AV Player HD: Why Wait to Watch?

Have you ever had to endure the time-consuming task of converting videos to watch on your iPad? Well, I have some good news for you: The waiting is over – AV Player HD plays it all, just as it is. What’s more, it can play full 1080p MP4, MOV and M4V content flawlessly.

So if you have a back-catalogue of XVIDs, AVIs or a host of other formats gathering dust on a large drive somewhere, and you want full subtitle support, aspect ratio control, post-production video effects, external playback, and more,  you’ve come to the right app.

Let’s take a closer look..

Getting Started

AV Player HD starts with a simple three-button interface that gives you choices to explore, transfer, or configure. The media explorer interface is a simple and straightforward folder navigation system to explore your media, of course. Transfer allows wireless transfer of media content to your device, and the configure button leads to a configuration screen with a handful of vital settings that change how the app works.

AV PlayerHD Main Interface

AV Player HD Main Interface

Don’t worry if you have a huge number of files, as there’s a useful sort menu discreetly tucked away under a magnifying glass icon in the bottom left corner of the explore screen, allowing sorting by Name, Filesize, Extension and Date – useful to watch and clear larger files to reclaim some space, or perhaps to select and watch more recent content.

Search Bar

Search Bar

The file format support is unparalleled, including:

  • xvid
  • avi
  • mkv
  • vob
  • mp4
  • mov
  • m4v

This gem of an app has it all covered. You need subtitles? No problem – four of the most popular subtitling formats are also catered for.

Time to Transfer

There are three simple ways to get content onto the iPad for AV player HD consumption:

  • USB {fastest}
  • FTP {over Wi-Fi}
  • HTTP {over WiFi}

USB transfer is as easy as selecting your device in iTunes, clicking on the app’s tab and scrolling down to the File Sharing section – here you will find AVPlayerHD listed. Select “Add”, choose one or more video files, press Open, and the transfer begins immediately.

A 200mb file takes a little less than 20 seconds over USB2.

Add files in iTunes

Add files in iTunes

For WiFi transfers, you need to have the app running in the foreground. From the main menu press the WiFi transfer button and this shows an HTTP:// address that you can access through your favourite browser window and an FTP:// address that you can access through your favourite FTP program.

Simply fire up the browser, type in the address and port (both ports configurable from the configuration menu) and you are presented with a simplified folder view. For HTTP://, simply click Browse, and select the file to open, then click “Submit”.

This interface limits you to a single file at a time.

WiFi transfer

WiFi transfer

AV Player HD does support background multi-tasking, but only for audio playback at this time – background WiFi transfer support is on my wish-list (as well as Drop-Box integration…). The WiFi transfer speed was around 400 seconds for a 200mb file.

Lets Play

So, once you’re loaded up with your various video files, sorted through them, and chosen what to watch, simply press once on the video file to play. This takes you to the main display screen.

A few essential icons appear initially on the left of the screen: an information toggle option to show file details, an orientation lock to hold landscape or portrait views (also configurable in the main configuration tab for a permanent landscape lock), a colour adjustment icon, and subtitling control.

Regular play, rewind, forward, and skip controls are placed centre bottom on the screen, and a sliding navigation bar rests along the top to provide instant access to any part of your media. If the aspect ratio needs adjusting, a double tap on the screen will cycle through the 4:3 / 16:9 / fit to screen ratios.

The default double tap action can be changed from the default aspect ratio, to many other settings through the configuration menu.

The final addition to screen acreage is a novel play speed control on the right of the picture – this will play up to double speed (or down to half speed) video and audio – a useful feature for some?

AV Player HD main controls

AV Player HD main controls

All of these icons fade away after a moment or two to leave your media playing without interruption, but that does not mean control is lost – this innovative little app has gesture controls – tap, double tap, swiping up, down, left, right, and many additional gestures such as two and three fingered tapping, or two fingered swiping in all four directions. All of these can be set to a number of handy features and timings, including volume control.

