Let's continue our adventure to lossless audio playback! In Part I, I've scrutinized 24 bit and/or lossless FLAC and WMA playback. In today's installment, I've looked into how the reviewed multimedia players (along with my new purchase, the lossless playback-specific GoldenEar) play back the following formats:
- the WMA Pro (default) output of Microsoft Expression Encoder 4 to see how WMA Pro is handled (the previous test tested Lossless, 24 bit and non-Pro, simple WMA2.)
- Monkey's Audio (.ape); with normal compression level
Several MacRumors forum members (see for example THIS thread – BTW, my first post there also contains an 1:2.35 movie playback screenshot) have asked me for my opinion on the recently released , free(!) QQPlayerHD (iTunes link).
(main file list dialog; the screenshot also shows the one and only menu available in the app. Click the image for the original-sized one.)
In the MacRumors iPad forums, I've run into the question (see THIS) whether it's possible to (re-)add an AC3 track to an M4V file. (As you may already know, it's essential that you convert your videos, particularly high-resolution ones, to M4V / MOV / MP4 files so that the hardware decoder can play them back. There is no other way of playing other high-res formats back – other than jailbreaking, of course, and using the almighty XBMC.) I answer the question, with no less than two tutorials (along with their respective video), in a dedicated article. In addition, at the end of the article, I explain how you can quickly extract parts of a large(r) MKV file.
UPDATE (08/20/2012): THIS post directly compares the remuxing speed of iVI and the, more or less (if you can live with the nagging screen upon loading a file and the disabled batch processing) free MP4tools. Very similar results to mine (read: iVI should NOT be used for MKV remuxing).
UPDATE (08/03/2012): HERE, I've elaborated on how iVI joins MP4 (MOV / M4V) videos without (!!) transcoding them; that is, very quickly.
UPDATE (08/20/2012): as far as the latest OS X version (10.8 Mountain Lion; ML for short) is concerned, I have some bad news.
In the last few days, I've participated in several discussion threads in the Phone Cameras / Tablets & Apps forum of DPReview. (See for example THIS, THIS and THIS). In order not to have to repeat the same facts again and again in future discussions, I've decided to dedicate a complete article to the question of using the iPad as a photo frame.
In the MacRumors forums (thread HERE), an interesting discussion has emerged on the visible differences between the two most widely used consumer high-resolution video formats, 720p (meaning 1280*780 pixels) and 1080p (1920*1080 pixels) are visible at all on the iPad 3's screen.
As my forthcoming iOS Multimedia bible will also cover playing back audio files not natively supported by iOS, I've made some serious tests to find out:
- whether special, high-quality (24 vs. 16 bits, lossless vs. lossy, 5.1 vs. stereo) WMA and FLAC audio files (these two audio formats are immensely popular among audiophiles) are played back by the universal (meaning also video-capable) multimedia apps I compare
- what the CPU usage (measurement methology HERE) is during playback in both foreground and background mode (if the latter is applicable – many basically video-centric multimedia apps aren't capable of this)
While, in the last week, several multimedia players have been updated (including my favourite, GoodPlayer, which, among other things, has clearly improved its DVD playback support in the current, 5.0 version), one of them I've already (quickly) reviewed (see THIS and also the comparison videos HERE), RushPlayer has received the most updates and new functionality. This is why I'm dedicating a separate (quick) article to it (but, currently, no other players).
(Note that this article is, as with the majority of my articles, only meant for advanced users & programmers. It may be completely useless for beginners. You've been warned.)