01-ffmpeg-ios/ffmpeg4iosinDocsDir.jpeg)
(the ZIP is selected in the filelist)

This made 8player play back the AC-3 (and other Dolby) audio tracks again.

Needless to say, it works just fine without jailbreaking (above, you can see I've done this on a non-jailbreakable iPhone 5) and without using third-party apps like iExplorer – after all, all you need to do is putting a single file in the standard Documents (and not, say, Library) folder of the standard iTunes.

I've tested the same add-on ZIP file with the apps (EC Player, It's Playing, BUZZ Player, HD Player Pro) listed in the previous screenshot. All of them had to remove AC-3 support (see THIS (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1499648) article for the background). Unfortunately, none of them support the ZIP file, while the majority of them is based on FFmpeg.

Hope this changes in the future, (also) these players adding support for using external, non-embedded, user-added libraries to play back this essential audio format, whose lack of support caused by Dolby's extremely high licensing fee demands, has made iOS as a whole a lot less desirable for generic multimedia playback – now, I'm seriously considering getting a Nexus 10 or a Surface Pro (or even RT if its price drops) for my video playback needs because of not only Apple's restricting hardware playback, making absolutely flawless MKV playback impossible if you don't jailbreak, but also developers being forced to remove AC-3. I again recommend checking out the user reviews collected in my previous, dedicated article (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1499648) to see how acute this problem is and how much damage it has done to the entire platform.

My recommendation to developers is as follows: do the same as the 8player developers and, by telling users to copy the external codecs manually to your app, give us back AC-3 support. Hopefully Dolby can't do anything with external libraries you don't actively distribute with (inside) your apps and/or, at last, reconsiders their licensing fee demands and comes up with ones that are actually payable (say, $0.3...$1/copy sold, depending on the AppStore price of the app itself, without any additional, e.g. annual fees).

Just tried this and it works, this is a solution that every developer needs to use.

Menneisyys2
Dec 2, 2012, 08:44 AM
UPDATE (later, the same day): 1.) I've changed two screenshots in the original article, now, showing screenshots of the full (commercial) version instead of the free one, the first on my iPhone 5. Both the full and the free versions of 8player support the additional library.


2.) I've talked to several iOS developers on implementing this kind of a dynamic and fully user-dependent support for dynamic decoding (read: it's highly possible your code doesn't need to, say, test for AC-3 audio tracks - you can delegate even this to the external library. In this case, the Dolby folks really cannot force you to rewrite your code.) The devs of GoodPlayer / PowerPlayer have already announced they look into the solution. Their original posts are HERE (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=16408757&postcount=824) and HERE (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=16408768&postcount=76). The former post quotes a post from another user referring to my article. His other, related post replying to my article, recommending the same to devs as me, is HERE (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=16407790&postcount=2). Another post, asking to tell the It's Playing devs the same is HERE (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=16409409&postcount=112).

Menneisyys2
Dec 2, 2012, 02:21 PM
UPDATE (even later, the same day):

1.) I've read thru the U.S. user reviews of 8player posted in November and December; that is, after the developer's removing built-in AC-3 support (but, again, leaving a “backdoor” by letting the user add an external, pre-compiled ZIP file, with the necessary codecs). About 60-70% of the new / updated reviews complain about the missing AC-3. (Some “only” about MKV's, AVI's previously playable. They also belong to this category – again, AC-3 is very commonly used in these two containers.) Again, this does show how acute the problem is. I've also created some screenshots of these complaints HERE (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/81986513/122012/01-ffmpeg-ios/8player-userreview1.png), HERE (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/81986513/122012/01-ffmpeg-ios/8player-userreview2.png), HERE (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/81986513/122012/01-ffmpeg-ios/8player-userreview3.png), HERE (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/81986513/122012/01-ffmpeg-ios/8player-userreview4.png) and HERE (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/81986513/122012/01-ffmpeg-ios/8player-userreview5.png).

2.) As usual, don't forget to backup the IPA of the current version of the player and/or make sure you in no way update it. It's not known whether Apple removes the app and/or forces the developers to remove support for dynamic library loading. Shooting themselves [Apple] in the foot, I'd say, if they do remove the app. Completely rendering an entire mobile platform unable to play, in cases, the majority of common video formats will mean a lot of disgruntled iOS users either jailbreaking (so that they can use the non-castrated XBMC or RushPlayer+) or leaving the platform entirely for more free ones (Android is catching up very-very nicely hardware-wise (e.g., Nexus 10) and Windows 8 (Phone) / RT also has the potential) – and, of course, bad press.


