Saturday, January 12, 2013

Playback on portable devices

This is more of a question so I can get some advice and feedback.

I would like to inquire how folks typically playback our releases on various portable devices.  Despite the opinions of various people on whether fansubbers should even cater to such devices, it is apparent that those devices are going to stay.  As I have limited experience with such devices, I would like to get some information from folks who do have experience with them.

Therefore, I have several questions to ask:

1.  For Android devices, what do people use in terms of apps for playback of fansubbed anime?  As a point of reference, I do have an Android phone running Froyo, so something that works well on that is desirable.

2.  For iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), what apps do you use for playback of fansubbed anime?

3.  What about the PSP/PSVita/3DS?  How do folks play fansubbed anime on them?

4.  Is there anything that I can do with our encodes that will improve the playability of our releases on portable devices?


  1. I don't really know that much about portable devices, but I do know that your 10bit MKV encodes never work with the PS3 Media server. They do give sound but no image.

    ^ I am no expert in codecs and all, so I can't tell you why it only plays the sound, but I figured I'd at least let you know. Other MKV 10bit files from other fansubbers do play fine with the PS3 Mediaserver btw.

    1. PS3 Media Server is one of the more temperamental playback mechanisms to get working with everything. I've had issues with it as well with certain files (and the only difference is which version of mkvtoolnix I used to mux the video).

      Taking that into account, I installed the latest PS3 Media Server on my encoding computer, and I could play our Hi10P encodes (with a few hitches, which I'll talk about in a different post). Also, I've seen cases where the Mac version fails on files where the Windows version will work just fine.

    2. Ah I actually hadn't tried your files yet with the newest build, I just did and you're right they do show image now. My bad really for not checking it again after installing the latest release but as it hadn't worked with all the previous versions I kinda wrongly assumed it wouldn't work yet.

      Thank you so much though for looking into the matter, it's very much appreciated.

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  3. MX Player for Android plays back pretty much anything, even soft subtitles and 10-bit mkv (though with a few colorspace hiccups). It works on Eclair (2.1) and up, and since you're on Froyo (2.2) it should be fine, though playback of HD files depends on how powerful your device is. VLC is a decent free alternative. One disadvantage for Android devices, though, is that outputting video through HDMI to a TV does not yield any soft subtitles, short of making a tweak that severely slows down the decoding process.

    Support for iOS devices is still rough. VLC was okay, though it did freeze quite often with modern files. It got pulled from the App Store, though, but should still be available on jailbroken devices through Cydia. What most people did, and still do, is convert everything to .m4v, usually through presets in popular one-click encoding programs like Handbrake. Soft subtitles, though, will have to be burned-in to be playable. I'm not sure about iPad or iPhone, as I've never owned either, but the requirements should be the same. Recent iterations of all three devices are powerful enough to play up to Full-HD videos.

    I have a PS3, but I've never tried PS3 Media Server. I do believe that there's a workaround to get 10-bit files to play properly, but otherwise people just re-encode everything to 8-bit hardsubbed .mp4 or .avi. Those two formats are required for the PSVita, which cannot handle soft subtitles as well. PSP is even stricter, requiring all videos to be encoded in its native resolution (if I remember correctly; I haven't played with my PSP in a long while).

  4. What i do is to re-encode the anime using Freemake by choosing setting-based hardware. i make it smaller to provide more space for other episodes. check it out! :d

  5. Piroca de Fantasma é GeladinhaJanuary 15, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    I've been using MoboPlayer for Android and AVPlayer for iOS.
    As I've never found a player that play .mkv files with subs perfectly formatted, I usually watch old .avi or .mp4 files in my smartphones, keeping the mkv (specially the 1080p ones) to watch in a notebook connected to a TV.

  6. In terms of portable devices, I have found that a good standard size and format is 480x272 mp4 files (or the m4v files, which are apple compatible). Most portable devices can play either. Tablets look good with 1024x576 mp4 files too.