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iOS Media Player 'Infuse' Upgraded With New Design, Network Streaming and More

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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FireCore -- the company behind the Apple TV jailbreak apps aTV Flash and Seas0nPass -- has released a new version of Infuse, its iOS video playing app. The update adds a new iOS 7-inspired interface, as well as network streaming support, and more. The app is a competitor for VLC, which returned to iOS earlier this year.

Infuse users can load a wide variety of video files onto the app via Wi-Fi through a browser or FTP server, iTunes Sync, or network share.

Users can upgrade to Infuse Pro -- a $5 in-app purchase -- to play a wider variety of video formats, display subtitles, add support for multi-format AirPlay streaming as well as the new network streaming feature. Current Infuse owners get Infuse Pro free by launching their old version of Infuse and "purchasing" the free In-App Purchase before upgrading to Infuse 2.

MORE THAN JUST A PRETTY FACE

- Optimized playback engine (plays full 1080p)
- Beautiful layout with quick access to video info
- Artwork and metadata added automatically
- Subtitle downloads from OpenSubtitles.org
- Multiple audio tracks
- Chapters
- Gesture controls
- 3 zoom options (normal, crop, stretch)
- Scrobble plays to trakt.tv
- Drag and drop video uploads via web browser
- Import videos from iTunes, Dropbox or email
- TV out via HDMI or VGA adapter
- Optimized for iOS 7 and retina display

UPGRADE TO INFUSE PRO TO GET EVEN MORE!

- Play more video formats (MKV, MP4, AVI, WMV, M4V, MOV, FLV, OGM, OGV, ASF, 3GP, DVR-MS, WebM, WTV)
- Integrated Dolby® Digital Plus (AC3) mobile surround sound
- Add subtitles (SRT, SSA, SUB, DVDSub, PGS, XSUB, Timed Text, VobSub, DVB)
- Multi-format AirPlay streaming
- Stream videos from a Mac, PC or network storage drive
Infuse 2 is a free download for the iPhone and iPad. [Direct Link]

Article Link: iOS Media Player 'Infuse' Upgraded With New Design, Network Streaming and More
 

brand

macrumors 601
Oct 3, 2006
4,371
431
127.0.0.1
Not sure what how this is any more newsworthy then the other hundreds of thousands of apps that get updated.
 
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DipDog3

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2002
1,185
679
Can't even test a video without paying $4.99???

What is the point of that? How do I even know the video will even work with this app?
 
Comment

jlgolson

Contributing Editor
Jun 2, 2011
379
4
Durango, CO
Can't even test a video without paying $4.99???

What is the point of that? How do I even know the video will even work with this app?
It plays all the formats supportably natively by iOS for free, but adds the long list of additional formats after IAP.

(MKV, MP4, AVI, WMV, M4V, MOV, FLV, OGM, OGV, ASF, 3GP, DVR-MS, WebM, WTV)
 
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breather

macrumors regular
Jan 26, 2011
186
632
Sweden
Well..

It looks great and all.... but i want a videoplayer that is supereasy, and superclean.

One click after the app starts to start the video, swipe to delete, some geastures for scrolling the video and support for many, many video formats.

iTunes filesharing for transfering the videos.

Thats basically it, no need for fancy graphics and features that slows down using the interface.
 
Comment

sinsin07

macrumors 68040
Mar 28, 2009
3,532
2,459
Not sure what how this is any more newsworthy then the other hundreds of thousands of apps that get updated.
Easy solution. Start your own site and report the things you feel worthy.

Then watch as others sit in their armchairs and complain about what your report.
 
Comment

fraggot

macrumors 6502
Jun 16, 2009
482
7
Louisville, KY
It looks great and all.... but i want a videoplayer that is supereasy, and superclean.

One click after the app starts to start the video, swipe to delete, some geastures for scrolling the video and support for many, many video formats.

iTunes filesharing for transfering the videos.

Thats basically it, no need for fancy graphics and features that slows down using the interface.

Than this app isn't for you although I can assure you, there is absolutely no slowdown at all in this app.
 
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keithjfuller

macrumors regular
Jan 28, 2010
120
67
Not sure what how this is any more newsworthy then the other hundreds of thousands of apps that get updated.

i'd imagine because it allows people to play many types of video that apple doesn't allow by default. i don't care about it, but i imagine that it's a big deal for a lot of people. also, i wouldn't be shocked if fire core paid for this article.
 
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DipDog3

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2002
1,185
679
It plays all the formats supportably natively by iOS for free, but adds the long list of additional formats after IAP.