They [Apple] should try to negotiate between Dolby and the developers to avoid these people leaving the platform, explaining to Dolby the licensing fees – particularly the annual ones – they demand are just too much for 99% of the devs. The latter would surely ready to pay licensing feed tailored for the monetary realities of the AppStore – unlike the present ones.

yoot123
Dec 2, 2012, 02:39 PM
how can we reach apple ? I've already tried to email Dolby a couple of times . no response .

Menneisyys2
Dec 2, 2012, 03:36 PM
how can we reach apple ? I've already tried to email Dolby a couple of times . no response .


Well, if we mail major mediums and keep the subject discussed so Dolby, at last, after having realized their demands are just unrealistic, reconsiders their licensing fees?

(Of course known, famous Apple fanboy tech blogs - the names are known to everyone with open eyes - won't really discuss the matter as they also know Apple's obeying Dolby's AppStore removal requests destroys the entire reputation of iOS. More fair ones will surely do.)

yegon
Dec 3, 2012, 07:48 AM
(Continuing from that other thread)

Does 8player play locally stored (on the iPhone) mp4's with AC3 audio? I ask 'cos I wasn't absolutely clear what you meant when you said "for playing them back locally, I don't recommend it".

Ideally, I'd just like to bung any of my existing mp4's (remuxed from mkv's) that I use with my AppleTV on the iPhone (not streamed) with no separate collection needed.

Menneisyys2
Dec 3, 2012, 07:51 AM
(Continuing from that other thread)

Does 8player play locally stored (on the iPhone) mp4's with AC3 audio? I ask 'cos I wasn't absolutely clear what you meant when you said "for playing them back locally, I don't recommend it".

Ideally, I'd just like to bung any of my existing mp4's (remuxed from mkv's) that I use with my AppleTV on the iPhone (not streamed) with no separate collection needed.

Answered at http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=16416180&postcount=5

yegon
Dec 3, 2012, 07:54 AM
Answered at http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=16416180&postcount=5

Thanks a lot.

yegon
Dec 3, 2012, 08:31 AM
Strange, put the ffmpeg zip file on the phone via iTunes, tried a few different mp4's with ac3 audio that work fine with AvplayerHD, but alas no sound still. No "Attention" dialogue re: the decoder like in the original post either. Hmm.

Menneisyys2
Dec 3, 2012, 08:44 AM
Strange, put the ffmpeg zip file on the phone via iTunes, tried a few different mp4's with ac3 audio that work fine with AvplayerHD, but alas no sound still. No "Attention" dialogue re: the decoder like in the original post either. Hmm.

Oops... I think I've made a mistake - I haven't tested both playback modes (accelerated vs. non-accelerated) with iOS-native files, only one (non-accelerated). It's only with software decoded mode that AC-3 is played back, not with hardware decoding. That is, MKV's etc. are always played back with audio. So will be MP4's if you explicitily disable acceleration (Settings > Players > Video Player > Native Player), but, then, 1080p playback will be stuttering, even on the iPhone 5 / iPad 4. (Lower-res videos are properly played back.)

Sorry for the confusion. (Hope you've used the trial version and not purchased the non-free one...)

I'll mail the dev about asking her to enable AC-3 also for HW playback. Hope she'll be able to do it before she's forced to remove external library support entirely.

EDIT: added this info to the original article (see first post).

yegon
Dec 3, 2012, 09:03 AM
D'oh! Bought the paid version :(

Audio does indeed work if I disable native, but its stuttery as £&@$. Oh well, its only £3, and it may actually work as I hope in the future. Good idea editing your original post so no one else gets burned.

Menneisyys2
Dec 3, 2012, 09:11 AM
I'll mail the dev about asking her to enable AC-3 also for HW playback.

Mail sent.

yegon
Dec 3, 2012, 09:14 AM
Mail sent.

Cheers!

Menneisyys2
Dec 3, 2012, 04:11 PM
Cheers!

