All Devices Files app now shows media from 3rd party video apps

Rogifan

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Original poster
Nov 14, 2011
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I use Infuse as my video player (the TV app sucks for playing non-iTunes video). Previously I added files to it from my laptop via the browser.

In iOS 13 in the Files app I now see an Infuse folder in the On My iPad section of the app. It shows all the videos I have on my device and gives me full sharing options in the share sheet. I can also save videos into that folder. For instance using a YouTube download shortcut I can download a video from YouTube, save it to the Infuse folder and play it from the app or share wherever. Very cool. This was pretty much the only reason I was still using my laptop. Goodbye piece of crap slow laptop! :cool:
 
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Feenician

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Jun 13, 2016
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I use Infuse as my video player (the TV app sucks for playing non-iTunes video). Previously I added files to it from my laptop via the browser.

In iOS 13 in the Files app I now see an Infuse folder in the On My iPad section of the app. It shows all the videos I have on my device and gives me full sharing options in the share sheet. I can also save videos into that folder. For instance using a YouTube download shortcut I can download a video from YouTube, save it to the Infuse folder and play it from the app or share wherever. Very cool. This was pretty much the only reason I was still using my laptop. Goodbye piece of crap slow laptop! :cool:
Yep, I've been recommending that workflow to people during the beta cycle. Now, also, if you have an external disk or NAS with media on it and you want to take it on the run you just connect, copy to your media app folder and you're off.

What I really want to see, now that we have complete freedom to manage custom directory structure locally and in iCloud Drive, is apps being updated so that they can play from (rather than copy from as VLC and Infuse do now) any folder or source we choose when opening from Files from wishing the app. Both these apps have Files integration but both copy the file to their own sandbox on open. Having a custom directory structure that any app can just play directly from would go a long way to staving off some of the "not a real filesystem" criticisms iOS has been subject to. Now we have the real filesystem, we need the apps to come along for the ride. The best developers and apps will do this, and will succeed as a result.

The interim measure of copying straight into the sandbox definitely eases the pain for now though.
 
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reptarwilleatu

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Sep 11, 2014
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the whole video apps showing local files in the Files app isn’t new to iOS 13. i noticed it in iOS 12 before
 

Rogifan

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Original poster
Nov 14, 2011
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the whole video apps showing local files in the Files app isn’t new to iOS 13. i noticed it in iOS 12 before
Hmm...I never saw it. But maybe that’s because previously I was syncing media via iTunes and not using Infuses’s method.
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Yep, I've been recommending that workflow to people during the beta cycle. Now, also, if you have an external disk or NAS with media on it and you want to take it on the run you just connect, copy to your media app folder and you're off.

What I really want to see, now that we have complete freedom to manage custom directory structure locally and in iCloud Drive, is apps being updated so that they can play from (rather than copy from as VLC and Infuse do now) any folder or source we choose when opening from Files from wishing the app. Both these apps have Files integration but both copy the file to their own sandbox on open. Having a custom directory structure that any app can just play directly from would go a long way to staving off some of the "not a real filesystem" criticisms iOS has been subject to. Now we have the real filesystem, we need the apps to come along for the ride. The best developers and apps will do this, and will succeed as a result.

The interim measure of copying straight into the sandbox definitely eases the pain for now though.
Yep. And thanks to whomever created the youtube shortcut I downloaded. I really have no idea how it works technically but it works like a charm.
 

ZEEN0j

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Sep 29, 2014
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Yep, I've been recommending that workflow to people during the beta cycle. Now, also, if you have an external disk or NAS with media on it and you want to take it on the run you just connect, copy to your media app folder and you're off.

What I really want to see, now that we have complete freedom to manage custom directory structure locally and in iCloud Drive, is apps being updated so that they can play from (rather than copy from as VLC and Infuse do now) any folder or source we choose when opening from Files from wishing the app. Both these apps have Files integration but both copy the file to their own sandbox on open. Having a custom directory structure that any app can just play directly from would go a long way to staving off some of the "not a real filesystem" criticisms iOS has been subject to. Now we have the real filesystem, we need the apps to come along for the ride. The best developers and apps will do this, and will succeed as a result.

