MoboPlayer

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MoboPlayer

MoboPlayer has always been a little half-baked, and while much has changed, that point still stands.

3.5

Our rating: 

3.5
Get It: Android
License: Free
Website: Clov4r web site
Review & Alternatives: Best Free Media Player for Android
Categories: Video Player

Pros & Cons:

Good Codec support; many useful small options such as custom repeat, speed control, and taking a snapshot of the video; floating video player
finding your videos is confusing; various problems with freezing and crashing, some features simply not working

Summary:

MoboPlayer is a media player that tries to do a lot, but doesn't do it well. While it has many features including advanced features, such as a gif creator, support for DLNA streaming, and a floating video player, many of them don't work properly.

Our Review:

MoboPlayer is similar to VLC for Android in many ways. It plays music and videos, and comes supplied with extra codecs. However, it isn't without its problems.

Finding your videos is odd - it displays a list of folders - except it just shows all the folders on one level, ignoring the folder structure in order to see the proper folder structure, you can now use an option in the menu - although the list still doesn't work very well. You also no longer have the option of viewing the videos in a grid. You have a "new" banner for newly added (or scanned) files (which doesn't really work properly - everything is marked as "new" on my phone right now) - but thank goodness, the options for sorting by, name, date, length, size and number (whatever that one is) are back.

You do have the option of choosing which folders MoboPlayer scans, but some things there are pretty mysterious. I spent about five minutes trying to figure out how to tell Mobo to scan my SD Card, with no results - the contents of my SD Card were definitely not being scanned by Mobo, and I couldn't find my SD Card's directory. Then, I realized that the folder that my camera puts its pictures and videos into wasn't being scanned, either, so I added that, rescanned, and suddenly, all the stuff from my SD card popped up. Weird. After a couple of tests, I've determined that you have to refresh it once after it's done its initial refresh, then everything is taken care of.

One thing you'll see right away is a button for a manual - and it now works without any problems. And, kudos to the team, as they've improved the help - it's a lot more helpful than it used to be. It has some troubleshooting tips, and some pointers on how to use the app. Interestingly enough, the screenshots look like they're from an iPhone. What? The first time you'll use the app you'll have some in-app tips as well, and it seems like they've fixed the language issues here.

The now playing screen has a slew of options, and the controls aren't too shabby. You have the basics, and you also have the option to seek by dragging your finger along the video - on the bottom for fast seeking, in the middle for a medium speeded seek, and on the top for finer control. In the extended options, you have just about any option you could want - everything from list repeat and shuffle modes to playback speed to using the volume buttons as seek buttons. You also have the option to stream what you're watching or listening to to a DLNA player, but I tried streaming some music to my Denon AVR, and while the AVR reacted and switched to DLNA mode, it didn't play anything. You also have some pretty advanced options for looping and audio channels, as well of the option to switch between the hardware decoder (with which you can play videos that your device would normally be able to play) and the software decoder (with which you can play a much broader range of videos, although it will propably eat up your battery quicker) - although with the way it looks it's somewhat confusing. For videos, it generally used the hardware decoder if my phone supported the video natively, and used the software decoder for everything else. For audio, for some reason, I wasn't able to get it to use the hardware decoder - and the software decoder plays some of my FLAC files an octave lower - and now also at half speed. I mean, it's pretty hilarious to listen to Jesus of Suburbia an octave lower, but it's not really what I was looking for. You also have the option to take a video snapshot - which finally works, or to create a gif or another video out of the video you're watching, which seems to work up to the point in which you share it, when everything suddenly is in asian characters, and once you finally get to the option to share, the options were way more limited than they should be. The workaround is to find the gif on your phone's storage - it's in the "mobo_cut_gif" folder. There's also a lock that will prevent the player from doing anything else until you unlock it. Oh, and watch out - even when the video is paused, this app will keep your phone awake as long as there is a video open. I was just proofreading this article when I looked down at my phone only to realize the screen was still on, about five to ten minutes after I had last used it. While checking the app again and updating the review, I paused a video to see if this was still a problem - which it still is - and meanwhile, a notification came in, and the video started playing again immediately afterwards. Oops?

This player also has a floating video player - which finally seems to work pretty well - it only chokes and stutters a bit when switching from the full-screen player to the floating player. You have some basic controls on the floating player, as well as controls to resize the player or go back into the app.

Another note - if you were interested in using the built-in torrent downloader, it's been removed (I've never really gone into it anyway).

One more thing: if you open a file in another app that Mobo can play, Mobo puts a "recommended" mark behind it's entry in the "open with" menu. Not cool, Mobo, not cool.

This is an app that has plenty of potential, but it's just way too half-baked. All in all, if the features would work (which more and more do, just still not all), it would be a pretty good media player, and they're making progress, but this isn't something I can easily recommend yet.


MoboPlayer was reviewed by on based on version 3.1.147.