When it comes to watching telly, you’re either a streamer or a hoarder. If you’re a streamer, you gorge yourself on a diet of all-you-can-eat, until your eyes go squiffy. Hoarders, though, have spent years building a collection of movies and TV shows, painstakingly organised on their local networks. It’s a labour of love – and Infuse 6 is for them.
This app starts off asking you to point it at sources. It’s not fussy. Folders on a local Mac or PC will do. I’ve got mine set up to check in with a USB hard drive plugged into my router. Pay for ‘pro’ and Infuse will also pull down content from cloud storage. And the second it does, the real fun begins.
Assuming your files are named in a reasonably logical manner, Infuse will fetch cover art and other data. Within seconds, your entire collection will be organised within a swish, minimal interface that’s a breeze to navigate and explore. On rare occasions where things go wrong, you can make quick edits to individual items.
If you’re using the pro version, all of this syncs between machines. So you can start watching on your iPhone, and then when home pick up on your Apple TV. You might at this point be thinking “yeah, but Plex”, and that’s fair enough; the systems are similar, but Infuse has no need for a server to be running. As long as your files are accessible on the local network or online, it’s good to go.
Chances are, the app will deal with everything you throw at it. And the more you poke around, the more you’ll grow to love its finer details. Need subtitles because someone is mumbling within a soundtrack mixed by a sadist (hello, most modern Doctor Who)? Grab them with a couple of clicks. Want to manage local documents? There’s Files integration. AirPlay 2? Sorted. Google Cast streaming? No problem.
Again, you might argue you’ve seen this all before, and use a system that does most of these things. But there’s something about Infuse that propels the app beyond its rivals. There’s a real sense of focus and polish, elegance and effortlessness. Also, it’s designed specifically for Apple hardware.
If you watch videos across a range of platforms, that means it’s probably not for you. But if you point your peepers at iPhones, iPads, and tellies connected to an Apple TV, Infuse is the best video player you can get.
Infuse 6 is available for iOS and tvOS. Some video formats, HD audio, AirPlay/Google Cast, iCloud sync, and cloud streaming require a pro subscription (99p per month). Alternatively, Infuse Pro 6 is available as a standalone purchase for £24.99
Excellent in its free incarnation, and truly superb in ‘pro’, Infuse remains iOS’s leading video player
No need for a server
Deals with just about any file
Occasional flubs with metadata