Playable Pro plays Xvids and more on your iPhone [Review]

Watching videos on the iPhone and iPad has never been an easy process. What with having to wait for iTunes to transcode and then copy videos from your desktop to your mobile device. Yawn. It all takes too much time. Playable Pro is a third party video player, which you can add videos to via iFunBox, and happily watch without conversion. Read on to find out more.

Playable Pro starts out by scanning the content you’ve added, and it attempts to match what you have against a database of TV shows and movies. For each file,  it will ask you if it has the right match. You can answer Yes or No, and there is also an option to “Search for artwork”. The latter option appeared to have no effect in my testing though. Most of the time it’s easier to tap “No” as the app creates thumbnails for all the videos anyway.


If you do find a successful match, there is an option to view a related web page in the app’s built-in web browser. For movies,  it will open the corresponding page on the Rotten Tomatoes movie rating site. The browser can also be used to stream videos from other locations on your home network.


Another trick up the app’s sleeve is creating a web server so that other devices on your local network can upload and download files directly to your iOS device.


The browser can also be used to view streaming videos online, such as the mobile website for YouTube. Curiously when I let the app identify a video as a TV show, it linked to a web page that was offering to stream the TV show it had selected. Quite why I’d want to stream something I already had stored on my device, I don’t know!


Video playback (on the iPhone 5 at least) was smooth with both high and low resolution videos. Tapping the screen reveals controls for stretching and constraining the image size, along with pause, stop and scrubbing through the timeline.


Playable Pro can play music files as well, but it by no means suited to being a music player as it has no media library function, which makes working through a dozen or two MP3 files somewhat unfeasible.


If you want to get going with HD MKV, MP4, AVI, XVID, X264, MOV, FLV, and WMV files without having to wait for conversion, then Playable Pro is a great place to start. Playable Pro is in the iTunes store for $2.99 and Playable is free and supported highly intrusive adverts.