PDA

View Full Version : .mkv player for iPad




noahmateen1234
Dec 27, 2012, 03:46 PM
I need an app that can play my .mkv movies for my iPad mini. I also need the AC3 audio support and I know a bunch of apps pulled support.

Anyone know any apps that can still do this or any way to allow my iPad to play these files? I bought my iPad in the hope of doing that and I am going to return it if I can't get it to work.



cheezeit
Dec 27, 2012, 04:57 PM
I use buzz or avplayerhd. You can drag and drop videos onto your ipad and watch them without converting them

Menneisyys2
Dec 28, 2012, 02:00 AM
I need an app that can play my .mkv movies for my iPad mini. I also need the AC3 audio support and I know a bunch of apps pulled support.

Anyone know any apps that can still do this or any way to allow my iPad to play these files? I bought my iPad in the hope of doing that and I am going to return it if I can't get it to work.

MKV + AC3 on a (non-JB'able, meaning no RushPlayer+ or XBMC, which both would work just fine) iPad Mini? That pretty much narrows down to CineXPlayer or AVPlayerHD. As it's not an iPad 4 with its sufficiently fast CPU, CineXPlayer shouldn't be used (it uses far less efficient MKV remuxing than the top MKV remuxer titles, incl. AVPlayerHD) and only AVPlayerHD remains. Go for it.

----------

I use buzz or avplayerhd. You can drag and drop videos onto your ipad and watch them without converting them

Unfortunately, BUZZ is pretty much useless when it comes to non-AAC MKV's (needless to say, there are very few AAC MKV's - you must do pre-remuxing & transcoding to convert your MKV's to have AAC only audio tracks):

- any MKV with DTS causes the player to switch back to software decoding (=sloooooow)

- it doesn't support AC3 at all.

LaymansDomain
Jan 7, 2013, 04:42 PM
Thanks, I have been trying to find an answer to this for a while, I will need to give avplayerhd a try.

fiddlestyx
Jan 9, 2013, 09:23 PM
Its too bad that VLC app is no longer in the App Store :(

Menneisyys2
Jan 10, 2013, 03:37 AM
Its too bad that VLC app is no longer in the App Store :(

As has been pointed out in numerous posts of mine, the iOS version of VLC sucks really bad. Don't mourn its loss - today's top players are far superior to it.

fiddlestyx
Jan 10, 2013, 09:18 AM
As has been pointed out in numerous posts of mine, the iOS version of VLC sucks really bad. Don't mourn its loss - today's top players are far superior to it.

Can't say I've seen your posts on the issue, but that VLC app plays all my MKVs without a hitch.

Menneisyys2
Jan 18, 2013, 03:40 AM
Can't say I've seen your posts on the issue, but that VLC app plays all my MKVs without a hitch.

Probably low-res ones but efinitely not 720+p ones. Nevertheless, not even low-res videos are played back efficiently - even if you don't see stuttering, decoding is done via the CPU meaning much higher battery usage than with HW playback.

There is a video showing how bad the H.264 decoder (decoding a 1080p video, http://www.auby.no/files/video_tests/h264_1080p_hp_4.1_10mbps_dts_unstyled_subs_monsters.mkv (feel free to test it - it's a standardized test video freely available for testing purposes), in software) is, compared to the HW one (in this case, that of XBMC):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hf-cGxTdCZQ

(VLC is on the right)

JoshMKB24
Jan 18, 2013, 09:46 AM
Probably low-res ones but efinitely not 720+p ones. Nevertheless, not even low-res videos are played back efficiently - even if you don't see stuttering, decoding is done via the CPU meaning much higher battery usage than with HW playback.

There is a video showing how bad the H.264 decoder (decoding a 1080p video, http://www.auby.no/files/video_tests/h264_1080p_hp_4.1_10mbps_dts_unstyled_subs_monsters.mkv (feel free to test it - it's a standardized test video freely available for testing purposes), in software) is, compared to the HW one (in this case, that of XBMC):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hf-cGxTdCZQ

(VLC is on the right)


So is there a good app for watching MKV files on the iPad in your opinion?

Menneisyys2
Jan 18, 2013, 12:37 PM
So is there a good app for watching MKV files on the iPad in your opinion?

1, if you can jailbreak, RushPlayer+ or, if it doesn't stutter with your videos, XBMC. (Let me know if you go for the latter and I tell you more on further enhancing it - I've written several tutorials on Retina / TV-out enabling it, for example.)