(MKV, MP4, AVI, WMV, M4V, MOV, FLV, OGM, OGV, ASF, 3GP, DVR-MS, WebM, WTV)

No, it won't play any videos from my network share without paying $5. VLC plays most of the same files, but is free.

I can't recommend this app, I am giving it one star...
 
Comment

Blue Sun

macrumors 6502a
Feb 11, 2009
912
197
Australia
No, it won't play any videos from my network share without paying $5. VLC plays most of the same files, but is free.

I can't recommend this app, I am giving it one star...

Does VLC allow streaming from an NAS (like an external HDD attached to an AirPort Extreme)?
 
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firecore

macrumors 65816
Aug 20, 2010
1,050
671
Denver, CO
No, it won't play any videos from my network share without paying $5. VLC plays most of the same files, but is free.

I can't recommend this app, I am giving it one star...

Sorry for the confusion. The native iOS formats will play in the free version of Infuse if they are synced through iTunes or transferred via the Wi-Fi upload option. Streaming from network shares is one of the Infuse Pro features.

From the app description.

UPGRADE TO INFUSE PRO TO GET EVEN MORE!

- Play more video formats (MKV, MP4, AVI, WMV, M4V, MOV, FLV, OGM, OGV, ASF, 3GP, DVR-MS, WebM, WTV)
- Integrated Dolby® Digital Plus (AC3) mobile surround sound
- Add subtitles (SRT, SSA, SUB, DVDSub, PGS, XSUB, Timed Text, VobSub, DVB)
- Multi-format AirPlay streaming
- Stream videos from a Mac, PC or network storage drive
 
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hipnetic

macrumors 65816
Oct 5, 2010
1,191
487
I had high hopes for this app, given Firecore's history with the ATV2. But I was confused by the lack of a server-side component (as far I can see). I have high-bitrate movie rips. It's not seriously going to try to play these without a server-side app doing on-the-fly transcoding, is it?

But I downloaded it and fired it up. UI looked professional. It found my server and I drilled into the directory structure (not super-impressed at this point, since I don't want to have to think about my directory structure...see Plex for how to do this right - again, you need a server-side component to pull this off right).

Anyway, I see a high-bitrate movie rip and select it, and the app immediately tells me it won't be able to play the audio. FYI, when I rip my Blu-ray discs, I only rip the "regular" Dolby Digital or DTS soundtracks, not the lossless versions, so as to keep things simple for all of my streamers. But apparently this app needs the audio down-converted ahead of time. Not looking good so far.

So, then I try to play a different movie. The app tells me that I'll need to pay $5 for some reason or another. I figure, what the hell, it's just $5, so I paid it. So then the movie starts up and starts to play, but after a few seconds it pauses/freezes. I wait and wait and it's still just frozen/clocking. I kill the app and restart it and can't get it to even *start* to play that movie again. More clocking. I then completely reboot my iPhone and fire up the app again and it still won't play my video.

I did get it to play an iOS-optimized MP4 file. Whoop-de-doo. You know what else can play that file? The built-in Video player that Apple pre-installs on every iPhone.

If the Firecore team is monitoring this thread: You really need a server-side component to do on-the-fly transcoding. I want to play high-bitrate content. If you're going to make an app that can only play lower-bitrate content, then why bother? If I have to convert my content to make it playable on an iPhone, I'll just convert it using Handbrake to an MP4 format and then use the built-in/free apps.
 
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firecore

macrumors 65816
Aug 20, 2010
1,050
671
Denver, CO
Anyway, I see a high-bitrate movie rip and select it, and the app immediately tells me it won't be able to play the audio. FYI, when I rip my Blu-ray discs, I only rip the "regular" Dolby Digital or DTS soundtracks, not the lossless versions, so as to keep things simple for all of my streamers. But apparently this app needs the audio down-converted ahead of time. Not looking good so far.

So, then I try to play a different movie. The app tells me that I'll need to pay $5 for some reason or another. I figure, what the hell, it's just $5, so I paid it. So then the movie starts up and starts to play, but after a few seconds it pauses/freezes. I wait and wait and it's still just frozen/clocking. I kill the app and restart it and can't get it to even *start* to play that movie again. More clocking. I then completely reboot my iPhone and fire up the app again and it still won't play my video.
Thanks for your feedback.

What you may be running into is simply a network speed issue. Infuse would probably play that file just fine if it were stored on the iPad itself, though that's probably not an ideal solution.

Our goal with Infuse was to widen the door of which formats are supported, and add in flexible options such as subtitle downloads, AirPlay streaming, and trakt syncing. Naturally we won't be able to cover every scenario or file type, as there are definitely some limitations with streaming 10GB+ files over Wi-Fi, but in the future we can look at doing a better job of detecting these cases before prompting for an In-App purchase.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts, they have not fallen on deaf ears.
 
