Better/cheeper alternatives for WALTR 2

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by manyelski, Sep 16, 2017.

  1. manyelski macrumors regular

    manyelski

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    #1
    Hi there, anyone knows of better /cheaper alternatives for WALTR 2? I used the 24h demo, not too bad, but quite some issues with the app. Also it is $40.... Thanks
     
  2. HDFan macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #2
    WALTR 2 seems to do a lot of things: file transfers to IOS, along with media conversions, metadata fill in, wi-fi detection.

    What do you use it for?
     
  3. manyelski thread starter macrumors regular

    manyelski

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    #3
    Transfer mkv files from my mac to my ipad. I do not want to use VLC because it ruins my battery. Conversion seems to take forever too
     
  4. HDFan macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #4
    1. You want to watch video files on your iPad, right?
    2. What program on your iPad are you using to watch the videos?
    2. These are Blu-Ray mkv files? If not what are the original files, and what are you converting them to?
    3. You are transferring the files from your Mac to the iPad?
    4. If so, what Mac do you have?

    Normally the heavy lifting (conversion) is done on your Mac. Where are you doing the converting? Don't understand what you mean by the statement that VLC ruins your battery. On your Mac? On the iPad?
     
  5. manyelski thread starter macrumors regular

    manyelski

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    #5
    1. Yes
    2. The native one
    3. i am not converting them to anything
    4. Macbook pro early 2015
     
  6. HDFan macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #6
    You say

    but then say

    ???????

    So what kind of files are they (.mov, .mp4, .mkv?) Where are you getting them? How are they encoded?
     
  7. manyelski thread starter macrumors regular

    manyelski

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    #7
    mkv files as I stated in one of my previous posts. I do not how are they encoded I know there are .mkv files.
     
  8. osxrumours, Sep 21, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017

    osxrumours macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2015
    #8
    I think you may be misunderstanding what's happening in various scenarios. Some facts, like these below, seem to contradict what you're suggesting is happening:

    • the iPad's native video player cannot play mkvs
    • VLC plays mkvs without converting. The lack of converting is what made VLC famous originally.

    If you better understand what's actually happening and step through HDfan's questions you've a better chance of finding the ideal solution.

    Also


    I think the reason that HDFan asked this is because you said you're working with mkv files and separately state there's a conversion happening. They don't convert from mkv to mkv so what's the source or output type of file if they're actually being converted, as you mention? This isn't meant as a pop-quiz of some sort. If you've no idea, you can start from there and figure out what's really happening.

    WALTR states that it does media conversions. It's useful to be clear about what's doing the conversion (WALTR/the video player) or if a conversion is needed at all. It's not in the case of VLC so if you're using it and seeing a conversion happening then you'll know something's wrong or happening unnecessarily (and will skew your idea of what's working well and what isn't).
     
  9. manyelski thread starter macrumors regular

    manyelski

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    #9
    I read about the VLC, but what the majority of people say is that it drains your battery like hell because it does software encoding or something alike. I did not attempt any conversions because usually from 350 mb mkv converted to pre-set ipad air 2 profile on the video converter the file size goes to 1,3 gb...
     
  10. osxrumours macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2015
    #10
    I've no experience with using VLC on an iPad, just macs and Windows. Maybe they're right, maybe they're not, but I'd suggest trying it and finding out for yourself as VLC was made for this kind of thing (playing any video type without converting). Maybe they said it does software DEcoding as opposed to hardware decoding, which would use your battery faster in many cases, yes, but not all. Again, it's worth finding your own experience of it.

    I've no idea what video converter you're using. Again, it would really help when looking for advice if you assume we don't know anything you're using because that's usually the case. I can only guess you mean WALTR? And I've no idea what it's ipad air 2 profile settings are. Sorry to sound harsh but you get such better and quicker advice if you set up your question to help the audience and avoid guessing.