2, if you can't, AVPlayerHD is the most efficient. If you need excellent DSPs and/or better VobSub support and don't mind the occassional stuttering / the lack of AC-3 support, It's Playing is also a decent choice. I don't recommend other MKV players, particularly not CineXPlayer or PowerPlayer.

JoshMKB24
Jan 18, 2013, 02:37 PM
1, if you can jailbreak, RushPlayer+ or, if it doesn't stutter with your videos, XBMC. (Let me know if you go for the latter and I tell you more on further enhancing it - I've written several tutorials on Retina / TV-out enabling it, for example.)

2, if you can't, AVPlayerHD is the most efficient. If you need excellent DSPs and/or better VobSub support and don't mind the occassional stuttering / the lack of AC-3 support, It's Playing is also a decent choice. I don't recommend other MKV players, particularly not CineXPlayer or PowerPlayer.

Alright I'll probably look into AVPlayerHD then because I have a new iPad Mini and I don't even know if they have jailbroken that yet?

Menneisyys2
Jan 18, 2013, 02:50 PM
Alright I'll probably look into AVPlayerHD then because I have a new iPad Mini and I don't even know if they have jailbroken that yet?

Nope, it can't be jailbroken (yet). Get AVPlayerHD, it's excellent.

Ashin
Jan 18, 2013, 03:26 PM
A few choices -

Transcode to mp4 - http://handbrake.fr/
Get OPlayer < the best mkv player I found, could even play 720p on my iPhone 4, everything else stuttered

Or... get an Android

fiddlestyx
Jan 18, 2013, 07:04 PM
Probably low-res ones but efinitely not 720+p ones. Nevertheless, not even low-res videos are played back efficiently - even if you don't see stuttering, decoding is done via the CPU meaning much higher battery usage than with HW playback.

There is a video showing how bad the H.264 decoder (decoding a 1080p video, http://www.auby.no/files/video_tests/h264_1080p_hp_4.1_10mbps_dts_unstyled_subs_monsters.mkv (feel free to test it - it's a standardized test video freely available for testing purposes), in software) is, compared to the HW one (in this case, that of XBMC):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hf-cGxTdCZQ

(VLC is on the right)

Thanks for the info!

Menneisyys2
Jan 19, 2013, 08:45 AM
A few choices -

Transcode to mp4 - http://handbrake.fr/

Or, in most cases, try remuxing first. Orders of magnitude faster than full (and, in most cases, absolutely unnecessary) transcoding done by HB. Just make sure you use the right tools (most importantly, Subler, or, if you don't remux many audio tracks, MP4Tools in addition). I've posted tons of tutorials here at the iPad and the ATV forums on remuxing.


Get OPlayer < the best mkv player I found, could even play 720p on my iPhone 4, everything else stuttered

Exactly what players did you try? Have you tried AVPlayer with no-more-than-720p videos? (For some reason, it doesn't dynamically remux 1080p videos on A4 CPU's, while it would certainly be possible. Will talk to the devs on the matter.)

1, OPlayer uses SW playback and has a definitely lower-quality H.264 decoder.

2, it's only at MPEG-2 playback that it excels at and is, generally, better than other players but MKV's generally have H.264 in them and not MPEG-2, unless it's a direct DVD rip (an example file I;ve created and published as a demo is at https://dl.dropbox.com/u/13100693/html/042012RetinaHDVideoPlayers/lupaus-ads-orig.mkv - feel free to check it out if you want to know how an MPEG-2 MKV is played back.)

All in all, I in no way recommend OPlayer for H.264 MKV playback. I'm absolutely sure you haven't compared it to the best (and most recommended) players like AVPlayer. (More info on the pros and cons of the player is at http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1503808 )

Or... get an AndroidNice idea. Unfortunately, Apple have absolutely silly restrictions regarding, among other things, video playback acceleration. Most other mobile operating systems (Android, WP8, Symbian) are far-far better in this respect (too).

EDIT: tested AVPlayer on old(er) hardware. My complete writeup is as follows:

AVPlayer(HD) & 1080p MKV users on older-than-two-year iDevices, attention!

Answering a question (link (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=16689270&postcount=15) with more info & comparisons to OPlayer) regarding AVPlayer running on the iPhone 4 (released in Summer 2010), I've quickly tested the MKV playback in the player on my 4th-generation iPad touch (released in Autumn 2010) to find out whether the question is right. (After all, AVPlayer(HD) is probably THE most recommended generic video player, particularly for MKV playback.)