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hipnetic

macrumors 65816
Oct 5, 2010
1,191
487
Thanks for your feedback.Thanks again for sharing your thoughts, they have not fallen on deaf ears.
Well, hopefully you'll consider the server-side component that I mentioned. I think that would solve a lot of life's problems. My iPhone 5, as capable as it is, isn't going to be able to play high-bitrate content over WiFi, but if you had a server component that did on-the-fly transcoding to a somewhat lower bitrate (a la Plex), it would be a non-issue.

One more thing I tried after posting my previous comment: WTV files. These are Windows Media Center TV show recordings. And the possibility of being able to play these files was a big factor in me deciding to pay money for this app. Plex can handle these files, but there's always been one big missing feature for me: The ability to play TV shows that are still in the progress of being recorded. First things first, could this app even play WTV files at all? Well, I'm shocked to say that it can! I navigated to my "Recorded TV" folder on my server, selected a show, and after a several-second delay, it started playing it. PQ looked excellent, too. Then I went for the "holy grail". I set up a brand new recording (via Ceton's Media Center app which lets you schedule recordings on Windows Media Center from your iPhone), and then jumped back to the Firecore app. I found the show and started it up. It started to play fine, but then ran into the same issue that every other app I've tried (Plex, AirVideo) has run into. When the app first starts to play the video, it grabs the recording length from the file and it then erroneously assumes that that's the full length of the file (but, in this case, it isn't, because the show is *still* being recorded, so the file length is continuing to grow). So, if at the time you *start* to play the WTV file, the amount of time that has been recorded is 30 seconds, the timebar reads 30 seconds, and after 30 seconds, it abruptly stops, even though after those first 30 seconds have passed, the WTV file now actually contains an additional 30 seconds of video (and still growing).

So, Firecore team, if you can tweak your app so that when playing WTV files it performs a frequent "refresh" to double-check what the length of the video is, and it can keep playing still-in-progress TV show recordings, you may still gain a happy customer. I already gave you my $5, so it's the least you can do. ;)
 
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firecore

macrumors 65816
Aug 20, 2010
1,050
671
Denver, CO
So, Firecore team, if you can tweak your app so that when playing WTV files it performs a frequent "refresh" to double-check what the length of the video is, and it can keep playing still-in-progress TV show recordings, you may still gain a happy customer. I already gave you my $5, so it's the least you can do. ;)

We may look at adding some kind of optional server-side component at some point, but requiring one to stream all content was something we definitely wanted to avoid.

We'll look at the WTV issue as well...not sure if there is much we can do there, but you never know. :)

Thanks again.
 
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firecore

macrumors 65816
Aug 20, 2010
1,050
671
Denver, CO
Bought it. HD files played fine from my Synology NAS. Only issue is, it doesn't seem to decode DTS audio.

Infuse 2 currently supports AAC, AC3, FLAC, MP3, and OGG. However, DTS is one of the top things we're working to add.

Stay tuned. :)
 
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bobgorila

macrumors member
Apr 21, 2009
61
0
Since firecore are monitoring this thread I have two questions that aren't answered by the app's description:

1. If I load a MKV file can infuse send it to an ATV using airplay?

2. Can infuse airplay files that it's accessing from a SMB share?

Thus far multi-video players I've used can only airplay local files or files accessed over UPnP (they just forward the URL to the Apple TV), further, while they can play a MKV they can only airplay the normal range of apple-compatible files.
 
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Menneisyys2

macrumors 603
Jun 7, 2011
5,440
225
The app is a competitor for VLC, which returned to iOS earlier this year.

I don't recommend VLC for generic playback - the complete lack of hardware decoding takes its toll if not on the playback quality (on A7 devices), but, at least, on the battery life.

There are a LOT of significantly better generic players out there if you want to play back something that can be played with acceleration.

More info on all these questions in the VLC review here at MR: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/1652736/

----------

1. If I load a MKV file can infuse send it to an ATV using airplay?

In my latest MKV playback-related article (if you're into MKV playback, make sure you monitor the iPad apps forum here as I frequently post multimedia reviews & tutorials there), I've explained why. Let me cite the relevant part. Basically, no player will ever be able to play back MKV files over AirPlay, unless they do a full-length remuxing prior to playback, which, due to the storage / CPU limitations, is plain not workable today, particularly not with multi-gigabyte files.

Here's the relevant part (you may want to read the entire article for the full context, though):

3. What about HDMI / VGA output?

In my original article on AVPlayerHD's receiving MKV support, in section "AirPlay", I've explained the then-current AVPlayerHD drove the in non-mirroring mode connected AppleTV in a flawed way.