They have answered my mail, stating it's impossible to add AC3 support when using hardware decoding.

Interestingly, the following players do support AC-3 in HW decoding mode:

DirectPlayer: albeit it doesn't have an iPad-compliant version, it's free and supports AC-3 - an absolute must. See http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1499666 .

AVPlayerHD: yup, you already knew this :)

CineXPlayer HD: nevertheless, you shouldn't get this right now as it's still not updated for the iPhone 5's 16:9 screen and seems to have major problems with a lot of files; for example, my AC3 testfile at https://dl.dropbox.com/u/81986513/112012/1122fixed-ac3-aac-mkvmp4-testfiles/m4v-with-ac3-startsWithKeyframe.m4v


The following don't:
8player Lite (tested 2.8; SW decoding mode does work. That is, previous versions of 8player didn't support AC3 playback in HW decoding mode either - it wasn't the new ZIP file that rendered it this combination non-working.)
GoodPlayer (tested with 5.7; SW decoding mode does work)
ProPlayer (the censored-out little bother of AVPlayerHD)

EDIT: I've sent the 8player folks another mail, with the following content:

Yup, I know MPMoviePlayerController itself doesn't play AC-3 (see e.g. my post at http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=16419744&postcount=16 ), but some 3rd-party players did implement AC3 playback in HW playback mode. Some of these players: DirectPlayer, AVPlayer, CineXPlayer.

See my dedicated post at http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=16419679&postcount=15

Menneisyys2
Dec 3, 2012, 04:22 PM
I've also played with programmatically passing the above-linked AC3 video to MPMoviePlayerController, using the following code:


MPMoviePlayerController* mp = [[MPMoviePlayerController alloc]
initWithContentURL:[NSURL fileURLWithPath:fullPathToSelectedFile]];
[mp.view setFrame:CGRectMake(64/2, 80, 1920/2, 1080/2)];
[self.view addSubview:[mp view]];
[mp play];


(this is the same code I used in my true, non-scaling 1080p player. If you're interested in programming and/or the iPad-only player, I can copy my entire article here.)

It doesn't play the sound - only with files with AAC tracks. That is, AVPlayerHD and the other players that do support AC3 playback in HW decoding mode must be doing some kind of magic in the background: e.g., extracting the audio track and decoding it in the app itself.

rsxmachine
Dec 5, 2012, 11:59 AM
directplayer is done for now. they have updated it to 1.1, so now you will be stuck either updating, deleting or having a constant 1 on app store

Menneisyys2
Dec 5, 2012, 12:48 PM
directplayer is done for now. they have updated it to 1.1, so now you will be stuck either updating, deleting or having a constant 1 on app store

Yup, killed in no more than 6 days from initial release...

Duff-Man02
Dec 7, 2012, 02:49 PM
Bump for interest...
My thought: can't I just open the .ipa and add the needed codecs? This works on Windows: if something is missing, just open the the program files and add what's necessary...
Btw: iPhone 5 can play 1080p flawlessly without HW-acceleration. I could even watch other HD videos while the 1080p mkv was downloading. Just tested with .mp4 (300mb 3min), .ts(530MB, 4min) and .mkv (6GB, 1h40min) files. I used the app "Rockplayer2". But again: the app delivers no audio and the .zip thing from above doesn't seem to work; neither with rockplayer, nor with directplayer. Any reliable work-arounds yet?

Menneisyys2
Dec 7, 2012, 06:20 PM
Btw: iPhone 5 can play 1080p flawlessly without HW-acceleration. I

Not with files using H.264 and a bitrate over 8-9 Mbps. I'm absolutely sure you'd have better, more fluent results if you remuxed your files (whenever possible - H.264 MKV's can be easily remuxed; TS files with presumably MPEG-2 video can't.)

I'm not speaking of the laughably over-compressed Apple iTunes Store 1080p videos with their 2...3 Mbps. With them, SW rendering is much faster. No sane person would use that high a compression, though.

