iPhone Life magazine

Playable, iSafePlay, RockPlayer2 and 1080 MKV Player all drop AC-3 support & new version of It's Playing

UPDATE (some hours later, the same day): in the last 8-9 hours, another victim of the AC-3 removal has turned up in the AppStore: Movie Player HD+ (see THIS for my review):

As always, make sure you back up the previous version if you need to use the now-removed AC-3 support in the future!

Also note that version 3.7 of It's Playing (the one I talked about below) have also been approved - see THIS for my quick writeup.

 

Original article: Unfortunately, the multimedia players listed in the title have also needed (previous, dedicated article on Dolby's forcing developers to either license or drop the support of their audio formats) to drop support for Dolby audio; most importantly, AC-3.

This means they will no longer be able to play back at least half of the MKV and AVI files out there – or any (M)TS files coming from an AVCHD camera or a North-American ATSC TV broadcast recorder. (European digital (DVB) broadcast doesn't use AC-3 and, therefore, its audio still remains playable.) The drop of the AC-3 support is especially painful with 1080 MKV Player, which produced pretty good results with both DTS and AC-3 videos in my previous review. I'm really sorry to see it won't be able to play these files in the future, rendering the player pretty much useless.

The following is the update list of the latest players (see the red rectangles showing the AC-3 support drop; as usual, click the thumbnails for a much larger version of these shots):


Other remarks, based on the above list:

1, the just-released, new version of 8player, as was easy to predict, is no longer iOS 6-only. (See my dedicated remark HERE.) It, however, lacks AC-3 support, which was entirely removed in the previous version.

2, RockPlayer2 delivered with some video types pretty bad results in my previous test. According to the update list, the new version offers significant performance increase. (I haven't tested this yet.)

3, CineXPlayerHD still hasn't received iPad 3/4 Retina or DTS audio support (see THIS), just a small bugfix.

Also note (this isn't listed above) that a new, 3.6 version of It's Playing has come out in the meantime. I'll return to this player as soon as version 3.7 is approved by Apple (hopefully it's only a matter of a few days) as it'll be a VERY nice release. 3.6 also already has a lot of improvements (for example, support for VobSub bitmap subtitle playback) and bugfixes. 3.7 will even be better with, among other things, true native Blu-ray bitmap subtitle support and much better 1080i60 MPEG-2 TS playback. Don't forget to back up both versions as they (at least for the time being) support AC-3!

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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.