By Werner Ruotsalainen on Sat, 06/02/2012
So far, I haven't dedicated a separate article to the free MoliPlayer (AppStore links: iPhone; iPad), it was THAT bad. With the latest upgrade promising a lot of enhancements, I've re-tested it and was pleasantly surprised. Yes, this player now delivers!
(the latest version's “What's new”. (The new iPad-specific version has an identical changelog.))
What's been fixed?
- Canon camera AVI M-JPEG files are now played back
- Hardware playback of iOS-friendly formats / containers (MOV / MP4 / M4V)
- Retina compatibility (albeit not necessarily with software decoding: for example, the 1080p MSMPEG4 AVI stadard test file is played back at XGA only)
- The H.264 MKV's are played back much better: I noticed no stuttering (as opposed to the previous versions) in the 720p (Harry Potter) test file and both 1080p MKV files (Monsters and Kung-fu intro) showed - apart from the major lipsynch problem making the Monsters video absolutely unwatchable – for a software decoder at least, VERY fluent decoding.
- The FZ150 1080i/p60 MTS tests (see my camera MTS article) have also shown orders of magnitude better performance than with previous versions. The 60p video was played back at around half a framerate (or even less) but this is still much better than previously. The 60i playback is fast but introduces a lot of artefacts, clearly placing the player behind the best of the competition, but is still usable if you don't need the best quality.
- WMV playback-wise (please see my past WMV bible for more info), the new player is orders of magnitude better than the previous versions. It's as fast as the best titles. However, it, as opposed to the best titles in the category, “cheats”: uses low-depth colors; therefore, you'll still want to prefer GoodPlayer, ProPlayer / AVPlayerHD or It's Playing to it.
What isn't as good
- OGG video playback performance is, while definitely improved, average only (lipsynch issues + audio stuttering with the standard 1080p test video)
- The TS MPEG2 problems (4:3 aspect ratio for all kinds of content, which in no way can't be forced to other ratios like 16:9 or 2.35:1 etc.) haven't been fixed. There is still no way to display embedded subtitles or change audio tracks in TS files either.
What's gone wrong in the new version
The test Ape Monkey (Normal compression level) file was played back by the previous versions but not this one.
The vastly enhanced engine, the iPad 3 Retina compatibility, the hardware playback support etc. makes this player one of the best free players, particularly on non-jailbroken (read: no access to the free and excellent XBMC / RushPlayer+) devices. Recommended, unless you plan to play back formats not really supported by the app (e.g., MPEG2 TS). If you MUST stick with something free and, for some reason (for example, you need to play back MOV / MP4 / M4V files), can't use QQPlayer(HD), the, for most recommended (see THIS) non-jailbroken player for non-MOV / MP4 / M4V playback and you don't want to play back TS files, this definitely should be a title you give a try to.