I waited for a long time to see VLC show up on the iPhone – 2 years to be precise. But having downloaded it on its first day of release, I have yet to use it. Why? Well, upon reviewing the early users of the program, although the reviews were good, one reviewer placed a very interesting comment, something to the effect of, “not as good as Oplayer…” One didn’t have to say this twice. Immediately I took the opportunity to download the Oplayer program followning the VLC download.
The reason for a third party app, which believe me, we have all been waiting for, is due to the fact that Apple’s Quicktime refuses to play anything other than .MV4, .MP4 files or other simple file types. It will not play .DIVX or .MKV files. I do not know if licensing is an issue or something else, but it has been a frustrating endeavour listening to the Jailbreakers and Android owners boast about being able to play different codecs. So it was a hearty surprise when an app called CineXplayer was accepted into the iPad app store. It allowed the above mentioned codecs to be played by going around Apple’s codec limitation and allowing the .AVI files to be uploaded via iTunes. I fully expected this to last for only a few days and be removed from the App store, but it wasn’t. The only problem was that I do not own an iPad. So it was watchful waiting until the CineXplayer developers released a version for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The rumor mills were filled with VLC entering the fray and I was thrilled to find out that VLC would be released soon. I downloaded it the first day. But it was Oplayer, an App that, until noted in the review, made absolutely no noise in the video environs, that eventually won me over.
I was able to immediately use the Oplayer App but not the VLC application due to the fact that the OPlayer application allowed for OTA (Over the air) downloads immediately. The VLC application, similar to the CineXplayer on the iPad, requires iTunes to transfer its .AVI files to the device. Ovideo does not.
Ovideo may not be perfect, but I have not found any significant faults thus far. It plays Xvid files and other .AVI files wonderfully, while distributing its .MP4 files to the Quicktime player, the native player of the iPhone, thus not duplicating services.
One very interesting thing that Oplayer does is to change the port for each download. It’s a wonderful security measure, and obviously something that the creators of this software program thought about for a long time. You may start on port 2456, and not the usual 8080, but after owning the software for a few weeks, you will soon see 5255, but never the same port on the same day. Again, brilliant security feature.
Standard video plays better than HD video due to the iPhone using Hardware acceleration for its native Quicktime videos but not for standards that it does not natively support. But Oplayer even has a solution for that. Just like in the Palm days, there is a Skip Frame feature whch may improve performance on HD.
Of note, you can also play .mkv, .3gp, .mov and .rmvb files, not to mention Microsoft’s .wmv files.
Some things that I would like to see in the future are batch downloads, support for the Mac Centric AFP network for Airport and a working meter to tell how much longer the download will take. Other than that I really have no issues with the software. It does its job very well.
So, if you are looking for an alternative to QuickTime, I think Oplayer is worth a look. In fact out of all the video players that I own on my iPhone, I would rate this as the best. The cost is $2.99 as of this writing and it is found in the App Store on iTunes. The maker of the software is Olimsoft.