We review OPlayer, an iPhone app that plays all your digital videos without the need to convert them into MP4s, or to load them through iTunes.
But the public wanted those apps, and eventually they were allowed through the net. Now we’re suddenly starting to see video player applications, suggesting a similar thing has happened with multimedia playback.
OPlayer is the latest addition to this new trend, and provides superb playback quality of all your digital video files in a quick, easy and attractive package.
Natively the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad only accepts MP4 videos, and even then they must meet a very particular specification. If the audio sampling rate is even slightly different to what Apple insisted upon, the video wouldn’t work.
So being able to drag and drop most any computer-format video file into the iPhone, and immediately watch it, feels like a kingly gift after several years of tedious format conversions and battles with iTunes.
OPlayer accepts a host of well-used video file types, such as AVI, WMV, Xvid, Divx, MP4, MPG, MKV and more, and is just as happy to play your audio files in the MP3, WMA, RM or AAC formats. None of these files need any kind of conversion to play on the iPhone, and all are handled quickly and smoothly.
The app can comfortably overlay subtitles on the video playback, which can be part of a container file (such as MKV), included automatically by giving the subs file the same name as the video file, or loaded in manually from an external SUB or SRT file.
Playback of files is immensely convenient, resembling the native YouTube application in many respects, while adding in a few important features to help you keep your files organised. Primarily this includes the methods used to move videos to and from the app, which can be done through iTunes’ file sharing function using a simple, and fast, drag and drop.
Streaming is supported over HTTP, while FTP and SAMBA sharing is also included should you want to drag files off a suitably equipped server or a computer. And should you wish to move files over to the device wirelessly, a web client is included allowing you to send video over Wi-Fi in either direction.
A playlist function is available for both video and audio, and you can create custom lists of websites, servers or other sources you’re likely to call upon regularly for bringing in the content.
All this might sound a bit complex in description, but that’s not something OPlayer is easily accused of. Ignoring any of the transfer protocols that many people won’t use anyway, this is a very simple and impressively efficient app to use.
The features are all there if you really need them, but for quickly filling up your device with videos to watch when and where you want, OPlayer delivers everything you need within a few button presses.
Apple should have included an app like this in the iPhone’s firmware, but OPlayer more than earns its £1.79 by cutting out the tedious MP4 file conversions alone. Bundle all its other great features in, and you’ve got a first class app that would be a bargain at twice the price.