Looking for media player app that plays WMV

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by MynameisAlex, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. MynameisAlex macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    #1
    Hi,
    A majority of the videos I have is in .WMV format. I want to be able to watch them on my iPhone 5. Don't want to go to the trouble of converting hundreds of videos into a playable format. It seems however to be a lack of apps that support .WMV and have AC3. A majority of the reviews on iTunes complain of lack of AC3 which is a deal breaker for me. If anyone knows of an app that supports the .WMV and has AC3 please let me know. It can be either a paid or free app

    Regards,
    Alex
     
  2. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    #3
    Personally, I'd stay away from it - it's one of the worst WMV players. Let me paste my review of the app here:

    WMV Player” - the title that doesn't really deliver high-quality video

    If you search for the word “WMV” in AppStore, right the first (in the US AppStore) or the second (in some other, non-US AppStores) hit will be the $1.99 WMV Player:

    [​IMG]
    (US appstore (as with all the images in this roundup, click it to get the full-sized, full-quality one!))

    [​IMG]
    (non-US appstore – note that I've also purchased, as with all the other iPad media players for my multimedia article series, AVPlayerHD from the same store. Interestingly, iTunes still lists the price instead of “Downloaded” or “Update” here.)

    So, this app is immensely popular. Is it that good, then?

    The answer is no. Actually, it's one of the least-recommended.

    Why? It's simple. It doesn't have any local, native WMV playback capabilities. It just uploads (!!) the WMV it receives via “Open In” (when the WMV file is passed from another app) to its server, converts it to another format playable by WMV Player and sends it back.

    What's the problem, then?

    - First and foremost, it can only process files up to 50 Mbytes in size. It's OK if you would only use it to play back WMV files received in mails or the clips you download off the Web are small(ish). However, this alone makes it impossible to play back pre-existing, large(r) files you transfer to the app via iTunes' File Sharing.

    - The videos it produces are of quite bad quality. For example, HERE is the converted version of my standard test video (original HERE). The mere fact that the converted version is one-third the size of the original already shows it, to put it mildly, isn't of the best quality. And it indeed isn't. It's pretty awful. (Just compare the image quality of two files in a decent desktop player like VLC!)

    - You can't convert Full HD files, even those under the 50 Mbyte limit. Unfortunately, you're only told this when the upload (which can be VERY time-consuming) is over and not beforehand. (Well, a simple resolution check should be implemented in the app to avoid having to upload high-res files. It shouldn't be that hard.)

    A screenshot of the app announcing it can't convert the video (after uploading, of course):

    [​IMG]

    - As it's mostly Full HD resolutions that should be converted (as the current iOS hardware is plain incapable of correctly playing back Full HD WMV footage – then, a client/server remote solution like this would indeed be a godsend!), the complete lack of Full HD support is one of the biggest problems. Should the app (that is, the server side) support it, I would even recommend this app as one that provides stuttering-less full HD playback. Unfortunately, that's not the case.

    NOTE: upon finishing uploading a (compatible, that is, non-full HD) file, it automatically gets played. The video, then, is played back at 4:3 aspect ratio and vertically stretched; that is, it'll play back 16:9 (2.35:1 etc.) movies / clips distorted and you can't switch to the right aspect ratio. To play back videos at the original aspect ratio, stop playback, select saving and play the file after its download has been finished.

    A sample list of the “Saved Media” screen:

    [​IMG]

    Two screenshots of the aspect ratio difference between the two modes (pay particular attention to the details in the label in the bottom right corner!)

    [​IMG]
    (immediate playback with awful quality)

    [​IMG]
    (playing back the same converted file, after downloading it – no distortion any more, unlike with the previous image!)

    NOTE 2: the server handles most possible video and audio codec (and profile) combinations: video-wise WMV1, 2 and 3 and, audio-wise, both WMA and WMA Pro are all supported. So are the Simple, Main and Advanced profiles of WMV3 – VC-1. Nevertheless, there're some special cases it won't convert files; for example, 640*480 slideshows using WMV2 streams. An example which is, by the way, is played back flawlessly in – apart from some audio stuttering in some – all(!) WMV-capable third-party players, is HERE. This is another reason you'll want to prefer a (decent) third-party player with native(!) WMV playback support to this player: it'll be able to play back these pretty common files.

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    Get It's Playing as soon as possible (read: before Dolby forces them to remove AC-3 support entirely). It still supports AC-3 (just make sure you back the IPA up so that you can later restore it!) and its WMV player engine has recently been updated - now, it's pretty capable.

    Here's my quick review: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1484226

    Also, you may want to Google for "Playing Back WMV Videos – the Complete(!) Roundup". (I can't link to it as it'd be self-promotion.) It has all the info on WMV playback you'll ever need.

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    I don't really recommend it either if the OP wants to play back higher-than-SD-resolution WMV3 content (
    less-demanding WMV3 resolutions and WMV1/2 play just fine).
     

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