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.

Mass video conversion tips (HandBrake(Batch), MP4/MKVTools) for your iDevice / Apple TV


At MacRumors, I've published a lot of tips on mass converting videos to make one's life much easier when mass-converting several videos at a time. In the article below, I present you them all in an edited, more verbose format.

1, Using batch files (or looping commands) with command-line applications

Some of the video converters (for example, Project-X or FFmpeg) (also) have a command-line interface (CLI). Should you want to mass-convert / mass-process a bunch of files in, say, a directory or of the same type, batch files can be of tremendous help.

New version of (currently) best MKV player, HD Player Pro, released


Yesterday night, after the first wave of AC-3 support drop from iOS multimedia players, the MKV playback support scene has turned out (article) to be very dire: previously excellent MKV players (for example, BUZZ Player) were rendered practically useless by the combination of the drop of AC-3 and other problems – for example, BUZZ Player's inability to play any MKV file with a DTS or  AC-3 audio file, that is, practically, 99% of the MKV's you may have.

Excellent hardware MKV player "BUZZ Player" also drops essential AC-3 support [UPDATE: broad compatibility report]


The player I recommend (review; another, MKV-specific one), along with the (currently, not AppStore-based) AVPlayer(HD), the most for non-DTS (that is, mostly, AC-3) MKV's on non-jailbroken devices has been BUZZ Player - it has had one of the best MKV behind-the-curtains demuxing and hardware playback.

TUTORIAL: How To Use Your Memory Card with Apps as External iPad Storage Memory


UPDATE (10/10/2012): at DPReview, I've written a quick tutorial on how you can directly review and delete photos off your storage cards using this hack via BUZZ Player 4. See THIS.

Original article:

Have you ever envied Android / Symbian / BlackBerry / Windows Mobile (and even the forthcoming Windows Phone 8) users because of the freedom they have because of the storage cards? Now, you'll get an answer!

I've continuously been asked (see for example THIS and THIS) about how you can play back videos residing solely on an external, Camera Connection Kit (CCK)-compliant (that is, an SD card or a micro/mini one with an adapter)  storage card - or a compatible USB memory key. Up until now, I've always referred my readers to articles / videos like THIS and THIS (see the bullet starting with "Ripped movies: if you have any ripped movies or personal videos, you can use the CCK to add extra storage to the iPad"). Unfortunately, tutorials targeted at jailbroken users (for example, THIS one) haven't used symbolic links (the “magic” we'll make use of) either, meaning they relied on the built-in video / image viewer of iFile. The multimedia support of the latter isn't anything to write home about – it can only play back native iOS formats and has absolutely no advanced features.

BTC Mouse & Trackpad adds (almost) full mouse and trackpad support to iOS


UPDATE (15/Nov/2012): answering a question HERE, I've elaborated on the tweak's ability to highlight (and, then, copy / cut) text as you'd do with a true mouse.

This is how you can further enhance the great Web page saving tweak, WebOffline


While some third-party Web browsers (particularly iCab Mobile) are way more powerful than the stock Safari iDevices come with, I still prefer the latter. The reason for this is simple:  Apple, at least in the pre-iOS 6 times (I haven't tested iOS 6 in this respect), has strictly forbidden to activate (via a simple call to _setDrawInWebThread()) flawless, stuttering-free scrolling in third-party browsers. Consequently, third-party browsers scroll around Web pages in a visually really annoying way.

Advanced(!) text macroing and cursor movement on iDevices


You may well know the built-in Settings > General > Keyboard > Shortcuts feature allowing for using short shortcuts to get the system entered a predefined, even long string into the current cursor position, no matter what program you're in. In this article, I present you with more advanced forms of text macroing with particular attention being paid to inserting the current date and/or time with as little effort as possible.

If you know older but, in many respects, not necessarily worse mobile operating systems like Palm OS and Symbian, you well know these systems offered dynamic(!) macroing capabilities out of the box (without third-party tools), allowing for, among other things, quickly entering the above-mentioned date/time.

TUTORIAL: adding future-proof AAC audio to AC-3-only video files


UPDATE (06/Oct/2012): I've posted an entirely new section to the second half of the article on MKV audio editing. Please scroll down to today's update.

Original article:

iOS multimedia player developers forced to remove AC-3 (Dolby Digital) audio support - backup before updating!


UPDATE (11/Oct/2012): the latest BUZZ Player and Good/PowerPlayer updates removed AC-3(A52), E-AC-3 and TrueHD(MLP). The developers of GoodPlayer stated (link) the patent holder asked for quite a lot money for the license. I've asked the developers whether the decoder(s) could be provided as optional In-App Purchases. HustMobile answered it might be possible.

This is how you can burn your Blu-ray subtitles into your videos


As I've explained in some of my previous,  Blu-ray-specific articles, I prefer ripping my own Blu-ray (BD) discs to purchasing any movie from Apple's iTunes store because:

- (after ripping,) the lack of any copy protection aka DRM: I hate not being able to play the videos I paid for in a third-party and, in several cases, much-superior-to-the-stock-Videos-app player. See for example the excellent, and, in many circumstances (too bright or noisy environment (e.g., a gym) where the maximal brightness and/or volume of the device just wouldn't suffice), compulsory DSP's in It's Playing (dedicated article).

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