VLC Comes to iPad, iPhone Version in the Works

The popular open source media player—VLC Media Player—has just hit the iTunes App Store for the iPad. The maker, Applidium, has also confirmed that an iPhone and iPod touch version are in the works but they decided to go with the iPad version first. The source code for the app is also available online already at videolan.org. The app is free of course.

So why get VLC on your iOS device? It plays the majority of video formats that Apple’s own media player in iOS does not. Right now the app has 3 ½ out of 5 stars on iTunes after 752 ratings. Not too bad, especially considering that this is the first version. I am a big fan of VLC on PCs so any VLC on iOS is good news.

A VLC based media player was rolling around on the jailbroken app store Cydia earlier this year, but it worked poorly, crashed a lot, had advertisements that displayed while watching videos and was later renamed to OpenStreamer (it still sucks).

The new app lets you upload videos to your iPad from iTunes for the app to play. Pretty nifty. However, 720p videos are running slowly right now. That is because of the lack of hardware acceleration for non-Apple supported formats in the iPad itself. I won’t claim that the app is perfect, but it seems to be running pretty well for most as long as non-720p videos are played. Besides, having more formats available means you don’t need to convert videos into another format just to get them into iOS.

Don’t expect to be playing FLV or RM formats yet, but AVI, MPG, DivX, MKV, etc. are working fine. Now all we need is a streaming system to bypass iTunes altogether. I doubt Apple would allow that though. But think, what if you could set up some media streaming on your PC and get all of your favorite videos onto VLC and your iOS device over the air via Wi-Fi or 3G from anywhere? Let’s keep dreaming for now. Maybe a jailbroken version of the app will allow that in the future. The source code is available online for any serious hackers to take a stab at…

Going to be installing this on your iPad? Giddy for it to hit the iPhone/iPod touch? Let me know.

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