Updated: VLC for iPad hits iTunes App Store

VLC for iPad

VLC for iPad has hit the iTunes App Store, bringing with it support for a far wider ranger of video and audio formats than are natively supported by Apple.

They don't state exactly which formats are supported by VLC though we're guessing those AVI and MKV files so popular on the internet will be among them.

For the technically-inclined of you, the sources are being uploaded to videolan.org, and should be made available before the end of the day. Also, we’ve got many questions regarding an iPhone version. It’s in the works! We started with the iPad, but an iPhone and iPod version is coming. We’d also like to thank the VideoLAN team which has been very, very helping and supportive, as well as all of you who sent us nice messages on twitter and by email.

As always, with a new release it might take time to propagate to all the regional iTunes servers and stores, so if you can't find it yet, just keep checking back. If you manage to grab it, let us know what you think. Are all vidz can be yours?

UPDATED: Lifehacker has some tips on how to get the most out of it. Translation: it has a constrained set of videos it works with. Sigh.

[VLC on iTunes link - Free]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Updated: VLC for iPad hits iTunes App Store


Not impressed. I tired copying a 4.25 GB .mkv file and it failed. Then, I copied an 825 MB divx encoded movie: it's shows up in the VLC list in iTunes under file sharing, but not on my iPad. I succesfully transferred a 1.25 GB 720p .mkv movie and the playback is extremely choppy. Too bad, I was pumped when I read the news because I've been waiting forever to ditch the video conversion steps from my workflow. I swear by VLC on my computers, but this is sub par.

cant play .rmvb, seems support mkv file, but when i open mkv it always crash so i dont know hows it. avi is just fine.

Probably a stupid question, but where do you find the movies to load onto the VLC player?

Here are my results thus far. It played all the xvid files I already had on my iPad (just used iFile to move them to the VLC folder). They all worked fine. Then I got crazy.
720P MOV Trailer, The Simpsons, warned me that iPad as too slow to probably play it, tried and choppy, scrambled, unwatchable.
720P MKV Trailer (GI Joe), crashed VLC when trying to gen thumbnail.
H264+EAC3 MKV, http://samples.mplayerhq.hu/Matroska/H264%2bEAC3.mkv, sat there generating thumbnail, sat there seemingly trying to open it when I tried to
XVID-HD Trailer (Pirates of the Ca...), warning about the iPad being too slow, started the video fine but quickly went downhill
MPEG-4, http://samples.mplayerhq.hu/MPEG-4/video2.mp4, no problem
Interesting observation, it is completely ignoring a .MPEG that I sent to it. http://samples.mplayerhq.hu/MPEG2/dvd.mpeg
To be honest, I don't care if it does HD. Keep in mind it's software decoding these files, no hardware acceleration. As long as it does a better job on XVID/DIVX than other ones, I'm happy.

The recent CineXplayer for iPad update fixed most avi playback. Previously most TV shows wouldn't work, mostly ok now though. So if you're an avi man check that out too

Fail. It won't download and open a file from a URL. Is that so difficult? You HAVE to load files through iTunes.

I was wondering why we cannot get this for the iPhone 4, it would be nice or perhaps it will arrive later.

I have a corrupt file I can't delete since they didn't think that we may want to delete a file from our list.

Damn, no mkv support, so I still have to use the ifunia ipad converter to do converting, sign :(

So full of fail it should have never been allowed to carry the name VLC. You're lucky if you can even get it to play iPad supported media let alone an .avi or.mkv file. Audio works on most, video however does not. Back to Cinexplayer for me.

Thanks for the update to this article. Just read the Lifehacker piece and it basically boils down to: "you need to perform some sort of conversion in order for this to work".
960 X 540 .mkv files aren't exactly laying all over the Web ripe for the taking. And if I'm going to have to create one, I might as well go to h264 and use Movies to play it.

"it has a constrained set of videos it works with."
I think you meant it has a constrained set of types of videos. :-)

.avi files seem to work fine for me but .mp4 don't work, so VLC on the iPad doesn't really live up to its expectations