iPhone Life magazine

New Multimedia Player EVGPlayer Released

A new multimedia player, EVGPlayer ($0.99), has recently been released in the App Store. Since the player is cheap and offers both AC3 and DTS (two very widely used formats), my readers immediately asked me to review it as soon as possible to see whether it's worth purchasing. The developers will likely be forced to remove AC3 and / or DTS support in the near future, as has happened to all other, recently-released players.

(The App Store main page on my iPhone 5, also showing the Preferences screen. As you can see, there's almost no settings in the app. Click for larger image.)

My answer is: no, you don't want to purchase this player if you plan to play back high-resolution (720p+) titles or ones with soft subtitles. If you want to use AC3 and DTS formats or want to have a generic, decent player, go for the existing (1.10) version of nPlayerwhich offers hardware-accelerated decoding, subtitle / streaming / TV output / container support, etc. The same stands for AVPlayerHD. Both of these players support AC3, and up until the latest versions, also DTS. Just don't update to the just-released version of AVPlayer or the next (1.11) version of nPlayer if you want to keep DTS. 


However, if you don't need soft (non-burnt in) subtitles, would only play back lower-resolution content, and you need cheap DTS audio support, you can give EVGplayer a try. Just remember: DTS, along with AC3, is most likely to be removed in subsequent versions, as has happened to all other, new media players in the last 2 to 3 months. One example is Fresh Video Player, which immediately had to drop AC3 after its initial version (initial review).


(Filelist view in edit mode on an iPad. Click for larger image.)

Pros

  • DTS and AC3 are both properly supported (but will surely be removed in subsequent versions). So are OGG, MP3 etc;
  • Better performance than some players; such as Fresh Video Player. (However, it still doesn't match that of nPlayer or AVPlayerHD).

Cons

  • The audio stutters when the player drops frames. This is by far the biggest problem with high(er)-resolution content (or even lower-resolution ones on slower devices). Decent players don't do this: there, the audio doesn't stutter, only the video;
  • H.264 decoder: not the fastest (unlike, say, AVPlayerHD, nPlayer etc.);
  • MKV / MTS / AVI decoding: software-only; this, along with the not state-of-the-art H.264 decoder, also means playback of even standard-bitrate (about 10 Mbps) videos (e.g., that of the Monsters test video) aren't played back flawlessly on not even the latest-gen, fastest devices (iPad 4, iPhone 5), let alone slower ones. On the latter, 1080 MKV playback is plain useless, mostly because of the stuttering audio;
  • There is absolutely no subtitle support;
  • There is absolutely no native TV out support – only the much lower-quality / resolution mirroring is supported. Hardware-playable videos aren't played back in hardware by the Lightning-based HDMI / VGA adapters either;
  • No goodies like audio boosting (see nPlayer's or It's Playing's excellent support for them), settable rewind / fast forward gesture timing (it rewinds / fast forwards 8 seconds);
  • Very poor MPEG2 Transport Stream support;
  • ATSC (North-American television): 1080i60: tolerable: as opposed to DVB, at least it uses the native 16:9 aspect ratio. However, it doesn't support scrubbing;
  • DVB (European television): very poor support: 4:3 only, no scrubbing. There's no way of overriding the aspect ratio, unlike with advanced players. For that matter, the app doesn't support any kind of even basic zooming.

NOTE: Retina support on both iPhones and iPads must be manually enabled (see the second icon in Preferences)!

More info

I'm participating in a further discussion of  the merits of this player in a MacRumors Forum thread, starting with post Nr. 207.

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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.