iPhone Life magazine

Multimedia player Gplayer receives iPhone 5 support

The multimedia player Gplayer (AppStore link) has always belonged to the “also run” category. It doesn't really have anything outstanding or unique – no wonder it hasn't become a winner in any of my full roundups (UPnP, SMB, WMV, Silverlight streaming, MKV etc.).

Nevertheless, if you do want to use it, you'll be delighted to hear it has just received iPhone 5 (iPod touch 5) screen support:



That is, it now makes use of the entire screen estate on the new, 16:9 screens. A screenshot of the new version, playing back Monsters:



A quick list of the pros / cons so that you can see why I don't really recommend this player for generic playback:

Pros

- Good-quality, fast MPEG-2 decoder – assuming you do convert the AC-3 track to AAC (and remux the entire thing to, say, an MKV), you can keep the MPEG-2 video stream of your ATSC Full HD TV recordings

- Good M-JPEG (camera AVI's) and MS-MPEG4 support

Cons

- Somewhat weak H.264 decoder. You will NOT want to use this player for H.264 1080p playback – forget full HD MKV's, they are not playable, not even on the superfast iPhone 5 / iPad 4, let alone slower models!

- iOS-native file playback uses the system default user interface, meaning you won't have access to, among other things, Gplayer's quick fast forwarding / rewinding gestures. (See my recent review of Oplayer for a related discussion – that player has just enabled this in hardware decoding mode.)

- No animated, full SSA (ASS) subtitle support. Given that most (fan-) animes use this format (a well-known example, the standardized test file "Suzumiya", is HERE). Therefore, app reviews like the one stating Gplayer is the "Best player for Animes!" (currently the topmost one in AppStore) shouldn't be believed.

- No real DSP's, no MKV remuxing, no outstanding subtitle support (also see the previous bullet), no AC-3 audio etc.

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Werner Ruotsalainen is an iOS and Java programming lecturer who is well-versed in programming, hacking, operating systems, and programming languages. Werner tries to generate unique articles on subjects not widely discussed. Some of his articles are highly technical and are intended for other programmers and coders.

Werner also is interested in photography and videography. He is a frequent contributor to not only mobile and computing publications, but also photo and video forums. He loves swimming, skiing, going to the gym, and using his iPads. English is one of several languages he speaks.