As you already know (I've explained above), MKV playback under iOS must be tricky: the players need to quickly re-package ("remux") the original MKV files into 10-20 second-long MOV / MP4 / M4V chunks and pass those files to the hardware decoder. However, as the non-mirrored mode of the wireless AirPlay works by simply being passed a network address of where the source file is available, tis meas it'll be passed a link to the new chunk every 10-20 second. As it'll pre-buffer before starting playback, it'll not only return to the ATV home screen, but also insert a very long pause while it's buffering.

Let me show this in practice with the in no way recommended EC Player ($2.99), which, as it hasn't really been bugfixed in the meantime, still tries to drive external AirPlay receivers in non-mirrored mode, when playing back MKV's:

http://youtu.be/VyaG9DqsP_o

Rejoice: no such bugs in current players!

While, except for It's Playing Pro 5.0, all the reviewed hardware playback-capable players can drive an external Apple TV with an iOS-native (mp4 / mov / m4v) file in the non-direct (non-mirrored), full-quality mode, only one of them exhibits the "tries to play back the MKV video chunks on the ATV" bug. In this regard, AVPlayer(HD) is also better than the intitially reviewed one – the current version no longer tries to output anything when playing back MKV's.

The exception I've just mentioned is HD Player Pro. It tries to pass the URL of the video chunk to the ATV – without success. The latter will hopelessly try to fetch the video chunk until you manually force it to stop.

That is, if you do use HD Player Pro with an external ATV to play back iOS-native files, don't forget to fully disconnect the ATV before starting to play back MKV's. And, again, no such measures need to be done with the other native ATV-capable players (AVPlayer(HD), nPlayer) – you can safely leave the iDevice connected to the ATV (in non-mirrored mode) while using these apps. iOS-native files will nicely be played back on the ATV – but nothing else (apart from the audio, of course) and definitely not the chunks of the MKV files.

What about VLC for iOS, you may ask. As it doesn't support hardware-assisted decoding of even iOS-native (mp4 / mov / m4v) files, it in no way has a chance to pass any addresses to the ATV. Unfortunately, while It's Playing Pro 5.0, unlike VLC, does support hardware playback for iOS-native files, it does require mirrored mode to be on to, then, directly drive the ATV. Which, as with everything directly driven, will result in major framedrops and compression artifacts. As usual, you will in no way want to use any of these players in mirrored mode – it's simply useless when done wirelessly, via AirPlay.

----------

Bought it. HD files played fine from my Synology NAS. Only issue is, it doesn't seem to decode DTS audio.

In the AppStore, nothing can decode DTS except for the not-really-recommended VLC and the even-less-recommended CineXPlayer. (If you jailbreak, the essential RushPlayer+ plays MKV's with DTS excellently. XBMC is also workable but it's in no way as recommended as RushPlayer+ for various - mostly speed, iPad Retina support and efficiency - reasons.)

However, it's very easy to process your files, both MP4/m4v/mov and MKV, to have AAC or AC3 audio tracks with MKVTools (if you need MKV output) or MP4Tools (if you need iOS-friendly MP4/m4v/mov output.)

With these tools, it's very easy to quickly add a 2-channel AAC audio track in addition to a DTS one? (If you don't need 5.1 audio, that is.)

All you need to do is click the buttons / radio boxes in MKVTools (after dragging the MKV file into the app) as is annotated in the next screenshot:




(green buttons / radiobox first, red "Convert" button at the end)

You might also want to consider monitoring the threads started by me here at MR as the vast majority of them are targeted at multimedia consumers and are tutorials / reviews.

----------

VLC IS terrible

As of the latest version, it's not that terrible any more - it is pretty much standards-compliant and plays a lot of formats. However, as it lacks hardware-assisted playback, it delivers significantly worse results as hardware-enabled players if and when you want to play back accelerable formats.

More info in my review of the latest version HERE at the MR forums.

EDIT (14:44 GMT): the player seems to intelligently remux MTS / MKV files for AirPlay playback, which means it's - in not all cases! - capable of playing back even MKV's over AirPlay in non-mirrored mode. My previous remarks on the problems caused by the size of the source MKV file / the amount of free storage, however, still seem to apply. I'll post a detailed report soon.
 
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rikscha

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2010
750
348
London
Best player there is. You can indeed access your movies from a nas and then airplay to your atv. The disappointing part though is, after having waited for months for this update to finally access my files on my time capsule, yiur NAS share isnt being scanned and the found movies, TV shows are not being added to your library. You also cant copy any movies etc from your NAS to the app. The app behaves differently to its ATV counterpart.
 
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