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VLC Arrives for iPhone and iPod Touch


VLC Arrives for iPhone and iPod Touch

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.

Link: Applidium.


October 26, 2010, 2:35 pm

Excellent news, now all I need is for Airplay to play nice with VLC for iPhone and I will be in the position where I can surf my non-itunes films on VLC for iPhone and then send it to my AppleTV to watch!


October 26, 2010, 3:05 pm

Downloaded it last night but didn't realise it was new.

Went to play some video on the commute this morning and got a message saying I need to connect to iTunes and add videos manually. It won't just playback the various videos I have on my Touch already.

What a joke. Although having thought about it, if iTunes can't monitor files on a PC it might have been a bit much to expect of iOS.

Guess you can't have your cake and eat it but good to see Apple approve it in the first place.


October 26, 2010, 3:45 pm

Tried a mkv file which played but no sound, then tried a divx file which played without any sound as well. The movies look great, am I doing something wrong?


October 26, 2010, 4:01 pm

Oh forget my last comment, I had the mute button on!!!!! I'll start taking the medication again. VLC is fantastic, movies play smoothly and the sound is v good...


October 26, 2010, 4:26 pm

@rav: I don't think I quite follow. How did the videos on your Touch get there in the first place if not through iTunes? {unless we're talking Jailbroken here}

Anyhoo, doesn't concern me. N900 has at least been able to play most formats for the past 9 months or so. Yah boo, etc.

@Gary: One of those days, eh?


October 26, 2010, 5:01 pm

I'd be concerned about battery life without the hardware decoding.

@Gary: are you deliberately trying to reinforce the stereotype of an Apple customer?


October 26, 2010, 5:16 pm

@rav, yes from what I gather you have to use itunes to navigate to where your videos are and select them that way, but it would be a lot quicker than having to encode them specifically for iTunes so it would be good for a "spur of the moment" thing


October 26, 2010, 6:47 pm

@Bob about @Gary: haha +1, just what I was thinking.

As long as a program isn't doing anything illegal (by which I mean breaking some law, not an illegal operation which might cause the OS to crash) then I cannot see how Apple can justify not allowing it into the App Store. Yes I know VLC was approved, but in a limited way and dozens of other apps have been rejected. Has anyone actually tried taking Apple to court over their app policy? Their walled garden approach has merits sure but it's right and great that jailbreaking was judged legal, but it's still this attitude that prevents me from embracing Apple and sticking with Android. It may not be as open as I'd like, but you at least feel like you have some control over what you have just spent a lot of money on.


October 26, 2010, 7:18 pm


Good to see you back! I used iTunes to get the videos on there but you have to add them manually for VLC too. It doesn't just detect what you've stuck on already or let you locate videos using a file manager.


It annoys me that jailbreaking had to be judged legal in the first place and that Apple had the audacity to try to ban it. By all means let it void a warranty but it should be the user's choice. It's so frustrating because the Touch (and iOS) are great and being an Android user I keep noticing areas where it could be that much better if it weren't for Apple.

Fortunately Apple seem to be loosening their policy already, probably to avoid antitrust issues. Hence lifting the ban on Flash developed apps and the more lenient approvals process.


October 26, 2010, 11:19 pm

@BobaFett Good point well made.

I should point out that I am not an Apple fan but after my slow grasp of technology I should think about changing that. I now need to go, the doctors want me to rest.


October 27, 2010, 1:00 am

I wonder if it'll ever come to windows phone 7...

Zune takes an AGE to convert anything to be compatible on my HD7...


October 27, 2010, 6:22 am

@rav: Ah ok, I see. Thanks. (and stop misspelling my name! :P)

Sounds really annoying.

@HK: Apple continue to mystify with their approval process. The stopped one guy's popular app because it did "too much". Can't remember the name but it was an iPad app that sort of acted as a slideshow but also had weather and date information at the top. They told him they weren't accepting apps which behaved too much like a desktop any more...

P.S. Poor Gary...


October 27, 2010, 9:59 pm

@ Gary

Just be lucky you didn't divulge that information on the AppleInsider forums. Man, is that a snake pit!


October 28, 2010, 1:58 pm

Thanks for the heads up for this app. I used to have to convert DIVX files and now they play natively very well. So quick to get them on and off the device.

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