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Cool Find: Meridian Media Player for Android

Meridian Media Player iconThose of us with large digital anime collections, either ripped from DVDs that we own or acquired from, ahem, other sources (we’re not here to judge, let your own moral compass be your guide), are faced with a problem when we want to consume this content while out and about — or even just kicking back in your easy chair or in bed. Sure, you could go out and buy a dedicated video player such as the Archos 5; but why spend extra money when the odds are that you already have a device in your possession that’s perfectly capable of performing this function — your smartphone.

If that phone happens to be an iPhone (or its phone-less sibling, the iPod touch, or even an iPad), then you could either re-encode your anime (using a free tool such as HandBrake and stuff it into iTunes) or use the excellent Air Video player, which we’ve written about before. But what if you are a card-carrying member of the Android Army? Unfortunately Android is (in this author’s humble opinion) still behind the iOS in terms of video playback capability.

Fortunately, there’s an app for that — the Meridian Media Player app, to be precise. This app does a pretty good job of playing back any media format supported by your device’s version of the Android operating system. And the best part is that it supports all the standard subtitle formats that you tend to find out there (which of course is very important for us anime fans). (Pro tip: if you’re looking for subtitles, AllSubs is a pretty good source.)

Unfortunately, since Android is still kind of picky in terms of what video formats/codecs/bit rates that it supports, odds are you’ll need to re-encode any anime files that you have, ahem, acquired, in order to play them back on your device. HandBrake is an excellent, and free, tool that helps you do this. (HandBrake is also a pretty servicable DVD ripper, so you can use it to digitize your anime collection. Please, only for disks that you actually own. Don’t be a tool.) I’ve found that the “iPod” pre-set offers a reasonable compromise between small file size and decent video quality, that plays on all variants of Android (at least all the different devices/OS versions I’ve tried it on). Just fire up HandBrake, select your file, click the start button, and once your files are done re-encoding, just drag them onto your phone’s memory card, fire up Meridian Player, and you’re off to the races.

Meridian Media Player itself is free, but you’ll need the $2.99 Meridian Player Pro Verifier to unlock extra functionality, including subtitle support. (But hey, $2.99 is IMHO a reasonable price to pay for this functionality) Go download Meridian Media Player and the Meridian Player Pro Verifier from the Android Marketplace today!

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