The interim measure of copying straight into the sandbox definitely eases the pain for now though.
Does that apply to all file types? You have to copy it form the external drive or NAS etc before you can interact with it?
 

Feenician

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Jun 13, 2016
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Does that apply to all file types? You have to copy it form the external drive or NAS etc before you can interact with it?
I couldn't say for sure that it applies to everything. I hope that it doesn't, but if it is does currently I hope it doesn't when apps are updated for iOS 13. I'm not actually able to test it at the moment because SMB is broken in DB3 and I don't have a lightning adapter to test USB media. It'd be interesting to check the Office apps, Affinity Photo etc. to see if they act the same way.

It does currently apply to the media apps that I mentioned (VLC and Infuse). If you open a file from somewhere in Files these apps pull in and make a copy in their own documents folder. I can see how that would simplify UI/UX for them (what do they show if a USB/SMB drive is unavailable?) but I think apps should me making import or open in place flows an option.
 

Shirasaki

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May 16, 2015
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Yep, I've been recommending that workflow to people during the beta cycle. Now, also, if you have an external disk or NAS with media on it and you want to take it on the run you just connect, copy to your media app folder and you're off.

What I really want to see, now that we have complete freedom to manage custom directory structure locally and in iCloud Drive, is apps being updated so that they can play from (rather than copy from as VLC and Infuse do now) any folder or source we choose when opening from Files from wishing the app. Both these apps have Files integration but both copy the file to their own sandbox on open. Having a custom directory structure that any app can just play directly from would go a long way to staving off some of the "not a real filesystem" criticisms iOS has been subject to. Now we have the real filesystem, we need the apps to come along for the ride. The best developers and apps will do this, and will succeed as a result.

The interim measure of copying straight into the sandbox definitely eases the pain for now though.
The thing is, “open-in” has been introduced for quite a while before iOS 13, and by far I only see one app supporting it: GoodReader. I have yet to test how it works but it works when I want to unrar an archive (It unrar the archive to GoodReader app instead of “copying original to GoodReader before unrar”). Apple seems to not enforce this part to developers for some reason.

We can expect iOS 13 will massively improve this “open-in” feature as “files and folders” are added as part of privacy settings already. Then, I can plug my USB SSD, play my movie using a media player just like when I open a movie on a Windows PC from file explorer. That would be super nice.
 
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Krevnik

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Sep 8, 2003
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Having a custom directory structure that any app can just play directly from would go a long way to staving off some of the "not a real filesystem" criticisms iOS has been subject to.
Apple would need to help more here to get to that world, IMO. Right now they want the file picker to be the way to punch through the sandbox and get security bookmarks. This sort of thing really needs something a bit less fine grained, like the Downloads/Pictures/Music/Movies folder level entitlements on macOS.

The thing is, “open-in” has been introduced for quite a while before iOS 13, and by far I only see one app supporting it: GoodReader. I have yet to test how it works but it works when I want to unrar an archive (It unrar the archive to GoodReader app instead of “copying original to GoodReader before unrar”). Apple seems to not enforce this part to developers for some reason.
“Open In” is probably one of the more convoluted ways to open files in iOS from the developer’s perspective. And it requires support on both sides. Not just the app doing the opening, but the app hosting the file also needs to support it. It wasn’t exactly built in a way to encourage quick adoption, even though I love the feature. In my personal apps, I tend to skip implementing this, because it is just that annoying to support, with fairly limited uses until recently. Especially when Dropbox/etc don’t support it as a hosting app, which was the whole friggin’ point of the feature in the first place.

With more support for local files not hosted by Dropbox/etc, we might see an uptick in use, but I’m somewhat cynical here. I’m not sure we will see it.
 
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