Here are the pros and cons of Meta Quest’s spatial video playback

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Here are the pros and cons of Meta Quest's spatial video playback

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Meta introduced spatial video playback with the v62 software update. I tried it out and compared it to an older, tried-and-true method.

Spatial Videos is Apple’s format and name for stereoscopic 3D videos recorded with Vision Pro or an iPhone 15 Pro (Max) that can capture memories with depth. Note, however, that the 3D effect is only visible when viewed with Vision Pro or another stereoscopic playback device.

With v62 software update, Meta Quest received official support for spatial video playback, so you can easily watch these recordings with a Quest headset now.

Before rolling out this feature, I wrote a guide on how to view and store spatial videos on Meta Quest. Below, I compare the two approaches and explain their advantages and disadvantages.

How Meta’s spatial video playback works

Meta’s solution is designed for ease of use and accessibility. It works like this.

You open the Meta Quest app on your smartphone, open the gallery and tap the upload icon at the top right. You will now see the Spatial Videos that you have recorded with your iPhone 15 Pro. Tap on the videos you want to view on Quest. They will then be uploaded to Meta’s cloud servers and will be available for playback shortly afterwards in the Files app of Meta Quest under “Spatial Videos”.

My method is more complex and consists of a) converting Spatial Videos into a Quest-compatible format using a smartphone app and b) transferring them to Meta Quest via Dropbox or sideloading.

Advantages and disadvantages of Meta’s solution

What makes Meta’s approach unique is that it is cloud-based. Spatial Videos are uploaded to Meta’s cloud server and converted into a compatible format. After that, the videos are available in the Quest, but stored in the cloud.

The cloud-based approach has pros and cons. It is easy, fast, free, and, as far as I know, does not require any storage on Quest. If you prefer to store and manage your videos locally on your device and watch them without an Internet connection, you will be happier with my method. There is also the question of whether you want to trust Meta with your personal videos, and what will happen to them if the cloud service shuts down.

Another drawback is that you can only play the videos with Meta’s proprietary video player, which is rather inflexible and limited in features, and, like Apple, fades the video image to the edges, an effect not to everyone’s taste.

If you need a quick and easy solution, I recommend using Meta’s method. If you want to go deeper and have full control over the storage and playback of videos, you will appreciate my method, which can also be used to transfer Spatial Photos to Meta Quest. These have a much higher resolution and look much more impressive than Spatial Videos. Go ahead and try it out.

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