Getting DivX and MKV movies, FLAC audio files or audiobooks onto your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad is an incredibly cumbersome multi-step procedure, one that involves third-party apps like Handbrake to transcode “foreign” media files into iOS-friendly formats before importing them into iTunes for syncing with your iOS gadgets.
I’ve tried many, many apps which promise to get the job done before deciding to settle on WALTR by young European startup Softorino.
Now, I’m not exaggerating when I say that WALTR is an absolutely incredible piece of software. This nifty program literally takes the pain away from transferring media to iOS devices without worrying about file types.
Its lightning fast algorithm is hands down the best I’ve ever seen, on any platform, ever. I’ve been happily using WALTR for months now and couldn’t be happier with it. And trust me when I say that you should be using WALTR, too, especially if you aren’t jailbroken and want the simplest solution possible for transferring media to your device without going through iTunes.
Before we get to it, let me just point out that being able to enjoy your media in iOS’s hardware-accelerated native video player is always the best solution in terms of performance and battery life than playing non-compliant files with third-party App Store apps because tap software decoding and thereby drain your battery a lot faster.
Ease of use
WALTR opens with a splash screen prompting you to connect your iOS device.
Using the app couldn’t be simpler: you literally connect your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad using a USB cable to your computer, at which point WALTR should recognize your device and change its window’s label to read “Drop Files Here.”
There are no settings and no preferences, just a window onto which you drag files.
Time to feed WALTR some media files.
Select any number of audio/video files in Finder, drag them onto WALTR’s window or drop them on its icon in the Dock. It will automatically start the transcoding process and upload media to your connected iOS device, making it natively playable in iOS’s stock Videos and Music apps in the highest quality your device can handle.
It doesn’t get easier than this, really.
Again, you don’t have to convert the files beforehand as WALTR performs all transcoding and decoding on-the-fly, as the file is uploaded to your device. And as of recently, the app supports multiple movie subtitles in SRT and ASS formats.
Simply drag and drop both your video and one or more subtitle files onto WALTR’s window and it will embed them into the video so you can select them in iOS’s media player.
As mentioned, all video gets uploaded to the Movies section of iOS’s stock Videos app. As a matter of fact, not just movies but whole TV shows can be decoded with WALTR and sent to their corresponding sections within the Videos app, automagically.
But don’t let WALTR’s simplicity fool you: behind it is immense software technology that Softorino had worked on for two years.
Getting 4K video onto your iPhone and iPad
Did you know that the A8 processor ticking inside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is capable of of rendering video in 4K resolution of 3,840-by-2,160 pixels? Neither did until WALTR developers made the discovery last November.
But how do you sync 4K content with your iOS devices?
Getting 4K video onto your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad is impossible the traditional way as iTunes currently lacks support for 4K video syncing. With WALTR, transferring 4K footage from your computer to an A8-powered iOS device is as easy as, you guessed right, drag-and-drop.
WALTR supports many audio and video file types commonly used on the Internet and by non-Apple platforms, the vast majority of them unsupported by either iTunes or iOS hardware.
In addition to the Matruska (.MKV) and DIVX files, WALTR can process video stored in Microsoft’s AVI and WMV formats, Adobe’s Flash video (FLV) as well as RM, RMVB, VOB, DV, TS (experimental support), LV, WEBM and M2TS media types.
And in terms of audio, the app accepts audiobooks encoded in the M4B format, audio files in Windows Media Audio (WMA) and lossless Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) formats and content encoded in lesser known audio file types such as CUE, APE, ALAC, M4R, OGG, WAV, DSF, DSD audio streams (DFF), WV, TTA and more.
In addition to the aforementioned “foreign” files, WALTR supports the classic iOS-friendly media encoded in MOV, MP4, MPG, AIFF, AAC and MP3 formats for natural playback.
Transcoding at the speed of light
WALTR’s bullet-fast decoding cannot be fully describe in words, but I’ll give it a try.
The long story short, this app processes video at an average speed of two gigabytes per minute. My initial impression after transcoding a few sample MKV videos was that the app must have been broken because that’s how shockingly speedy it is.
Case in point: it took my mid-2013 MacBook Air with a 1.3-gigahertz Intel Core i5 processor less than two minutes to transcode, embed subtitles and upload my personal Blu-ray rip of the 2014 movie “The Seventh Son” to my iPhone.
Mind you, we’re talking here a 2.64-gigabyte MKV file!
And if you happen to be a Windows user, WALTR is an even bigger painkiller on PC simply because you no longer need to touch iTunes when you just want to put music or a movie on your iOS device.
What this app accomplishes is incredible, I kid you not.
I’m totally not uttering false platitudes here to make you buy WALTR. It may easily be the first app ever to successfully break the file format barrier on iPhones and iPads. Its speed and efficiency have to be seen in person in order to be fully appreciated.
It’s especially appealing that WALTR automatically puts media files into the correct place on an iOS device so they automatically become natively accessible in iOS’s media player without requiring third-party apps.
What previously amounted to an incredibly tedious mind job that involved a train wrack that is iTunes has become a drag-and-drop affair. Thanks to WALTR’s speedy processing engine, you can at last transcode and transfer huge multi-gigabyte video files in non-iOS-friendly formats to your iPhone or iPad.
My only quibble with WALTR is the lack of Wi-Fi syncing but developers are working on it as we speak along with other enhancement like automatic metadata fetching and photos support.
Wrapping up, let me point out that using WALTR absolutely does not violate any Apple’s device warranty or user license agreements. Oh, and for those wondering: the app’s name was inspired by Walter White from the American crime drama series, “Breaking Bad.”
If you like WALTR, I wholeheartedly recommend checking out Softorino’s other app that we recently reviewed, iBetterCharge, which pushes a notification to your Mac or PC when battery power on your iPhone gets low.
WALTR requires an Intel-based Mac with OS X 10.9 Mavericks or higher and an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with iOS 5.0 and above. As of recently, it’s been available for Windows, too. A single user license will set you back $29.95, with family and lifetime licenses available as well.
WALTR is unavailable through the Mac App Store because “it’s too useful in terms of sidestepping frustrating limitations imposed by iTunes,” as developers put it.