During this, I've noticed the player didn't use hardware acceleration for any of the Full HD (1080p) MKV videos, unlike on newer hardware (e.g., iPhone 5), where there is no such problem. This includes all my Full HD test MKV videos – for example, Monsters (http://www.auby.no/files/video_tests/h264_1080p_hp_4.1_10mbps_dts_unstyled_subs_monsters.mkv) etc. (click the link for the freely deployable, testable video! More links to other standardized test videos below.)

I've continued testing to find out whether this is only an iPhone 4 / iPod touch 4-specific problem and found out that the iPad version of AVPlayer is suffering from exactly the same problem.

However, 720p video (e.g., Harry Potter (http://www.auby.no/files/video_tests/h264_720p_hp_3.1_600kbps_aac_mp3_dual_audio_harry_potter.mkv) and Suzumiya (http://www.auby.no/files/video_tests/h264_720p_hp_5.1_3mbps_vorbis_styled_and_unstyled_subs_suzumiya.mkv)) were played back flawlessly, with hardware acceleration. So did, of course, even lower-resolution videos.

After this, I've continued testing on even older, but still 1080p playback-capable hardware: the iPhone 3G S and the 3rd-gen iPod touch (not to be mistaken for the 2nd-gen, 8GB-only iPod touch sold up until Autumn/2010), both based on an even older CPU. The situation is the same: AVPlayer plays back MKV files up to 720p using hardware acceleration but not 1080p ones. While, again, the latter could certainly be possible (see below).

This seems to be a generic bug in both (small-screen and iPad) versions of AVPlayer running on 2009 and 2010 iOS models (iPhone 3GS and 4, iPod touch 3 and 4, iPad 1). These models, again, would all be able to play back 1080p videos (with the 2009 models, almost) flawlessly.

I'll immediately talk to the developers, who, hopefully, very soon release a fix.

In the meantime, just follow my advice below the screenshot.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/81986513/012013/IMG_0056th.jpg (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/81986513/012013/IMG_0056.jpg)
(playback of the 1080p Monsters test video on the iPt4. Pay special attention to the red rectangle-annotated icon in the top left corner. It's enabled, meaning there's no hardware decoding. (It'd be passive during hardware-accelerated playback.) The same stands for the red and also-annotated 1.00X icon in the center right, showing the CPU just can't decode the video stream properly.)

The solution

Should you want to avoid reencoding your MKV files entirely by resizing them to, say, 720p (which can already be played back using hardware acceleration) or remuxing them to an iOS-native format (mp4 / mov / m4v), you will want to take a closer look at other hardware MKV players.

I've tested several of them on the iPt 4G and found out that BUZZ Player should be the one you check out, assuming your MKV's have an AAC audio track. (BUZZ can't play DTS or any Dolby formats.) It'll produce the best and most stuttering-free playback – 1080p videos look gorgeous and play almost stuttering-free even on the lowly, almost four-year-old iPhone 3GS. An example of such 1080p + AAC benchmarking videos is HERE (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/13100693/html/042012RetinaHDVideoPlayers/kungfu-intro.mkv) ( kungfu-intro.mkv) – feel free to download it and test your players with it!

Unfortunately, the, otherwise, highly recommended It's Playing – employing half-hardware acceleration – just can't deliver acceptable speed on (CPU-wise) such slow hardware. CineXPlayer, PowerPlayer etc. are equally bad.

The fact that BUZZ Player requires AAC audio (when you rip a Blu-Ray disk, the result will most probably contain a DTS or an AC3 track (or their hi-def descendants) and never an AAC one) alone makes it a worse solution than AVPlayer. This also means you will need to convert your MKV files' audio to AAC. While it can be easily automated (with, say, MP4Tools) and is fast (compared to completely reencoding the entire video alongside the audio), it's still a separate conversion step you'll need to do.

I'll update the article as soon as I receive an answer from the developers.