BTW, speaking of Rockplayer2:

1, are you sure it even makes use of the Retina screen of the iPhone 5? I've tested it on mine (with the Monsters test video: I REALLY recommend it for testing): it was pixelizated and, of course, stuttered visibly. It's a 10 Mbps MKV with DTS audio and is one of the major benchmark videos I use: http://www.auby.no/files/video_tests/h264_1080p_hp_4.1_10mbps_dts_unstyled_subs_monsters.mkv

2, I'd say it has a H.264 decoder about 40% slower than that of, say, yaPlayer ( https://itunes.apple.com/app/yaplayer/id503098609?mt=8 ). The latter has one of the best decoders around, as has also been explained / mentioned in several of my past articles. I *really* recommend it if you really into 1080p software decoding. (Just compare how much more fluently it plays back the Monsters video than Rockplayer2!)

Duff-Man02
Dec 8, 2012, 04:04 AM
I didn't remux anything. I just downloaded a 1080p mkv movie and uploaded it on the iPhone. Anyway, I opted yesterday for another player. Directplayer, because Rockplayer couldn't switch audio/subtitle tracks. But it has iPhone 5 support. It shows everything in full screen.
I just tested the Directplayer with a 12GB mkv. Average bitrate: around 11mbit/s. Works flawlessly with and without HW acceleration. This one could even play the audio, even though VLC says it's DTS. However, I can imagine that it'll drain the battery pretty fast if I watch the whole movie. A52 (aka ac3) still doesn't work.

Menneisyys2
Dec 8, 2012, 04:46 AM
I didn't remux anything. I just downloaded a 1080p mkv movie and uploaded it on the iPhone. Anyway, I opted yesterday for another player. Directplayer, because Rockplayer couldn't switch audio/subtitle tracks. But it has iPhone 5 support. It shows everything in full screen.

I just tested the Directplayer with a 12GB mkv. Average bitrate: around 11mbit/s. Works flawlessly with and without HW acceleration.

Yup, it has a better H.264 codec than RockPlayer2 (see http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1499666 for more info). However, if you're seriously into 1080p MKV video watching, I'd get something even better; for example, yaPlayer or It's Playing.


This one could even play the audio, even though VLC says it's DTS.

Most players, incl. RockPlayer2, are DTS-capable. Strange RockPlayer2 didn't play your DTS track - it should.


However, I can imagine that it'll drain the battery pretty fast if I watch the whole movie.

It will, as all apps using CPU at 100%. This is why I recommend remuxing into iOS-native formats, where there would be no excess CPU usage at all.

A52 (aka ac3) still doesn't work.

You're some days late - the initial version, which was censored out from AppStore three days ago, still did. (BTW, after the launch of the original player, I've even posted a quick "Hey, do get this player ASAP!" thread here to tell people to get version 1.0 as I knew Dolby would make Apple remove that player too. See http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1499666 for more info & a generic review if interested.)

taz79
Dec 9, 2012, 09:40 PM
I download one app that do the job converting some .mkv to .mov. The apps: VIDEO DECK ... it is still support AC3 I think. But unfortunately, some features are missing:
- no iPhone 5 screen support
- cannot open file in other apps ... (I ask them to add this functionality), I think Apple has not detected AC3 on this apps, since it is considered as Video Converter apps not Media Player ...

Menneisyys2
Dec 10, 2012, 03:28 PM
I download one app that do the job converting some .mkv to .mov. The apps: VIDEO DECK ... it is still support AC3 I think. But unfortunately, some features are missing:
- no iPhone 5 screen support
- cannot open file in other apps ... (I ask them to add this functionality), I think Apple has not detected AC3 on this apps, since it is considered as Video Converter apps not Media Player ...

Has it been censored out from the US and Finnish store? The original link ( https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/video-deck-multi-codec/id534963347?mt=8 ) is dead...

EskimoRanger
Dec 14, 2012, 05:05 AM
Hi Menneisyys2,

You seem to have a very comprehensive knowledge of the capabilities of various iPhone streaming apps so I was wondering if you could help me...

I require an app that can support MKV, AC3 & FTP streaming. So far I've been using AcePlayer but with the recent update it removes AC3 playback. I've also tried VM Player which I can recommend because it supports quality adjusted streaming when away from home. I see you suggest 8player with a quick fix but this option does not include FTP streaming. The only AppStore player claiming to use AC3 is CineXPlayer but as you have said they don't have native iPhone 5 res yet and I'm not 100% that it supports MKV.

Can you suggest anything in between that I may have overlooked?

Thanks!

