iPhone Life magazine

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.

Review: UPnP player / control point "ArkMC"


As it doesn't have any kind of non-UPnP playback (that is, it can't play back local files), I haven't evaluated ArkMC (AppStore link; $2.99, Universal) in my UPnP bible listing and comparing all regular multimedia players (also with) UPnP capabilities.

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:

Review & tutorial: MKV2M4V MKV remuxer / converter for iDevices (and Apple TV)


I've published several articles on “remuxing” video converters, which make it possible to convert a lot of videos very quickly for consuming on iOS. Generally, with today's most widely used video formats (H.264), this only involves converting the audio (if it's not already AAC) and changing the container.

So far, the two remuxers I've recommended the most were the free Subler and (strictly the beta version of) MP4Tools. They're very fast and astonishingly useful tools.

The SMB Multimedia Playback bible & Roundup – every single iOS app tested


This is Part III of my streaming-specific full(!) roundup series. (Links to previous parts: Part I: streaming Windows Media / Silverlight Internet TV streams; Part II: UPnP)

In this part, I quickly review every single iOS multimedia player with SMB (see Wiki) access.

Review: iPhone multimedia player Oplayer receives major update


Just some minutes ago, the small-screen version of the “Oplayer” multimedia player has received an update. The update notes are as follows:

(as with all the other images in this review, click for an enlargened, better-quality version)

The iOS UPnP Streaming bible & Roundup – all iOS players compared


Back in the Windows Mobile / Symbian days, in 2007, I've already published a full roundup of then-current UPnP (desktop) server and mobile client apps (see THIS / THIS). Now, let's take a look at how it is done on the iDevice (iPad [Mini] / iPhone / iPod touch)!

As you may have guessed, the stock video player shipped with iOS, “Videos”, doesn't support accessing UPnP (also known as DLNA; in this article, I refer to it as “UPnP”) servers. That is, you'll need to use third-party apps on your iDevice. Fortunately, there are several of them.

1. What can you use UPnP for on iOS?

Media player developers, this might be a viable way to re-enable AC-3? (Users: make 8player play AC-3!)


Today, I played with the just-released update of 8player (AppStore link; the free version is definitely worth giving a try, particularly if you're into UPnP), an excellent UPnP media player (and a not-so-decent local one).

Upon tapping a direct camera AVCHD test file (as has been explained in several of my articles, they all contain AC-3 audio tracks), I've seen the following message:

Review: video player EC Player updated


Today, EC Player (AppStore link) received an update without any update description. Just compare the update notes of the following screenshot (showing version 1.34) to that of the previous one HERE (of version 1.33):

This is how you can watch the output of the great multimedia player XBMC on an external TV


In my yesterday's article on the iPad 3 / 4 Retina-friendly version of the great and, unfortunately, “thanks” to Apple's - when it comes to hardware video acceleration - absolutely unnecessary AppStore-approval restrictions, jailbreak-only XBMC, I've mentioned it still doesn't support external screens via a wired (HDMI or VGA) connection. (Decent AirPlay isn't supported either, so you can forget streaming video wirelessly from your iDevice. Only cabled solutions are workable.)

Something you absolutely shouldn't miss: Directplayer, a free video player with iPhone 5 and AC-3(!) support


A brand new, free, iPhone 5-friendly player, Directplayer (AppStore link), has recently been approved in AppStore that has both AC3 and 16:9 (iPhone 5 / iPod touch 5) screen support – something painfully missing from currently accessible AppStore apps. For that matter, I think there is simply no player in the AppStore any more doing the same at the same time. The only app that officially has AC-3 support (meaning it'll never drop it), CineXPlayer, still hasn't got a 16:9-friendly update. (The current version, 2.8.2, was released in early August. No wonder it doesn't make use of the 16:9 screen.) On top of that, it's free.

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