Playing ISO files on the Kindle Fire HD 8 with VLC and GoodPlayer Part 1

Although ISO files are considerably larger than today's compressed .mp4 or .avi files, one of the advantages of backing up DVDs and media to ISO is that you get to keep all the special features, exclusive content, and bonuses included with the DVD movie.

If you've backed up your DVD collection to ISO using Linux, macOS or Windows, you can playback the ISO file on your Android or Kindle Fire HD 8 using media player apps such as VLC for Android and GoodPlayer. Although ISO file sizes can go up to more than 8 GB, you can access the ISO file remotely over a network, or if you don't mind routinely deleting the file after playback, copy the file to your external micro SD card. With micro SD cards climbing up to 256 GB and 512 GB in size, which is arguably overboard for mobile devices, file storage is no longer an issue.

On the downside, navigation and DVD menus don't work very well when playing ISO files on Android apps. Moreover, DVD ISO file playback requires more processing power than even high-definition files encoded using utilities such as HandBrake. You're actually better off using a full-size laptop or a powerful 2-in-1 such as the Lenovo Yoga or Surface Pro 4 if you have a lot of ISOs you want to watch.

Kindle Fire HD 8 and ISO files

The Fire HD 8 is a budget device and although the hardware can easily handle multimedia from Amazon's entertainment services, Android games, and most HD video files, it can struggle with more complex rendering tasks. Both VLC for Fire and GoodPlayer can playback ISO files, but with some caveats on the Fire HD 8.

VLC for Fire, as expected from its legendary pedigree, can playback the Young Indiana Jones ISO I ripped using Brasero for Linux. All the chapters were retained, as well as access to special features.

Unfortunately, it became apparent that VLC may not be the best option for watching the DVD movies on the ISO. The quality of the DVD video was retained, but VLC was inconsistent in terms of rendering the video. VLC for Fire OS couldn't render the Young Indiana Jones video smoothly, but handled videos on an Enter the Dragon Special Edition and Dual Parallel Trouble Adventure ISOs.

In addition, moving around the Title, DVD menu, and Chapters occasionally caused VLC for FireOS to crash. I noticed if I gave VLC more time to process the ISO (and not scrub through or keep switching chapters), playback worked fine. There is little doubt, however, that on a more powerful Android device such as a recent Samsung Galaxy Tab or ASUS ZenPad, the ISO's DVD movie would've played perfectly on VLC.

Enabling hardware acceleration on VLC for Fire may improve the quality of playback or even prevent VLC from crashing or failing to display content.

Note: I often switched back and forth between hardware and software rendering when VLC for Fire couldn't display my Young Indiana Jones and Aeon Flux ISOs.

To enable hardware acceleration on VLC for Fire:

1. Tap the menu button > Settings > Hardware Acceleration.

2. Select Automatic or Full acceleration.

Continued in Playing ISO files on the Kindle Fire HD 8 with VLC and GoodPlayer Part 1


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