Menneisyys2
Dec 14, 2012, 08:51 AM
The only AppStore player claiming to use AC3 is CineXPlayer but as you have said they don't have native iPhone 5 res yet and I'm not 100% that it supports MKV.

1. Isn't there any way of enabling UPnP or SMB instead of / in addition to FTP? Then, you could be able to use e.g. CineXPlayer (with UPnP).

2. CineXPlayer doesn't support FTP (see above), only UPnP. The currently available iPhone version (2.8.2) does play MKV's but in software only and isn't really recommended for playback. You could drop a line to the dev (he's here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1478727 ) so that he speeds up releasing the much superior (but in no way flawless) 3.x series for the iPhone as well.

3. I don't have any good news for you. The AppStore players that do support FTP (VM Player, AcePlayer, Oplayer, eXPlayer, BUZZ Player, GoodPlayer, eXPlayer) have all removed AC3 support. (In addition, only one of them, eXPlayer, supports hardware-assisted playback of iOS-native files.)

4. The jailbreak-only XBMC supports FTP streaming (along with AC3 / HW acceleration, even with MKV files) just fine - but you'd need JB...

5. Note that the, assuming you've downloaded it to your target device before it being censored out of AppStore, in the AppStore still available AVplayer does support AC3 but has no streaming support at all. This means you can only download files, not stream them.

All in all, the situation is pretty dire, "thanks" to Dolby and Apple - they've successfully destroyed the platform as a viable, great, flexible, all-in-one multimedia playback platform with their absolutely silly AppStore rules (Apple's not allowing HW acceleration with non-native containers) and (Dolby's) greed. It'd be the best if you converted your video files - adding an additional AAC track is very easy with tools like MKVTools. (Need the URL of my dedicated tutorial?) Also, you really should consider switching to an iOS-native container and using UPnP or SMB so that you can have hardware acceleration.

EskimoRanger
Dec 14, 2012, 09:39 AM
Hey, thanks for getting back to me so promptly. I've had a browse for the apps you have suggested but find VM Player the ONLY acceptable one since it seems to be able to adjust the streaming quality in order to stream from my house to my mobile while I'm away from my network. The others make you wait much longer to try and get a maximum quality stream.

If I read another one of your posts correctly, developers could have an option to leave open some space to add in the AC3 codecs manually. If I could contact the developer, what would I have to ask them specifically?

Annoyingly I have the last version of AcePlayer that DOES support AC3 but that never got updated to iPhone 5 screen size in time.

I would jailbreak if I could but a 5 running 6.0.1 isn't available yet.

Thanks!

Menneisyys2
Dec 14, 2012, 09:49 AM
If I read another one of your posts correctly, developers could have an option to leave open some space to add in the AC3 codecs manually. If I could contact the developer, what would I have to ask them specifically?
.

Thanks!

just point them to the first post of this thread.

Peter78
Jan 5, 2013, 12:35 PM
8Player is a good app, I tried it. My choice is ArkMC :) It works fine with my DLNA/UPnP devices in home and supports AC-3 as well.
8Player is only player (DMP), ArkMC available as renderer (DMR) even in Windows Media Player "play to". And it can control my TV, WMP and WD TV (DMC).

ar3ar2
Jan 6, 2013, 06:58 AM
I don't understand. Wikipedia says the first dolby digital movie was released in 1992. Patents expire in 20 years. AC-3 should be free to implement now.

OP, do you know why we still have to pay licensing fees?

maromo80
Jan 9, 2013, 01:08 PM
Today, I played with the just-released update of 8player (AppStore link (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/8player/id375860275?mt=8); the free version (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/8player-lite/id383221354?mt=8) is definitely worth giving a try, particularly if you're into UPnP), an excellent UPnP media player (and a not-so-decent local one).

Upon tapping a direct camera AVCHD test file (as has been explained in several of my articles, they all contain AC-3 audio tracks), I've seen the following message:

Image (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/81986513/122012/01-ffmpeg-ios/ffmpeg4iosIn8PlayerHelp1.jpeg)
(as with all images in this article, click the thumbnail for the original shot!)

I've tapped the FAQ button and what did I read (pay special attention to the annotated part)?