This brings us to the audio support – media audio streams supported include MP3, AAC, and the amazing Dolby Digital AC3 format. Couple this with Apple’s Digital HDMI cable, or if you have an Apple TV, Airplay, and you have a portable media extravaganza!

Order! Order!

If sorting a large screen of files is not to your liking, there are basic folder creation and file movement facilities to get your movie-house in order. A tap of the bottom-right + folder icon reveals a ‘Create a folder’ tab, which will name and create an empty folder.

If you’ve got content that is perhaps not age-appropriate, each folder can be locked with a pass code by simply activating the spanner icon, top right, a single tap on the right edge of the folder name, and slide “Use Passcode” to on, entering your secure code twice.

This won’t prevent folder deletion, but will prevent access, even to the filenames in that folder. Very neat.


Use passcode option

Grouping media files into folders takes a few steps: creating the folder, selecting the desired files, moving into the folder with the centrally placed “Move Folders” icon. There is a unique and possibly better way, though: AV Player HD allows both HTTP and FTP transfer to the device, as well as dropping individual files in iTunes, so organising your content becomes effortless as you synchronise your tidy media and folder structures in one swoop with your favourite FTP transfer program.

The Icing on the Cake

Which brings us finally to the show stopper of a fact – this wonderfully flexible, value for money, multi-format media player plays full 1080p H.264 content, effortlessly. High definition 720p content is supported in the popular open source MKV wrapper, but take it up a notch to 1080p, and the MP4, MOV and M4V wrappers offer a truly outstanding visual experience to nestle in the palms of your hands.

Couple this with the external HDMI support and the results are simply breathtaking!

Make sure you enable the hardware decoder option in the configuration options for this little gem, and check out the other options available:

Settings Summary

Settings Summary

And finally, whatever you watch, and wherever you pause, if you enable multiple resume points, AV Player HD does just that – it will take you back to exactly the point you left off – essential for dipping in and out of content without losing your place – you can even shuffle and move your files around, and the restore points are remembered. Awesome!


If the stunning high definition playback doesn’t get your juices going, or the instant access to your whole back catalogue of acquired and encoded media, I don’t know what will. At only $2.99 it would be enough for just that, but this sweet application keeps evolving and pushing to the front of the pack as the definitive player for the iPad, with continued updates, and innovative touches like its gesture controls – it’s a must-have.

Further support for accessing media files across up and coming services like iCloud or more established file sharing services such as Dropbox, should allow even more freedom to access all of that lovely media content, whenever and wherever you are.


A stunning media player that allows for instant access to your whole back catalogue, high definition, and innumerable other great features.

  • Tuomas Hämäläinen

    Am I the only one who thinks the UI looks absolutely hideous, especially in the last screenshot?

    • Connor Turnbull

      Not just you! 😉

    • http://jonadair.co.uk Jon

      Agreed, the UI is horrible, but it’s functional and it gets out of your way so you can watch your video content. It’s a worth replacement to the sadly discontinued (and much better looking) VLC for iPad.

    • pied piper

      It works though! I can now play on my files. Best £2 ever spent.

  • Miguel Ferreira

    1080p MKVs without problems in ipad 1 or just in ipad 2?

    • Mark Simpson

      just iPad 2, I’m afraid.

  • insane dreamer

    F*ckin’ A! Heading to the App store now.

    • Mark Simpson

      Its hard not to get excited at this one, eh?! Enjoy!

  • insane dreamer

    This is great for transferring to iPad. But what’s the best recommended iPad app for streaming from Mac to iPad?

    • Mark Simpson

      its a good question – stay tuned for my review I’m working on for streaming video to iPad..

  • http://www.divermaiden.com Kathy

    Thank you so much! I have been trying and trying to find an easy way to get my .avi files into my iPad. This app works great!

    • Mark Simpson

      I am so pleased we could help. Bookmark us and return often – there’s lots of inspiration to be found here :)


  • http://www.appforthat.de Julia Altermann

    Hi Mark,

    so do I understand correctly that you don’t need an extra desktop app for conversion or streaming? You just drag and drop your files via the iTunes interface into the app and I can start watching them right away?

