iPhone Life magazine

REVIEW: New version of multimedia player yaPlayer + breaking news: another victim of AC-3 removal

You may remember THIS article reviewing the previous version of the multimedia player yaPlayer. Back then, I've stated the player is indeed very promising, albeit in some respects still inferior to the best ones (AVPlayerHD, GoodPlayer, It's Playing, HD Player Pro, ProPlayer etc.) in the AppStore.

A brand new version has just been released with a lot of changes. An AppStore update page (also showing the update of some other apps):


(click for a larger image, as usual)

Needless to say, as the update notes provide a lot of goodies, I've re-tested the player's performance and feature set.

Compared to the other players, performance-wise, in previous versions the most problematic was WMV and MS-MPEG4 playback and buffering.

Fortunately, WMV seems to be fixed – the half-resolution Full HD WMV videos are now decoded flawlessly. Full HD ones, of course, stutter – as with all the other players.

MS-MPEG4 playback, on the other hand, is still inferior to the best titles in this category; that is, I don't recommend this player for MS-MPEG4 playback.

Buffering is still an issue: you'll see the sand-clock a lot of times – far more often than with other players.

The following bugs and problems have remained:

- the “Birds” and the “Harry Potter” bug

- still no way to quickly fast forward / rewind, say, 10...30 seconds with a gesture

- still no support for any kind of embedded subtitles

Other remarks:

The excellent MPEG-2 and H.264 decoder remained the same – this player is (still) one of the most recommended one for MTS playback. Of course, you'll always want to remux them to MP4 / M4V files for flawless playback if you have the time, as is explained in THIS article. Also remember that full HD direct MTS playback is especially useful if you quickly need to check the AVCHD footage you've just shot via the Camera Connection Kit. If your iPad is jailbroken and do what I've shown HERE, you'll be easily able to utilize your iPad without even touching a desktop computer for transcoding / iTunes File Sharing-importing.

Fortunately, the player supports AC-3 audio tracks. (I don't know whether this support will be removed in the future.)

exPlayer HD: no more AC-3, DTS and RealMedia

Speaking of AC-3 audio, some breaking, bad news (just-posted, previous, related one HERE): exPlayer HD, a player that is the only AppStore player to play back native iOS video files (mp4 / mov / m4v) over SMB or FTP using hardware acceleration (the other players can do this with software decoding, if at all) has just dropped AC-3 support, and a lot more. An update note screenshot:

 

 

This is certainly bad news. Nevertheless, as before, if you only use the player for what I recommend it, namely, accessing iOS-native (mp4 / mov / m4v) files with AAC audio over SMB or FTP, you won't have problems. For the other video and audio formats, use another player.

Note that:

1, the screenshot states not just AC-3, but also DTS and RealMedia formats that have been dropped. I don't know why formats (e.g., DTS) not associated with the Dolby folks have been dropped.

2, it also shows the update notes of the just-released update of "nPlayer", a player I loved upon release (review). According to the update notes, even bitmap subtitles have been added. I'll very soon test the new version of the player and report back.

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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.