Image (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/81986513/122012/01-ffmpeg-ios/ffmpeg4iosIn8PlayerHelp2.jpeg)

Yes, you can, by adding one single file to the Documents directory manually via iTunes, re-enable AC-3!

All you need to do, as a user, is indeed going HERE (http://ffmpeg4ios.org/index.html), downloading the single ZIP file linked there (currently, at version 1.0, from HERE (http://ffmpeg4ios.org/releases/ffmpeg4ios-1.0-lib.zip)) and copying it, via iTunes, to the same directory as you'd do with standard videos:

Image (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/81986513/122012/01-ffmpeg-ios/ffmpeg4iosinDocsDir.jpeg)
(the ZIP is selected in the filelist)

This made 8player play back the AC-3 (and other Dolby) audio tracks again.

Needless to say, it works just fine without jailbreaking (above, you can see I've done this on a non-jailbreakable iPhone 5) and without using third-party apps like iExplorer – after all, all you need to do is putting a single file in the standard Documents (and not, say, Library) folder of the standard iTunes.

I've tested the same add-on ZIP file with the apps (EC Player, It's Playing, BUZZ Player, HD Player Pro) listed in the previous screenshot. All of them had to remove AC-3 support (see THIS (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1499648) article for the background). Unfortunately, none of them support the ZIP file, while the majority of them is based on FFmpeg.

Hope this changes in the future, (also) these players adding support for using external, non-embedded, user-added libraries to play back this essential audio format, whose lack of support caused by Dolby's extremely high licensing fee demands, has made iOS as a whole a lot less desirable for generic multimedia playback – now, I'm seriously considering getting a Nexus 10 or a Surface Pro (or even RT if its price drops) for my video playback needs because of not only Apple's restricting hardware playback, making absolutely flawless MKV playback impossible if you don't jailbreak, but also developers being forced to remove AC-3. I again recommend checking out the user reviews collected in my previous, dedicated article (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1499648) to see how acute this problem is and how much damage it has done to the entire platform.

My recommendation to developers is as follows: do the same as the 8player developers and, by telling users to copy the external codecs manually to your app, give us back AC-3 support. Hopefully Dolby can't do anything with external libraries you don't actively distribute with (inside) your apps and/or, at last, reconsiders their licensing fee demands and comes up with ones that are actually payable. Say, $0.3...$1/copy sold, depending on the AppStore price of the app itself (for example, a dev selling a $5 player can surely pay $1 per copy for a license but a $2 player can't), without any additional, e.g. annual fees - that is, no absolutely unreal punishments like $25k/year for developers of players that don't even sell that many copies a year.

UPDATE (03/Dec/2012): as is pointed out HERE (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=16416495&postcount=11), in both versions of 8player, the AC-3 track of iOS-native files (mov / mp4 / m4v) is only played back if you explicitly disable hardware acceleration by disabling (just switch off the switch at Settings > Players > Video Player > Native Player). This, of course, doesn't need to be done with non-native containers - MKV's, AVI's etc. - as they're always played back in software, without utilizing hardware acceleration, independent of the state of the switch.

Hello!!!

I am an iphone user and I´d like use 8player adding AC3 to itunes. I did in the same folder (movie and codec) but no works!! The message appears:"At the moment decoder for this video is unavailable. For more details..."

I have iphone 5 with ios 6.0.2.
What I do wrong??
I´m sorry but I don´t speak english very well.

Menneisyys2
Jan 9, 2013, 01:13 PM
Hello!!!

I am an iphone user and I´d like use 8player adding AC3 to itunes. I did in the same folder (movie and codec) but no works!! The message appears:"At the moment decoder for this video is unavailable. For more details..."

I have iphone 5 with ios 6.0.2.
What I do wrong??
I´m sorry but I don´t speak english very well.

The devs have removed AC3 support in the latest upgrade released a few days ago.

maromo80
Jan 10, 2013, 02:15 AM
The devs have removed AC3 support in the latest upgrade released a few days ago.
Ook. It's a pity!! Thanks

Pein
Jan 20, 2013, 10:09 AM
Oh no way to play media files contain AC3 again :mad:

Donka
Jan 20, 2013, 11:08 AM
The devs of AcePlayer have been quite clever. The superseded it with a later version that dropped the unlicensed codec support and retired the previous version. They then added the codec support back to the retired version which is no longer listed in the App Store so not subject to approval. You can still go to the purchased tab and download the previous version if you had bought it previously before it was pulled and the great thing is it doesn't show up as an update in the App Store so you don't get that annoying little red numerical marked on the App Store icon.

