Infuse takes your iPad and turns it into the ultimate video player. It plays almost anything you throw at it and even streams the content to an Apple TV via AirPlay. After using it, you'll never want to go back to the old video app in iOS. The app has familiar roots, as it is developed by FireCore, the same group that makes the popular aTV Flash for the Apple TV.
Infuse's strong point is its support of a wide variety of video file formats including MP4, M4V, MKV, AVI, WMV, FLV, OGM, OGV, ASF, 3GP, DVR-MS, WebM and WTV. This is huge as it means you can play back almost every file in your library without wasting time and processor power doing conversions. AirPlay is also supported, allowing you to stream these files to your Apple TV.
Infuse was updated this week to version 2.0 and it's a major overhaul of the app. The UI has been refreshed for iOS 7 and now includes network streaming. The network-streaming option appears along with the other file-retrieval methods like browser transfer, iTunes Sync, FTP and more. These other methods are used to transfer media to your iPad for playback. Only the network-share option supports streaming. To access a network share, just select the drive or device in the app, add your username and password and hit save. The NAS will show up in Infuse's video library and will automatically connect when you tap on it again.
I tested the network streaming with my ReadyNas, and it works wonderfully. It took just a few minutes to setup the app and stream over WiFi. I was able to access my entire video library and play any file without worrying about its format. I have a diverse library spanning almost 10 years with a lot of content from a SageTV-powered HomeTheatre PC. It was exciting to be able access this content with such ease.
Infuse also has a handful of smaller features like support for subtitles, automatic import of video artwork and metadata from TMDb and TheTVDB and integration with Trakt.tv. There's also a handy Dropbox feature that'll allow you to access videos uploaded to your Dropbox account.
As part of its 2.0 update, Infuse also changed its pricing structure. The basic app is now free and allows you to watch videos that are transferred to your device. Premium features like subtitles, AirPlay and network streaming cost US$4.99. As with most freemium apps like this, plan on paying the upgrade fee to get the most out of the app. You can download and check out Infuse for free from the iOS App Store.