    I’m just a little skeptical concerning the 1080p MKV support. I have the VLC app for the iPad and it wasn’t able to play back those high def files at all because the hardware wasn’t cut out for it. If AV Player HD can handle this, I’m sold :)

    • Mark Simpson

      Hi Julia – you’re absolutely right – drag and drop – that’s why I put the file timings on – 20 seconds to copy instead of hours to convert.

      At some point, of course, many of your files will have undergone a conversion to get to one of the supported formats, and if you find (as I did) the occasional pause or unplayable file, its probably a poor original conversion that wouldn’t play ok on all but the most forgiving of PC/Mac playback software.

      As for 1080p MKV support – this is not supported – this is why I make it clear “High definition 720p content is supported in the popular open source MKV wrapper, but take it up a notch to 1080p, and the MP4, MOV and M4V wrapper…” etc.

      You’ll be fine with your 720p MKV files, but the 1080p MKV will be jerky or worse. Stick with MP4 1080p for faultless playback. I guess the last thing to say advise is if there is an easy way to get your MKV 1080p converted to MP4 1080p – I’ll look into it for you..

      • http://www.appforthat.de Julia Altermann

        Hi Mark,

        thanks for the reply and sorry for my late reaction, I completely forgot about it.

        I think a great way to convert MKV files to something usable is MKVconverter, which I use to make my files ready for iTunes import. You can just pass all the data through, so you don’t need to spent hours on conversion and even better – you don’t loose any of the quality.

        Need to test it with this app though, haven’t gotten around to that yet.

  • Fred

    So how is this any better than something like AirPlay? Admittedly with AirPlay I need to run a server app on my pc or Mac, but I don’t have to transfer them to my iPad either. I suppose I get to take them on the road with me but if I’m within wifi range of my home network I can watch all this without the hassle or storage implications of having to move them to the iPad.

    • Mark Simpson

      Airplay is wonderful for on-the fly playback, even over a decent internet connection. You can stream to your hearts content – AVPlayer HD is gonna come into its own when you’re away from home, though – switch into airplane mode to save power, and choose your episode of the entire series of your Startrek / Stargate / House / Blackadder collection etc you’ve preloaded onto the ipad. As an example, on a 64gb ipad, its possible to fit Deep Space 9, all episodes, in decent quality.

  • Fishnpix

    Great app! I’m using it often to watch divx on my iPad 2.
    Even when I’m at home because the video plays very smoothly, unlike all the streaming over Wifi options that I have tried before (and you don’t need to leave your PC/Mac on)…

    • Mark Simpson

      thanks for the feedback. :) Mark.

  • Mark Simpson

    @Tuomas – the UI is utilitarian, and it’s look and feel is perhaps basic, and not aesthetically pleasing – but what it lacks for in show it makes up for in speed, and really you just want to get to your stuff quickly, and press play, full screen!


  • Mark Simpson

    @Miguel – all of my testing was on iPad 2 and I don’t believe the iPad 1 has what it takes to play 1080p content. Please note, though, only the 720p content played ok in the MKV container, and mp4/m4v was needed for 1080p playback.


  • mariane

    I use this app, buuuut I can’t get the subtitles .srt to work!!! What do I do????

    • Mark Simpson

      Hi Mariane, you might like to try and resave the .srt subs in .smi format – occasionally .srt subs are problematic with AVPlayer HD – would be worth dropping a line to the development team too.


    • pyro

      I figured it out!

      In the media explorer, select the subtitle just as you would a video you were going to play. After a few seconds, the subtitles will ‘open’ and along the bottom there are all sorts of options. Mine defaulted to Chinese. I changed it to Western and Presto!

  • http://mangochut.net mangochutney

    Thanks for featuring this application.

    The UI is ghastly, but it works and the app play almost everything I throw at it.

    • Mark Simpson

      Thanks for the feedback, mangochutney.