Menneisyys2
Jan 20, 2013, 12:49 PM
Oh no way to play media files contain AC3 again :mad:

Use AVPlayer(HD), they have licensed AC3 (and DTS). It has been recently re-introduced into AppStore.

Anotehr AC3 (but NOT DTS!) capable player is CineXPlayer but I don't really recommend it.

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The devs of AcePlayer have been quite clever. The superseded it with a later version that dropped the unlicensed codec support and retired the previous version. They then added the codec support back to the retired version which is no longer listed in the App Store so not subject to approval. You can still go to the purchased tab and download the previous version if you had bought it previously before it was pulled and the great thing is it doesn't show up as an update in the App Store so you don't get that annoying little red numerical marked on the App Store icon.

BTW, the same can be done to BUZZ Player.

Donka
Jan 20, 2013, 03:20 PM
BTW, the same can be done to BUZZ Player.

They retired a version but left Dolby / DTS support in the purchase history version?

Menneisyys2
Jan 20, 2013, 03:27 PM
They retired a version but left Dolby / DTS support in the purchase history version?

Yup, the old, pre-4 version is ac3 / dts-capable.

Donka
Jan 21, 2013, 04:54 AM
Yup, the old, pre-4 version is ac3 / dts-capable.

Thanks.

vatter69
Apr 8, 2013, 08:07 AM
Seems nPlayer is the answer to our prayers.

SMB/UPNP/DLNAWIFI Transfer - with AC3 support. 2.99 Euros in the AppStore.

thunng8
Apr 8, 2013, 08:16 AM
Seems nPlayer is the answer to our prayers.

SMB/UPNP/DLNAWIFI Transfer - with AC3 support. 2.99 Euros in the AppStore.

Yep, nplayer is my current favourite. Plays 1080p ac3 mkv files hardware accelerated either locally or over FTP or smb perfectly.

Donka
Apr 8, 2013, 08:23 AM
Yep, nplayer is my current favourite. Plays 1080p ac3 mkv files hardware accelerated either locally or over FTP or smb perfectly.

Does this app allow downloading as opposed to streaming via FTP or SMB? I look for this functionality so I can download from my NAS before leaving the house on a trip.

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Just read the description on AppStore and looks like it does:

- Built-in FTP client to stream and download media files
- Built-in UPnP/DLNA client to stream and download media files
- Built-in SMB client to stream and download media files

DjStiky
Apr 12, 2013, 11:50 AM
nPlayer not available in the Canadian store :(

Menneisyys2
Apr 13, 2013, 03:09 PM
nPlayer not available in the Canadian store :(

I've talked to the developers of nPlayer. They said the new, 1.11 version will soon be available. That is, it WILL reappear.

Without DTS support, I need to add :( That is, do the same as with AVPlayerHDif you want to keep the DTS support: BACKUP!

(More info: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=17139078 )

thunng8
Apr 13, 2013, 04:32 PM
I've talked to the developers of nPlayer. They said the new, 1.11 version will soon be available. That is, it WILL reappear.

Without DTS support, I need to add :( That is, do the same as with AVPlayerHDif you want to keep the DTS support: BACKUP!

(More info: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=17139078 )

Oh no .. Looks like I will be keeping 1.9 for a while then.

TVentity
Dec 11, 2013, 08:47 AM
I have put a new device V@home video gateway on the network. (http://tinyurl.com/nb5cpua)
it will receive off-air (satellite, cable or DTT) channels, and transmit them over the local WIFI
using the 8Player on the iPad or iPhone is awesome - -the picture quality is great, even with HD transmission (no stuck packets as in content coming from the web)
Really recommended.

Donka
Dec 11, 2013, 10:21 AM
I have put a new device V@home video gateway on the network. (http://tinyurl.com/nb5cpua)
it will receive off-air (satellite, cable or DTT) channels, and transmit them over the local WIFI
using the 8Player on the iPad or iPhone is awesome - -the picture quality is great, even with HD transmission (no stuck packets as in content coming from the web)
Really recommended.

Seems like a cool device.