Although Android is a very capable universal mobile operating system, it still has a few shortcomings that developers need to fix. Until recently, there were 2 important issues: games and video playing. There simply were no good drivers and hardware for 3D games to run well, but all of that was fixed in the recent releases (2.0 and 2.1) and right now, the only problem is video playing.
It’s not really a major problem, but the thing is that there are no players for Android that can play all the video formats, which would be expected from a good player. Android itself supports most of these formats, and there are codecs that make it play any other formats, but almost all of them require their own player, which is pretty annoying.
Of course, you could just do what other people do and convert your videos to a format that your Android device plays without problems, like mp4, but I’m sure you’ll agree that it would be much easier if you could just transfer any video file to your phone (and with over 16 GB on new models that’s entirely possible) and play it quickly and painlessly. There are project on the way to fix the problem, RockPlayer being one of the first, and I’m sure this issue will be gone in a few months.
Until then, here is a list of the best android video players (and an app) for movie lovers that own an Android device:
Developed by Flixster, this application allows you to get movie reviews, trailer and show times for the most popular TV shows and movies. You can also view what the local theaters have to offer, browse a pretty large collection of 65,000 DVD titles, watch over 15,000 trailers and manage your Netflix DVD order queue. The latter is practically the most important feature. Just imagine being away from home, ordering a couple of DVDs for when you come back and having them delivered right when you return home to relax.
Now we’re talking! This media player will definitely set new standards on the marketplace when it is released. It is currently in beta version, but users report that it works perfectly well. It is a free, open source all-in-one media player that has a very nice modern interface (like Windows 7’s Media Player, with transparency and all) and can play almost all common video file formats, including AVI, MKV, DIVX, RMVB that use any kind of encoding (H.264, Mpeg4, H.263, AAC). It also supports external subtitles (that come in separate files). You should definitely try it first, if it works, use it, if not, wait a few weeks/months until the bugs are fixed and then use it .
Act 1 video player
This is currently the best media player for H.264 encoded files (most often in .MKV format) and 3GP files. The interface is a bit outdated, but it does its job just fine. It is a great media player to have if you often download h.264 files (which a lot of TV shows on torrents use) and want to watch them immediately on your Android smart phone.
Yet another good video player, this application has a few limitations (like the maximum resolution of 480×352 for proper playback), but if you follow the instructions, you can watch H.264 and MPEG4 videos without any problems.
Meridian Media Player
Meridian is and advanced music and video player that also supports lyrics and subtitles search, ID3 tags (including editing, of course), gestures control, album and artist information and flac/ape files (uncompressed audio files for the highest quality possible).
There actually aren’t that many Android applications for movies available at the moment, but the situation is slowly improving, and I’m sure there will be hundreds of great apps aimed at movie lovers in the Android Market in the next year. Just keep an eye out for any new releases and update of current applications.