VLC Media Player is an iPhone and iPad application from Applidium who have ported over the VLC app. The way this app plays media files is by importing them into your iPhone or iPad using the USB cable sync. So to play any kind of media files in VLC, you have to first connect to iTunes, under the app tab in your connected device, find the File Sharing section below and you will see the VLC app icon. Click on that, then you’ll see the VLC Documents section for that app. Click on the “Add…” button, find your media files and add them, one by one. After you’ve done all that, you can then click the “Sync” button and wait while the files are copied over to your i device. If this sounds like too much work, it is! But if you have some avi files that you really don’t feel like converting this might be a good alternative option.
Let me begin by saying I tested this app using an iPhone 4 with no other apps running in the background after a fresh restart. I tested some HD MP4 files encoded with AAC H.264, an MP3 file, and a raw MTS video file. The MP3 file copied over but does not even show up in the VLC Player list. The MP4 and MTS files did not play and gave me this annoying screen stating
Warning: Your iPhone is probably too slow to play this movie correctly. ‘Cancel’ or ‘Try Anyway’
Not sure if this is a bug, since as of right now the iPhone 4 is the fastest iPhone there is. Perhaps the message should just state “This file type is not supported”
Next I tried testing some sample movies and playing them on the VLC Media Player. I was able to play back DivX AVI, AVI MPEG-4.avi, MPEG-1, VCD, Windows Media, and Real Media video files without a problem.
The playback screen has a control menu for pause, rewind, fast forward and volume control. On top of the screen you have a slider for moving through the movie and a timer showing how much time is remaining, and a done button. Tapping on the screen toggles the visibility of these navigation items. Most of the videos remember their playback position in the app. You can rotate the iPhone for landscape viewing.
The list screen generates and shows a thumbnail of the video along with its name, length, dimensions, and file size. From here you can swipe to delete any item.
Overall, VLC Media Player is a decent video player that can please those in need of a media utility for .avi, .rm, .wmv files. Importing files into the app is a pain, and not all file types and codecs such as HD video are supported as of right now. For a free app with a universal iPad version, VLC Media Player is worth testing out for yourself, though definitely not perfect.
: The free VLC Media Player iPhone app has been pulled from the App Store. The short version of the reasoning is that there was a conflict between 2 licenses, firt the free GNU General Public License that Video Lan and VLC operate under, and the iOS license which is secured by DRM.
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