Almost all modern iOS device, including the iPhone 4, iPod Touch 4G and both the iPads, are fairly well-endowed when it comes to multimedia capabilities with excellent screens for watching all those videos on the go. And if you’re a true multimedia junkie, you’ll probably be subscribed to loads of podcasts and TV shows which will automatically get transferred to your iOS device with every sync. Take that one notch up and imagine one who downloads a lot of videos from the internet, with varying file formats and resolutions, and likes to rip movies from DVDs as well, building up a huge collection. For such a person, the biggest qualm about iOS devices is the conversion required for playing videos. In Apple’s closed ecosystem, you simply watch any video on the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad that iTunes cannot play natively, and frankly, there are one too many video formats that iTunes needs to open up to.
For such a scenario, FlexPlayer is a universal iOS app (it works on all iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad) that can play any media without a hiccup – no conversions or downscaling required. More on this after the break.
In essence, FlexPlayer is very much like the old VLC Media Player. As far as the playback goes, FlexPlayer offers as basic an interface as imaginable, without any customizations or settings. You get the standard package – seek bar, next and previous, pause/play control, volume control and that’s about it.
Launching the application will first present a list of all the videos present in FlexPlayer, but without any sorting options (it’s all alphabetical). The player remembers your last location and resumes the playback where you left.
What FlexPlayer lacks in options and eye-candy is more than made up for in the options it harbors; natively, it can play any media and supports up to HD quality videos (720p) for all QuickTime supported media formats, including MP4, MOV, M4V, MPH. For others, a maximum of DV quality (720 x 576 pixels) is supported, and this includes formats such as FLV, MKV, WMV, AVI, ASF, DIVX, XVID, VOB and several others. So now you can watch any media on your iOS device, plus the playback is smooth and crisp without any frame loss.
Since iOS uses its own iPod app as the default multimedia handler, one might wonder how to get videos loaded to FlexPlayer in the first place. The applications uses the iTunes file sharing option to transfer videos, so it makes the process quite easy. For those unfamiliar, connect your iOS device to the computer via USB, fire up iTunes and select your iOS device. Navigate to the Apps tab, scroll down to File Sharing menu and select FlexPlayer from the list of supported applications. Hit the Add button to transfer videos to your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.
To delete any video file within the app, simple click on the Edit button on the top right corner and select the files you wish to remove. Or swipe on any file to reveal the Delete button.
You could also use i-FunBox. It’s a free, portable application for Windows that will let you take files off of your iOS device with ease. Launch the program, connect your device and wait for left-hand pane to populate. Expand the User Applications tree, locate FlexPlayer and the Documents folder within. All your transferred videos will be located here and can be removed via right-click context menu.
You can even use i-FunBox to add new files into the same folder, bypassing iTunes altogether.
On a related note, if you’re wondering how to play Flash videos on your iPhone, you should read this article: How To Convert and Play Flash Video on iPhone Without Jailbreaking. Or if you wish to stream videos over to your iPhone, check this out: How to Stream Videos To iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch Over WiFi and 3G Using Air Video
FlexPlayer is a great application to play any media file, perfect for the video junkie on iPhone. It provides excellent playback options, supports wide variety of formats and is mostly hassle-free. Best part, the app is totally free, so grab it today. Don’t forget to leave comments on how it went.