VLC embarks iPad then brings HD MKV Codec Pack Love to iOS
If you thought Apple's more relaxed App Store policies were limited to Google Voice apps, think again. The popular open source media player VLC now has its own free iPad app available in the App Store. VLC Media Player lets iPad owners play back all kinds of MKV content natively on their tablet devices.
As HD Media Player, the iPad is almost - but not entirely - perfect out of the box. Although Apple supports QuickTime (.MOV), MPEG-4 H.264 (.MP4 and .MPV) and certain video formats from digital cameras, playing back MKV files on iPad, or AVI files encoded with Xvid or Divx, hasn't been a real possibility in native media player.
Not only could MKV files not be synced via iTunes, playing them back from the Internet just hasn't been feasible. Media server solutions like Air Video aside, playing content you already have downloaded on your Mac or PC on your iPad has usually required converting file formats first.
VLC Media Player solves this problem. Although VLC isn't the first third-party app to take on MKV codec support (CineXPlayer was released earlier in the summer), it is free and it carries the well-respected VLC name.
We uploaded some media to iPad VLC then Give a Test
First, the good news: An AVI of the most recent episode of Mad Men played back brilliantly. It looked just like watching the AVI on a laptop or a television set. Sound was solid, scrubbing through the file was quick and artifacting wasn't any more pronounced than the original. It is also work for MKV to AVI converting output.
Now the bad news: An old MKV of The Office utterly failed. To its credit, VLC warned me that my iPad may be too slow to play back the MKV file. And I can believe that. Depending on the bitrate and compression settings, MKV files can be problematic even on more powerful equipment. Still, anyone hoping to watch their higher-quality MKV files on the iPad are going to be disappointed. We haven't had the chance to run any test footage through Handbrake to see if we can produce playable MKV files, but at this point, H.264 or Xvid AVI is where we would suggest focusing your video efforts.
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Related External Source
: MKV Video - Free Open Source HD Video format, born with future designs
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