The iPad and videos – an app review

One of the things I immediately thought of when I got my iPad was how it would do when it comes to video playback. Now, according to the technical specifications, Videos, the built-in video player is able to handle both .mov and .avi. On trying to transfer .avi-files, however, I was told that the format was unsupported.
The problem, of course, is the fact that avi is simply a container format, able to contain a myriad of differently encoded movies. However, I was annoyed that I couldn’t even transfeer the files to the device. As a result, I went out and tried to find a good alternative, and found not one, but two, that both have strengths and weaknesses. Here, then, are my thoughts on the three movie playback apps I’ve got on my iPad; Videos, CineXPlayer and VLC:


Videos is an app of fairly limited usability to me, due to the fact that I have very few movies in .mov format. The user interface is pleasing enough, and it does work stanly and smoothly. For thos users who use the .mov format exclusively, it really is all you need. You can easily delete files in the interface, by simply pressing and holding a clip for a few seconds.


CineXPlayer was the first app I installed to view videos, and it does a fine job. It is stable, and the interface is pleasant to work with. It only handles .avi files, and not all of those either, which can be a bit of an annoyance. The files are displayed as a list, rather than the thumbnail view of Videos, and can be deleted by swiping the file and confirming by pressing “delete”.


VLC is the newcomer of the three on the iPad, but has a solid history on Windows computers. Like Videos, it displays the movies as thumbnails, and it really isn’t picky as to file formats. However, it is not as stable as I would have expected, and I have seen it crash several times. A recent update helped on stability, and included the option to delete files from the program itself, instead of having to do so in iTunes.
In conclusion, at this point, I wouldn’t do without any of the three, but would love to see one that does it all. Since that doesn’t look like it’s going to come anytime soon, I would also love for them all to be able to open files from each other, using the iPad Information Interchange framework.

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