.mkv player for iPad

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by noahmateen1234, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    #1
    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.
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    #2
    I use buzz or avplayerhd. You can drag and drop videos onto your ipad and watch them without converting them
     
  3. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    #3
    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.

    ----------

    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.
     
  4. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    #4
    Thanks, I have been trying to find an answer to this for a while, I will need to give avplayerhd a try.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #5
    Its too bad that VLC app is no longer in the App Store :(
     
  6. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    #6
    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.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #7
    Can't say I've seen your posts on the issue, but that VLC app plays all my MKVs without a hitch.
     
  8. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    #8
    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)
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    JoshMKB24

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Location:
    Midwest
    #9

    So is there a good app for watching MKV files on the iPad in your opinion?
     
  10. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    #10
    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.
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    JoshMKB24

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Location:
    Midwest
    #11
    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?
     
  12. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    #12
    Nope, it can't be jailbroken (yet). Get AVPlayerHD, it's excellent.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Ashin

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    #13
    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
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #14
    Thanks for the info!
     
  15. Menneisyys2, Jan 19, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013

    macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    #15
    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.

    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 )

    Nice 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 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 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 and Suzumiya) 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.

    [​IMG]
    (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 ( 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.
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    #16
    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
     
  17. macrumors 68020

    spencers

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2004
    #17
    Look into putting Plex Media Server on your NAS (if you can)
     
  18. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    #18
    Exactly. What is the NAS model? Is it a smart (with a ARM or, even better, X86 CPU) or just a "dumb" model?

    ----------

    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.
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    #19
    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)
     
  20. macrumors 68020

    spencers

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2004
    #20
    Put Plex Media Server on your Mac (assuming your Mac connects to the SMB share).

    Buy the Plex app for your iPad.
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    #21
    Which kills the uses of a network hdd

    Don't want to force myself to open a computer just for that
     
  22. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2010
    #22
    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.
     
  23. Menneisyys2, Jan 25, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013

    macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    #23
    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.

    ----------

    Also see my answers above.
     
  24. macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #24
    What about Air Video?
     
  25. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    #25
    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.
     

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