By default, the iPad is only able to play QuickTime compatible video formats, which is great if all your content comes exclusively from iTunes, or if you have already converted all your movies to the H.264 format.
For the others, AVPlayerHD will allow you to play non-native video formats, such as DivX and Xvid, without having to deal with the painful – and slow – process of re-encoding your content library to an iPad-friendly format.
Just like the now defunct VLC for iPad player, AVPlayerHD will play files encoded in most formats, including XVID/DivX (with support of AC3 audio decoding in case your files only come with a Dolby Digital sound track), AVI, Windows Media Video (WMV), RealMedia Variable Bitrate (RMVB), ASF, MPEG4/H264, and Matroska (MKV). Simply upload your movies to the app via iTunes, or upload them via your browser, and you’re set.
While the app is compatible with both first generation iPad and the iPad 2, the app really shines when coupled with the Apple A5 processor, especially if you plan to play CPU-intensive files such as 720p HD MKV movies.
AVPlayerHD also offers nice perks, such as the ability to skip forward or backward via multi-touch gestures, the support for subtitles, and some post-processing options. The app will output its content on a TV if you happen to have an AV output cable, or you can also use AirPlay to push the contents on your iPad’s screen to a second generation Apple TV.
AVPlayerHD will set you back $2.99, a small price to pay if re-encoding all your content seems like a daunting task.