    Without knowing all the details, I could be missing something but if you're playing an MKV on the native iPad video player then the MKV is definitely being converted. Whether it's to your knowledge or not. And earlier you said 'Conversion takes forever too', which suggests you were trying converting? Or if you meant that for VLC, it doesn't make much sense as VLC is designed to play without converting, like I mentioned.

    I'm not familiar with all the video players for the iPad so somebody may correct me on this but I'm 95% sure that you're in a situation where, if you want to play an MKV file on the native iPad video player, it MUST be converted/transcoded. You will also get hardware acceleration which will usually improve battery life. If you want to play without converting, you can use VLC or one or two others that have native codecs for MKV files. But they won't use hardware acceleration and the battery life will probably be a bit less.

    This doesn't tackle the issue of transferring the files to your iPad, which is a separate issue. Some apps combine this as a feature (VLC) or combine it with transcoding (which is converting the file as they stream it the iPad, but they don't store it on the iPad). You can also do this independently with Airdrop or Dropbox, etc.
     
  11. manyelski thread starter macrumors regular

    manyelski

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    #11
    I
    I used Xilisoft video converter and Handbrake to try to convert (using the pre-set profiles for ipad air 2). So what would you say is the best quality/ratio video format and settings that could be read by an ipad without decoding and third party app?
     
  12. osxrumours, Sep 22, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2017

    osxrumours macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2015
    #12
    It's subjective. I don't know what's an acceptable clarity to you or what's an acceptable file size.

    You'll see lots of recommendations for encoders and people will swear x is better than y but, through that all, handbrake has always held up and hasn't gone away. Personally, I'm a fan. It's also in the process of introducing h265 encoding which is relevant as recent iPads play h265 as a native codec with ios11. The main selling point of h265 - the successor to h264 - is that it can usually provide the same quality as h264 with a smaller file size. You'll also get hardware acceleration on the iPads native video player.

    But before all that, it's worth clarifying the basics of video files. A video file is a container that contains a codec. People will often, understandably, mistake one for the other or don't know they're separate things.

    The container is equivalent to say, a phone. And a codec is equivalent to a phone OS. So you could have a Samsung xblah21 and a OnePlus zblah31 with both running Android 7 as an OS with the same color, memory, cpu, etc.. People will mostly base their experience on what worked well and what didn't with Android 7, whether they know it or not. A few will say, I preferred the feel of the buttons on the side on the Samsung or, the OnePlus is available in my country more readily than Samsung, etc., but most views will be critiquing something about Android.

    You can apply that analogy to video files. Some people will bicker about the container, and sometimes that's important. As well as some players not playing certain codecs, some players won't play certain containers. But most of the critiquing is about the codecs.

    The container can sometimes be obvious from the file extension, but not always. MKV is a container, Quicktime is a container (MOV), as well as AVI and MP4. These can all be using the same codec and, if they are, the differences between them are far less varied. Mostly it will come down to whether the players you use can play the file type, subtle quirks between them (which can becomes less subtle for niche uses), and if they'll hold up in the long term.

    Codecs are the meat of the video file and are by far the dominant factor about the clarity and file size of your video. h264 (MPEG-4 AVC) is a codec and the most popular today. It holds up well with clarity/file size ratio and the industry was pretty confident in it. So much so that it's one of the main codecs that manufacturers provide hardware acceleration for, which will usually improve battery life. There's been reluctance to move on but manufacturers are slowly going towards h265 (HEVC) and we're seeing a similar uptake in providing hardware acceleration for it, with the same benefits for the battery life.

    I don't have an iPad but I believe it only hardware accelerates the h264 codec (and h265 in ios11 on newer models) in a Quicktime (mov) or MP4 container. I'm not even sure if it will actually play video files not in this format so perhaps hardware acceleration is to be expected if it will actually play the file at all. Somebody with an iPad can correct me on that.