  • techgeekCDN

    wow… this is great. I love this app we all need to support this app and the dev company.
    wow, wow, amazing!

    • Mark Simpson

      So very pleased you like the app.

      Check back often to appstorm for reviews of some more excellent apps.

  • Kris

    AirPlay to Apple TV only sends audio. I want to send video, is it possible?

  • Peter

    Same problem, just bought Apple TV trying out AirPlay and only sound is transferred – picture still on iPad.

  • Sachin yadav

    No it doesn’t plays 1080 or even 720p mkv format what it does is that it only supports hd and full hd formats namely mp4,m4v and mov just these three formats will be supported by any video player on any idevices till date. So dont waste your money it won’t play any other format in hd, so there is no chance it would play full hd formats other than those three the reason is because the hardware is not so powerfull. But it plays sd version of most formats currently used.

    • Mark Simpson


      720p mkv works fine through AVPlayer HD on my iPad2, I’m watching Matrix Revolutions in a 720p .mkv file now..

      We research our articles very carefully before publication. Please take time to check your comments for accuracy too.

      Best regards,


  • Pedro

    Where did the erased files go? And are the file’s transfer limited for my flash drive capacity?

    • Mark Simpson

      erased files are probably erased, gone, nada.

      The file transfer limit is the size of your iPad’s memory, minus the room taken for apps and music etc…

  • Pingback: HD Movies on iPad. What the heck? - Apple iPad Forum()

  • HJaLTe

    Hi there,
    I have the same problem as a few others: Airplay only transfers sound from my iPad to my ATV2. I know Apple have made a restriction, so that you can only use Airplay with certain (apple)programs.
    Some sites claim that you can install an app through Cydia, which enables Airplay on quite a few apps. However I’d like to se that it can be done through a legit app, like yours.
    (Not that apps i Cydia are not legit, per say)


  • Mark Simpson

    Just wanted to add that I finally got round to buying an external cable (composite) for the iPad, and tested the video out operation of AVPlayer HD.

    I was very impressed, I must say. You simply tap the “TV-out” icon, centre-right on the screen, and then you get a horizontal and vertical adjustment grid on the iPad whilst your media file plays. This allows you to fit the media output to the TV screen (in my case, and old 28″ CRT!), as it plays.

    This allowed me to play 720P files through my old TV’s SCART socket. That’s some pretty decent video player, don’t you think?

    Anyone tried HDMI output?

  • Sarah

    Hi, I love this app but every time i go to watch a show, it cuts off after about a minute, and when I click back into the show, it brings me to a totally different part! Any ideas of how to fix this? also, the icons dont seem to disappear when I’m watching something.


  • sarah

    Sorry, meant to say I was trying to play mkv files

    • Mark Simpson

      Sarah, it may be the encoding of the .mkv file – I’ve had a few files not work 100% too, but simply tried a different movie, and its been ok.

      I’ll try and narrow it down a little more – if you can post a link to your troublesome .mkv I can test that too.

      Thanks, Mark.

  • Kk

    Is anyone else struggling to play mp3 on this app. The notes suggest that this format is supported and the app certainly seems able to recognize the file – however when it comes to playback, avplayerhd just shuts down. As an aside not trouble watching video files, just music files.

  • Ryan

    What about the airplay? In the description says that it support airplay…but nothing don’t promise something you don’t get.

    Mark… when the users asked you why the airplay doesn’t work…why do you not aswer them????

  • Mark Simpson

    An update on Airplay – AVPlayer HD has audio Airplay support at this time, as indicated in the ‘audio support’ paragraph above. True audio/video support is not yet officially supported.

    There is a solution to this for Jailbroken devices, AirVideoEnabler, if you would like to try and advise success?

    Link: http://thetechjournal.com/tech-news/airvideoenabler-for-all-ios-apps.xhtml

    For those whose screens still have the controls still visible, single-tap the display, and they should fade away.

    MP3 support – I’ve now tested CBR and VBR MP3 files in the app, up to 320kbps, and I’ve not had playback issues at all. Perhaps we can arrange to test a file that fails to assist?

