Price: Free with in-app purchases
Version Reviewed: 1.2
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4, iPad 2
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It is 2012, and video format support on the latest devices is still a mess. There are few things quite as annoying as downloading a video and then having to convert it before it would play on a device. These dictators of our leisure may rule with an iron fist, but thankfully PlayerXtreme is here to help rise up against this tyranny. It claims that “IT PLAYS ALL,” and it has the necessary codecs in order to play a variety of different formats without conversion on iOS devices. As well, it has support for features like loading videos from a network shared folder, volume boosting, subtitle support, and more.
While there are some issues that pop up with high-resolution videos, there pretty much isn’t any format that will stop PlayerXtreme. AVI, MP4, FLV, WMV, MKV? They all play with PlayerXtreme. The app is also free to download and use for both iPhone/iPod touch and iPad, with no ads. It’s just advanced features that need to be unlocked through in-app purchases.
Where PlayerXtreme does tend to fall apart is in terms of high-definition video. For all its heart, it tries to play it, yes it does, but play it well it does not. There’s skipping and frame dropping, and it generally is not a good experience. High-definition videos are better converted first and loaded through iTunes, sadly. Even high-definition videos that would work on the device without conversion would not play as smoothly through the app. For example, when playing the HD version of Louis C.K: Live at the Beacon Theater, it has noticeable artifacting when playing it through the iPad version of PlayerXtreme. When played through the built-in Videos app, these issues do not exist. For what it's worth, the app does say that the app will have issues playing these kinds of files.
Also, there appears to be an issue with the SMB network sharing when the shared folder is on Mac, or apparently password-protected, it will not show up. The app lacks any kind of external display support at the moment, though this is promised in a future update
So, while it won’t play anything, it will play any standard definition video that can be thrown at it. It’s not the solution for video format woes, but it is a solid solution.