Ratatapa
Jan 20, 2013, 09:27 AM
Sorry for bump, but i prefer that then making a 100000 topic on same subject

I'm also looking for a good player for my Ipad Mini

Must be able to run at least .avi and .mkv (more is better)
Must be able to stream from my SMB NAS (Vital)
Must be able to run 720p (i dont need 1080p)

thanks

spencers
Jan 20, 2013, 11:26 AM
Sorry for bump, but i prefer that then making a 100000 topic on same subject

I'm also looking for a good player for my Ipad Mini

Must be able to run at least .avi and .mkv (more is better)
Must be able to stream from my SMB NAS (Vital)
Must be able to run 720p (i dont need 1080p)

thanks

Look into putting Plex Media Server on your NAS (if you can)

Menneisyys2
Jan 20, 2013, 12:52 PM
Look into putting Plex Media Server on your NAS (if you can)

Exactly. What is the NAS model? Is it a smart (with a ARM or, even better, X86 CPU) or just a "dumb" model?

----------

Sorry for bump, but i prefer that then making a 100000 topic on same subject

I'm also looking for a good player for my Ipad Mini

Must be able to run at least .avi and .mkv (more is better)
Must be able to stream from my SMB NAS (Vital)
Must be able to run 720p (i dont need 1080p)

thanks

If all you need is streaming (and not local playback), can you answer the above question?

If you also need local playback (not streamed from a NAS), AVPlayerHD is the way to go.

Ratatapa
Jan 20, 2013, 03:04 PM
Sorry I made a mistake

It's a Seagate Goflex Network HDD

So All i want is a program that will let me connect to my network HDD with SMB and read it there (without copying to my ipad)

spencers
Jan 21, 2013, 05:03 PM
Sorry I made a mistake

It's a Seagate Goflex Network HDD

So All i want is a program that will let me connect to my network HDD with SMB and read it there (without copying to my ipad)

Put Plex Media Server on your Mac (assuming your Mac connects to the SMB share).

Buy the Plex app for your iPad.

Ratatapa
Jan 21, 2013, 07:36 PM
Which kills the uses of a network hdd

Don't want to force myself to open a computer just for that

kthxbainao
Jan 24, 2013, 12:39 PM
Having the exact same problem here.

In need of a player which can stream 720p .mkv's and transcode them on the iPad.

So essentially, AVplayerHD with streaming capabilities. Such a shame this is not implemented.

Menneisyys2
Jan 25, 2013, 02:00 AM
Which kills the uses of a network hdd

Don't want to force myself to open a computer just for that

See my answers above: to stream MKV's and AVI's from a "dumb" NAS server (one that doesn't support the directly-deployable ARM / x86 Plex client for NAS servers) with hardware acceleration (to be able to play back even 1080p MKV's)), you must jailbreak. If you can't jailbreak,

- get a decent "smart" NAS with Plex compatibility OR

- switch to an in this case (too) much more superior / open platform (Windows RT, Android). It's worthless to wait for Apple to let for hardware acceleration - they won't allow it.

----------

Having the exact same problem here.

In need of a player which can stream 720p .mkv's and transcode them on the iPad.

So essentially, AVplayerHD with streaming capabilities. Such a shame this is not implemented.

Also see my answers above.

ravenvii
Jan 26, 2013, 09:58 PM
See my answers above: to stream MKV's and AVI's from a "dumb" NAS server (one that doesn't support the directly-deployable ARM / x86 Plex client for NAS servers) with hardware acceleration (to be able to play back even 1080p MKV's)), you must jailbreak. If you can't jailbreak,

- get a decent "smart" NAS with Plex compatibility OR

- switch to an in this case (too) much more superior / open platform (Windows RT, Android). It's worthless to wait for Apple to let for hardware acceleration - they won't allow it.

What about Air Video?

Menneisyys2
Jan 27, 2013, 05:21 AM
What about Air Video?

I don't know of a NAS-specific version of Air Video - only that of Plex (see http://wiki.plexapp.com/index.php/FAQ:_Plex_Media_Server_and_NAS ). The NAS***** one ( http://wiki.nas*****.org/doku.php?id=documentation:howto:airvideoserver ) isn't really running on commercial NAS servers (AFAIK). I may be wrong though.

EDIT: it seems the 4-free (remove the - from the word!) is a non-allowed word; hence the asterisks above. It doesn't seem to have to do anything with the NAS4-Free (again, remove -!) so I post this addition knowing I'm not breaking the rule - after all, the NAS4-Free project is just unlucky to have a, by spammers, commonly used character sequence in its project name.

ravenvii
Jan 27, 2013, 10:33 AM
I don't know of a NAS-specific version of Air Video - only that of Plex (see http://wiki.plexapp.com/index.php/FAQ:_Plex_Media_Server_and_NAS ). The NAS***** one ( http://wiki.nas*****.org/doku.php?id=documentation:howto:airvideoserver ) isn't really running on commercial NAS servers (AFAIK). I may be wrong though.