  • Kk

    Could I have had a “bad install”? I have tried a few different types of mp3 files. The app shuts down as soon as I try playing them even though I can see the files without any problem in the media explorer. Is there a setting I need to enable? As before, I have no trouble with playing video files and getting the accompanying audio. Looking at the online help screenshot, it appears that there is music playback although I notice that the top left corner says “iPod” instead of what mine shows, which is “iPad”. Quite puzzling.

  • Robbie

    I’ve bought AV player for Ipad 2 and i can’t sync to my Iphone. Do i have to bought it twice?!

    • Mark Simpson

      I have this issue too – it looks like it,. but I’m writing to the developers to ask why this is. Stay tuned…

  • Perry

    Sometimes my iPhone jams and goes black and then sorts of restarts with the apple logo comes up, but whb I unlock my phone avplayer is still on. This only started happening recently and only with avplayer. What could be the problem?

  • luke

    Hi there, having an issue. it says my ipad2 (on iOS 5.1) that i have not got enough disk space when i have when trying to drag and drop the files (or by using the add button) into the app on the app selection screen on iTunes. I have a lot of space on there. Am i doing something wrong? i took the app off and put it back on again in an attempt to restart it.

    thanks in advance for any help

    • Luke

      Ah it works, it was me being an idiot. The app works perfectly :)

      • Mark Simpson

        Luke – pleased you got there in the end – we all have *those* moments, don’t worry… 😉


        • Mark M

          Luke I’m having the same issue. What was it you were doing wrong? I’ve tried a number of things but keep getting about 500mb of free space I cannot access =(

  • Artemis

    I can’t tell you how great this app is!!! OMG. I have been spending SO much time hardsubbing videos and then converting them – NOT anymore. I can’t recommend this app enough!!! <3

    • Mark Simpson

      Its truly one of the gems for the iPad – I use it many times a week too, and gone are the days of video conversion.

      Thanks for your comment.


  • sidadel

    I can transfer mp3 files, but how do I put them into a file!


  • tunin

    Did anyone figure out if this futures airplay?? I see in the comments that some people did but they get audio only? I do not wanna buy another app and be dissapointed?

    I would also like to know if it supports subtitles in SUB format (they show srt, txt SMI but no SRT).

    Thank you

  • dani

    the passcode is not working on iphone 4s

  • maria

    I’m stumped. I transferred over files that play perfectly well in iTunes, and in Dropbox, but that my ipad video files say they can’t play. Thought this app would be the answer. But it is still refusing to play about 3/4 of the files. Am I beimg dense here, or is something wrong? Is there something else I need to be doing?

    • Mark Simpson

      Maria, try using the Add file option from iTunes for a video file.

      You can also use the “Open In” feature of Dropbox to move your file to the inbox on AVPlayer HD – what type (extension) of files are failing?

  • Ralph

    I have some .mov files on my desk top. When I USB transfer them to my Ipad with AVPlayer HD, I am getting audio but no video? Can somebody help?

    • Mark Simpson

      Ralph – can you make one of your files available and I can test for you – we don’t support the AVPlayer app, just like to write about good apps, but happy to have a quick look for you.

      Best regards,


  • naturalbeautyboy

    Just google search Step by Step Guide on How to Convert and Import AVI to iTunes so as to Transfer AVI Files to iPad/iPhone/iPod successfully

    You will find a step by step guide on how to convert and import AVI files to iTunes. Then it is just easy to watch AVI movies on iTunes or sync AVI video to iPad, iPad 2, iPad 3, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, iPod, iPod Touch, Apple TV and more. It even helps to convert and import 1080p AVI to iTunes for play 1080p AVI on the new iPad 3 or the new 1080p Apple TV 3.

    • Mark Simpson

      No need to import AVI to iTunes with AVPlayer HD! – Just drag and drop using the advice (above).

  • smithers

    and what about battery life? how many hours of video you can play since i presume decoding is done by software instead by hardware decoder like h264 movies.

