As promised, back in early September the popular media player VLC is now available for free download for the iPhone and iPod touch. It works on the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, and on the 3rd and 4th gen iPod touch.
VLC was ported to the iPad by developers Applidium in September, and to the surprise of many, was approved by Apple. VLC is legendary for its ability to play video files that would make most other media players go weak at the knees and crumble and while the iPad version isn’t quite as flexible, (it doesn’t play FLV files for a start), it’s a massive boon to be able to play non Apple prescribed formats such as Divx and Xvid. However, the App still doesn't have access to the iPhone hardware video decoder, so 720p video still won’t play smoothly. We suspect that this restriction from Apple is most likely the reason it was willing to approve the App in the first place.
We tested it with a few files, and if anything playback seems even smoother than on the iPad. This is only version 1.1.0, so further tweaks and improvements are sure to come down the line. The ability to stream over a network from a NAS box would be top of our list. The code is open source, so anyone who feels they can contribute is encouraged to do so.
The move helps to close up the gap between the iPhone and Android, as most devices running the latter feature support for a wide variety of video formats out of the box.