How to Watch MKV, Xvid, DivX and WMV Videos on Your iPad or iPhone

by Ross McKillop on September 20, 2010

iPad iPhone iPod

This tutorial will show you how to download, install and use PlayerXtreme (free!) so that you can watch Xvid, DivX (.avi) MKV (.mkv) and many, many other video formats on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.

Note: while this tutorial was initially published in 2010, it has been updated (July 6th, 2013) accordingly.

By default, the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch are only able to play certain types of video files. By installing one App, you’ll be able to watch all sorts of different video files – and that App is free!

  1. Head over to the PlayerXtreme page and download and install the App.
  2. Launch PlayerXtreme from your iDevices Home Screen.
  3. You’ll be presented with the main interface. The one thing you’ll need to get used to right from the start is that you ‘swipe’ from side to side to display the menu vs. the list of your video files.

    Swipe from right to left to display the current list of your video files.

  4. Tap the Library Videos folder.
  5. Select Open.
  6. A list of all the video files in your Camera Roll (and other video files that PlayerXtreme can find) will be displayed. But you can view those in the default video player, so lets move on.
  7. Launch iTunes on your PC/Mac and plug your iDevice into your computer. While it is possible to wirelessly transfer video files from your computer to your iDevice, using the Apple cable is significantly faster, particularly since video files tend to be quite large in size. If you installed PlayerXtreme directly onto your device via the App Store, you’ll need to perform a Sync before proceeding.

    Note: the screenshots used in this tutorial are from a Mac – Windows users will have no problem following along as the steps are identical.

    In iTunes, select your iDevice, then the Apps tab. Scroll all the way down to the File Sharing section and select PlayerXtreme from the Apps list. Finally, click the Add… button in the PlayerXtreme Documents column.


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  9. Navigate to the folder that contains the video(s) you want to transfer to your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, select them and then click the Add button.
  10. Once the transfer has completed (the time will vary based on the number of videos you transferred and the size of those videos) – the video files will be listed in the PlayerXtreme Documents column. You can Eject your iDevice now.
  11. Back on your iDevice, ‘swipe’ from right to left to bring up the directory of your videos.
  12. Now the list will contain the files you just added.
  13. Tap one of them and select Play.
  14. Ta-da! You can now watch .avi, .mkv, .mpg, .flv and a whole slew of other video formats.

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  16. In theory, you can tap the TV Out button (see screenshot below) and stream videos from your iDevice to your AppleTV or supported media center (like the Boxee Box etc). I couldn’t get it to work, but I didn’t try using a cable directly to my TV, which is much more likely to work just fine.

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  18. You can sort your videos by making Folders if you’d like. Tap the Create New Folder button and the keypad will appear. Give your folder a name.
  19. To move your video files into folders just tap the video, hold down your finger and ‘drag and drop’ it onto the folder of your choice.
  20. One last thing before you start going video-crazy – the wireless feature should be disabled by default, not enabled. Swipe from left to right to bring up the PlayerXtreme menu, and tap the Wifi button.
  21. As you can see, the default is set to “On”. This allows you to upload videos using a featured built into PlayerXtreme, but it also allows other people to access your videos. Not good. Swipe the Wifi Transfer is ON slider from right to left.
  22. Confirm everything in the WiFi menu is now set to OFF.
  23. You should see a red OFF in the Wifi
  24. You can always re-enable the Wifi feature when you’re using a network you trust (ie. not McDonalds, Starbucks, a hotel etc).