    Based on that, you want to make sure you're converting any video files into a Quicktime or MP4 container using a h264 or h265 codec. I've no idea what settings are satisfactory to you, as a I said at the start. But you could work off the idea of what's the max file size you'd be happy with. Say it's 800mb for a video and you know the video's one and a half hours long, you can do the math to figure out what to set for the average kbps box. That way, you'll know the file size that comes out and you can see if the quality's good enough at that level for you. I'll spare you the math to keep this wall of text from being even longer but as a barometer, an hour and a half movie at 800mb would need to be 1185kbps.

    You'll never really have an opinion or knowledge of anything without trial and error so I suggest just a little patience and leave it running to do its thing when you go out. Otherwise you're just taking somebody else's word for it and could deviate way off what's useful or accurate.

    Beware of the million video converting utilities out there that come and go. It's one industry where there's a myriad of people trying to make a quick buck when the utility that's proved the test of time and was often free is usually better. It's one of the reasons I'm recommending handbrake.

    It's worth knowing that any conversion worsens the quality. If you know how bad of an idea it is to save a jpeg as a jpeg, it's the same with movies. But it's not so bad that it's unacceptable to many. It's really only an issue if you're going for really high quality and, on an iPad, you're likely not. With that in mind, check what the resolution of your iPad is and don't convert movies to a higher resolution than that. You'll just be using a larger filesize needlessly.

    Finally, you haven't mentioned if you watch your iPad at home with the computer that's the source of these MKV files switched on. Transcoding is an option then, which is just converting and streaming live at the same time, without ever storing the file on your iPad. I'm not a fan but lots of people are. It's one of the main selling points of Plex, if you're familiar with it (and it may be worth looking into if the scenario I just mentioned is applicable to you).
     
  13. HDFan macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #13
    I haven't seen where you've indicated what you are using as source files, codec, bitrate, etc. If you have an source file that is encoded at 1 Mbps converting to 5 Mbps is just going to create a much larger file with less quality than the original since something is always lost in a conversion.
     
  14. allan.nyholm macrumors 6502a

    allan.nyholm

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Aalborg, Denmark
    #14
    @manyelski
    Also,, I just read the whole of your initial post - you experience problems using WALTR 2 - it wasn't my intention to have anyone go put and spend cash on a app that doesn't do the job well enough.

    If you are interested in paying $30 less for WALTR 2 ($40 -> $10) then look no further than on Mashable's shop: https://shop.mashable.com/sales/waltr-2-for-mac

    It's usually %50 off right now put by signing up for their shop(Mashable Shop) you can save some $10 on top of that which gets it down to $10 in total. They will send you some e-mails but you can eventually opt-out of those once you're all set.

    The same deal is also available here with the same perks: https://stacksocial.com/sales/waltr-2-for-mac

    I've bought apps and subscriptions from there(StackSocial) before and I have not been let down. Right now I'm eyeing a 4-year Droplr subscription for $29.99.
     
  15. manyelski thread starter macrumors regular

    manyelski

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    #15
    Thank you so so so much!! I bought the WALTR 2 for $19,99 (the first-time-purchase $10 off is for orders of $30 and over).
     
  16. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Location:
    In the middle of several books.
    #16
    Waltr 2 has to transcode the mkv file to mp4 or m4v as it sends it to the iPad. If you want an app that does it just as fast and cheaper, consider iFlicks 2.
     
  17. allan.nyholm macrumors 6502a

    allan.nyholm

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Aalborg, Denmark
    #17
    No problem. Also, I should have actually read the on screen text(and the e-mail) before sending you off to the Internets Webshops.
    I feel most silly for not reading-at all. I took it for granted that eventually I could get any app for free if using enough e-mails accounts.
     
  18. mrkapqa macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Location:
    Italy, Bolzano/Bozen
    #18
    i tried both waltr and waltr 2 and both programs seem not recognize the ipod touch 1st gen or second gen, which is not so nice, as i really hoped it would work with those legacy devices.
     

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17 September 16, 2017