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Watch AVI videos with yxplayer


A month or two back, I shelled out US$4.99 to pick up a copy of yxplayer, a video playback utility available on the App Store. Yxplayer isn't particularly user friendly or over designed. I am also about as far away from yxplayer's core demographic as anyone can get. (More about that later.) And yet, I'm going to give it a double pair of thumbs up and recommend it to anyone who owns a video-capable camera that shoots AVI video.

I am a mom. I own an inexpensive Creative Vado unit. Right now they're selling at Amazon for about $50. We picked ours up at a Newegg sale for something like $25 shipped last year. It's a great little Flip-like video system that my 7-year-old can happily use and that works well with our living-room media Mac mini. It takes pictures (they aren't fabulously good) and shoots AVI video (ditto) and my son loves it to pieces.

On the Mac with Perian, the video works great. Move it to the iPad, however, and we're basically out of luck. The iPad, like most iOS and iPod devices doesn't "do" AVI. Yes, we can convert the video to m4v, but it's so much nicer just to be able to pull files off the device, throw it onto our iPad and take that unedited material on the road. These are not works of art that require a master touch to be enjoyed for years to come.

Enter yxplayer. An iPad video player, yxplayer supports "DivX, Xvid, WMV, H.264 and more." I can drag my video off the camera's USB connection right into the application's iTunes documents folder. I unplug my iPad and the video is ready to be watched on the go. That rocks.

Remember where I said I was not the core demographic? Yxplayer does more than play back kid-created videos. According to the 'net, you can also use it to stream videos from various upload sites. In theory. I attempted to test this functionality using a handy Italian-language instructional YouTube guide and consistently failed at doing so. It may be the app's "killer feature" but according to the reviews on App Store, I am not alone in finding the process difficult. Not to mention possibly unethical if the video sources are not legally sanctioned.

So forget about the streaming and buy the app for the basic AVI playback. It's easy to load, play back and delete your videos -- and if the app doesn't quite remember where you left off playing each file and if the interface is a bit inelegant, that just goes along with the bigger homebrew picture. I'm just glad this thing works so well with my Vado.

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