EDIT: it seems the 4-free (remove the - from the word!) is a non-allowed word; hence the asterisks above. It doesn't seem to have to do anything with the NAS4-Free (again, remove -!) so I post this addition knowing I'm not breaking the rule - after all, the NAS4-Free project is just unlucky to have a, by spammers, commonly used character sequence in its project name.

Plex might be better for streaming directly from a NAS. But if you have a 'dumb' NAS, you can use Air Video -- just have the server point to the NAS directory on the Mac. Boom.

Menneisyys2
Jan 27, 2013, 01:04 PM
Plex might be better for streaming directly from a NAS. But if you have a 'dumb' NAS, you can use Air Video -- just have the server point to the NAS directory on the Mac. Boom.

Yup, but, then, you need a "middleman" - a full x86 device, always powered on, always consuming power etc. This is what "Ratatapa" wanted to avoid.

finalcut
Jan 27, 2013, 04:16 PM
I want to stream my videos to my ipad as well but my NAS HDD is a WD World edition II.

Would it be a better idea to buy a mac mini and then plug all my HDDs that contains all my movies/series that I riped from dvds?

Menneisyys2
Jan 28, 2013, 03:52 AM
I want to stream my videos to my ipad as well but my NAS HDD is a WD World edition II.

what format are your videos in? mkv? mp4 / m4v / mov?

finalcut
Jan 28, 2013, 06:32 AM
what format are your videos in? mkv? mp4 / m4v / mov?
mostly .avi but some mkv as well

something I want to add, I dont know if this could be an issue or not, it has to work 2x. My wife is watching movies or series on her ipad as well in same time with me.

Menneisyys2
Jan 28, 2013, 09:26 AM
mostly .avi but some mkv as well

That's bad news. You absolutely must jailbreak to be able to play them back without stuttering if they're 1080p. Without jailbreaking, it's absolutely impossible to play back anything non-iOS-native from streaming sources using hardware decoding.

something I want to add, I dont know if this could be an issue or not, it has to work 2x. My wife is watching movies or series on her ipad as well in same time with me.

So, you want to show the same video absolutely synchronized? Today, there's no solution for that. However, it can certainly be programmed if (and only if) you converted the ones you plan to play back synchronized to two (or more) iDevices at the same time. I'll write such a video player as soon as I have some free time - probably even this week. You'l, however, need to find a friend that has a dev account so that he's able to deploy the app on your iPads.

finalcut
Jan 28, 2013, 09:53 AM
That's bad news. You absolutely must jailbreak to be able to play them back without stuttering if they're 1080p. Without jailbreaking, it's absolutely impossible to play back anything non-iOS-native from streaming sources using hardware decoding.



So, you want to show the same video absolutely synchronized? Today, there's no solution for that. However, it can certainly be programmed if (and only if) you converted the ones you plan to play back synchronized to two (or more) iDevices at the same time. I'll write such a video player as soon as I have some free time - probably even this week. You'l, however, need to find a friend that has a dev account so that he's able to deploy the app on your iPads.
no, my wife would watch something else on her own ipad mini.

But if I give up on mkv and I'd only watch .avi? What would you suggest? Mac Mini that runs 24/7 and then plug my HDDS on the mini and stream withsomething?

Menneisyys2
Jan 28, 2013, 10:48 AM
no, my wife would watch something else on her own ipad mini.

With plain NAS streaming, it's certainly possible - NAS servers can serve several, different files concurrently. With Plex running on your Mac Mini (see below) - I have to check. (Let me know if interested and I fire up my Plex server + clients.)

But if I give up on mkv and I'd only watch .avi?

It's not iOS-native and, therefore, can't be played back with hardware acceleration when streaming - without jailbreaking. (Again, let's "thank" Apple for their absolutely silly and overly restrictive rules.)

What would you suggest? Mac Mini that runs 24/7 and then plug my HDDS on the mini and stream withsomething?

If you don't mind having an x86 desktop always on and/or don't want to remux / convert your MKV's / AVI's to streamable, iOS-native MP4 (M4V / MOV) files, then, it's a very good choice. But, again, depending on the size of your library, perhaps the (one-time) conversion to iOS-native MP4's would be preferable to fully avoid having to use a "middleman" for streaming.