Chromecast

The Best Video Player for iPhone

A long time ago, Apple made it difficult for third-party developers to make a good media player for the iPhone. Thankfully, over the years they’ve loosened their restrictions, and now you can get a really solid video player with PlayerXtreme.

Platform: iPhone and iPad
Price: Free ($4.99 for Pro features)
Download Page

Features

  • Supports plenty of video and audio formats: 3gp, asf, avi, divx, dv, dat, flv, gxf, m2p, m2ts, m2v, m4v, mkv, moov, mov, mp4, mpeg, mpeg1, mpeg2, mpeg4, mpg, mpv, mt2s, mts, mxf, ogm, ogv, ps, qt, rm, rmvb, ts, vob, webm, wm, wmv
  • Simple, familiar folder-based interface that feels a lot like Finder, which also includes multiple ways to view and sort your library
  • Various ways to search through your files
  • Supports streaming over SMB, UPNP, and Wi-Fi
  • Download files to the app over your local network
  • Open files from directly from email attachments
  • Great control over the look of subtitles
  • Supports HD playback
  • Change playback speed
  • Hide folders that guest users of the app can’t see but you can
  • Support Chromecast and AirPlay (Pro version only)
  • Boost the volume of soft audio (Pro version only)
  • Passcode protection to lock away files (Pro version only)

Where It Excels

PlayerXtreme can handle just about any file format you throw at it, which means that it can easily become your main video player without much effort. It does just about everything you need a video player to do: you can create playlists, add your own subtitle files, play audio in the background, play files from a variety of sources, and customize playback in tons of ways. If you buy the Pro version of the app for $5, you can stream videos to your Apple TV or Chromecast.

Beyond being just a solid media player, PlayerXtreme also makes it easy to transfer files from your computer to your iOS device using a ton of different methods. PlayerXtreme will automatically search your local network for shared folders, where it can then download or stream any video files it finds. You can…

How to Improve Video Quality When Casting a Tab to Your Chromecast

A new feature in Chrome radically improves the quality of video casted from the browser to your Chromecast—but only if you toggle a hidden setting on.

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Why Tab Casting Is So Terrible (and What Google’s Doing About It)

If you’ve used the screen-mirroring function to send video from the Chrome browser to your Chromecast, you’ve certainly noticed one thing: the feature is a bit rough around the edges. That’s because unlike casting a video from your phone (where your phone simply tells the Chromecast where to look and the Chromecast grabs the direct video stream), tab casting transcodes the video for the Chromecast and it is passed along in this altered state.

The end result is typically pretty bad, and even if the video on your computer screen is beautiful (like a nice HD video stream from Vimeo or a sports broadcast from NBC), the video that shows up on your HDTV looks like a janky mess. It works, but it isn’t pretty.

Fortunately, a brand new feature in Chrome allows you to significantly improve the quality of tab casted videos with a tiny tweak. Once you toggle the setting on, Chrome will attempt to pass along the actual video stream, unaltered, to your Chromecast, instead…