VLC Media Player Finally Released for iPhone


The popular media player—VLC—has finally been released for the iPhone and iPod touch. An iPad version of the app has already been available, and it is good to see that the team behind the free software hasn’t forgotten about those with pocket sized iOS devices. In case you have never used VLC Media Player on a desktop computer, its best feature is its ability to play nearly any media format on the planet.

Tired of having to convert the videos you want to watch on your device into an Apple approved format? The process takes quite a bit of time. Fortunately, VLC plays pretty much every format so converting videos before transferring them should now be a thing of the past. The program even plugs into iTunes to help you manage your non-iTunes media.

So besides iPhone support, what’s in the newest version? Improved performance and some basic tweaks to keep people happy. You can now delete files you have put into VLC’s library right on your iPhone without going through the hassle of using iTunes to do so. Also, while it’s hard to tell just how much improvement the team has implemented in the video decoding process, things are better than they were with first release.

Now for the bad news. VLC is not compatible with the iPhone 3G or iPod touch 2G. Disappointing? Yes. Unexpected? No. Remember, no one but Apple has access to the video decoding chipset inside of your iOS device and VLC has to do all the heavy lifting without any help. That’s also why some videos still have playback problems. Your iOS device’s processor has to do all the work itself.

Besides the older device incompatibility, VLC is free and available on iTunes right now. It’s at least worth a try. It also requires iOS 3.2 or newer.

What do you think? Ever use VLC Media Player on your computer when frustrated that Windows Media Player never seems to be able to find the right codec? Excited that you now have VLC as an option on your iPhone or iPod touch? Been using it on your iPad? This just the first step of many to break Apple’s monopolistic grip on what media content you can view or listen to? Let me know in the comments.

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