    • Mark Simpson

      thankfully, for most files, the decoding is done via the hardware decoder – I’ve not tested battery life, but I’m assuming its going to be comparable to the native videos app.

  • llking

    We bought the app a few days ago and didn’t have any problems with the wifi option. However, as you stated, it limits to one file at a time and much slower than the USB option.

    I’m at lost on how to transfer using the USB option.

    Well, I connected the Ipad to my laptop. And then what? do i open the itunes on the Ipad or on my laptop. I also didn’t see the File Sharing Option menu. Did i miss something?


    • Mark Simpson

      Hi – Connect the ipad to your laptop, and open iTunes. Click on the Apps tab, and scroll right down to the “File transferring” oprion right at the bottom – you’ll need to scroll the bar on the right hand side.

      Click “AVPlayer HD” on the left hand side, and the drag and drop your files into the white window at the right hand side to add them – they should begin to sync immediately to your iPad.


  • http://www.gutscheinsammler.de Daniel

    “GoodPlayer” ist also a very good App with some functionality. what app do you prefer?

    • Mark Simpson

      Goodplayer has very good cross-file support, and I especially like the DNLA option for bringing files down to the iPad from my NAS.

      Neither have the best user interface, though. I personally prefer the AVPlayer, but its probably just what I’m used to, to be honest.

      Thanks for the comment – much appreciated. We’ll perhaps review Goodplayer soon for a balanced perspective?

  • Lela

    I Love you! Thank you so much. Since i got my iPad I’ve been trying to find away to watch my shows. But there all in avi. And the funny thing is I had this app a few month ago hopping it would work but I didn’t know how to use it. lol Now i do thanks to you. :)

    • Mark Simpson

      Lela – Wow, thanks indeed! Absolutely thrilled that you can watch your stuff now – thanks so much for the compliment! :) Mark

  • Armin

    Nice app, but I cant integrate the .avi with .srt file. AVPlayer read both files separeted but did not copy the .srt to the movie .avi.

  • Tronnis

    Great app, but I cannot get subtitles to work with airplay and my AppleTV2?

    Subs are displayed on the iPad only, not on my TV?

    • Pookkii

      Having the same problem subs will only play on my ipad

  • Vince

    Does anyone know why AVPlayerHD isn’t available in the APP store? I keep getting “The item you’ve requested is no longer available….” I purchased it last week using another account, however now I can’t…

  • Faiz

    My .mkv video displays well on the Avplayer Hd but no sound is coming out of it.
    Is there something i missed out?

  • Platform agnostic just want good technology

    “USB transfer is as easy as selecting your device in iTunes” – really? in this age? The minute we can free PC’s of iTunes the better.

    Why on earth are we limited to using USB or fiddling around with another clunky http/ftp interface just to play files?

    I have apps which can access my media content so surely sorting the file associations so AVPlayer starts as the default media player (for non-apple formats) would be a good thing??

    Good review by the way but i’m just ever so slightly annoyed at paying £2 for something i can’t use with the ease of modern apps. Can’t comment on the video playback as i’ve not got the energy to spend on it.

    Don’t get me started on the different names for the same app on ipad and iphone – buy the same app twice…get real.

  • Allan Cooke

    What is the current status of AirPlay? using ios6 I still only get audio meabing I have to ‘mirror’ the iPad and can’t multitask as I watch. Very frustrating to have such a problem on an otherwise excellent app…..

  • http://Sleeper Mike

    I have it, it is great. But what I missing is timer for switch off this app. IT will be great for film before sleeping ;o). Please integrace IT. Thanks

  • Ryan

    I’ve had this app a while and love it however I’ve just got rid of my windows laptop and got a new mac book pro, every time I try to import a file to it through iTunes it comes up with an error message ‘not enough free space’ my iPad has plenty of free space. Can anyone help me out? The files I’m uploading are regular avi and mp4.


  • Maxx Well

    Can this app really play avi on iPad?
    For me, I usually convert avi files to mp4, mov or m4v formats and then transfer them to device.