VLC media player makes a comeback, following a 2-year App Store hiatus

By , Jul 18, 2013

VLC for iOS (teaser 001)

Following a range of issues with copyright holders that had forced the team to pull it from the App Store some two years ago, the popular video player VLC has returned to Apple’s platform as a brand new iPhone and iPad app.

Re-written from the ground up to take advantage of modern technologies, the new VLC brings with it a refined user interface that’s reminiscent of the original release and features such as subtitles and support for multi-core decoding and a bunch of iOS-unfriendly media formats, including .mkv files.

Jump past the fold for the full reveal…

Bi-licensed under both the Mozilla Public License Version 2 as well as the GNU General Public License Version 2 or later, VLC is 100 percent open-source.

VLC for iPad (teaser 001)

Similar to FireCore‘s Infuse media player, getting your media into VLC requires manually copying the files using the iTunes File Sharing feature. You can also transfer files using a desktop web browser via a WiFi Upload feature available in VLC Settings.

And if you want to download a file residing on the web, use a new Download from Web Server option that requires a URL of a file. Other options at your disposal include Network streams and Dropbox integration, with more cloud services coming soon by way of future updates.

VLC for iOS (iPhone screnshot 001)

Our friend, MacStories editor Federico Viticci, had some issues with Dropbox:

If you navigate inside a sub-folder, you’ll notice that there’s no way to go back to the main folder because the Back button takes you straight to the Settings, where you’ll have to tap on Dropbox again and start over.

Another caveat: due to Apple’s policy that prohibits third-party apps from tapping hardware-accelearted DSP features, “clips taken by the device fail to play as the used encoding profile is too demanding,” Viticci explains.

VLC for iOS (iPhone screnshot 002)

Rounding up the big features are a few nice-to-haves, like AirPlay support, real-time video filters (Brightness, Contrast, Hue, Saturation and Gamma), playback speed controls, background audio, passcode lock and subtitles, including Closed Captions and complex SSA.

VLC for iOS is a free download via the App Store.

You may also want to check out the free desktop VLC player, available for the Mac, Windows, Linux and other platforms here, if you haven’t already.

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  • Bosco Nguyen

    Will it play AC3 sound codec?

    • felixtaf

      The PC version plays AC3.. We have to wait and see if the iOS version does…

      • Bosco Nguyen

        Most of the players on the App Store have been updated to remove support for AC3 support which has been a deal breaker for me. I sure hope VLC comes through!

      • D.

        Unfortunately not. Just tried playing an AVI and the audio was just screeching.

    • Adan Santos

      It does. I got it from the NZ app store.

  • Mohammed Sahib

    Free? For ever? Can’t believe it.

    • yumtacos

      It HAS to remain free – the license on the code doesn’t allow it to be sold.

      The desktop app has been free forever, too.

      • seyss

        they can always change the license

      • Zhivotnoe

        It’s not just the DVD rental change. Read more about “license changing” before write unintelligent things.

  • Joseph

    I feel pissed off enough not to use it because they held the app as a host rage in that last tweet. Seriously.

    • felixtaf

      Hope its not in BETA (Like for android) and if it plays all the files seamlessly, you wont be pissed… ;-)

      • Joseph

        *hostage. Gotta love auto correct.

  • Dominik Odobašić

    Again the limitations, limitations, limitations and limitations.

  • Pranav Shankar

    FINALLY! Bye bye every other media player!

  • Adil Hussain

    AVPlayer used to be the best, but since the 2.0 update it just looks ugly and thats the only bad thing about it.

    • Jack Wong

      I am using Aceplayer to access my nas through wifi.

    • Zhivotnoe

      AVPlayer ugly from birth, imho.
      But now it works as same as it looks.
      Last time it was unable ftp/www transfer.
      But more over – it was unable to play audio track at all. It just play 20 seconds of video and then shut off the audio.
      I switched to Infuse player. It’s not as functional as AVPlayer, but it looks awesome and just works.

  • Dan

    RushPlayer+ on Cydia is the best Player on iOS. Plays EVERYTHING from ANYWHERE on your device also has GPU Hardware Acceleration. A feature no player on the app store will have. Has streaming, subtitles, folder pw, app pw, file backups. Basically everything you could want.

    • nevertrending

      Actually… “HD Player Pro” from Appstore can beat it with 10bit 1080 MKVs and softsubs. I might not be the biggest fan on the UI but it plays everything perfectly.

      RushPlayer+ from Cydia still stutters on those for some strange reason. The dev behind it is a real nice guy though.

      • Kenrick Fernandes

        i couldn’t find this on the app store

  • Marnix Robyns

    i remeber when i had it, it was awesome now i think it’s even better still it’s a shame of not being able to use the boost, i hope nitrous will help

    • iThinkergoiMac

      Nitrous is for Java, it will have no effect here.

      • John Sklikas

        *JavaScript, iOS doesn’t support Java, Java and JavaScript are 2 completely different things…

      • iThinkergoiMac

        Yup, you’re right. Didn’t write that correctly.

      • Marnix Robyns

        so it won’t change anything ? it’s a pity :s

  • felixtaf

    My favourite media player since 2008 in PC… Best media player ever…

  • נריה בן-דוד

    Its available on New Zeland׳s AppStore

  • ✪ aidan harris ✪

    “Bi-licensed under both the Mozilla Public License Version 2 as well as
    the GNU General Public License Version 2 or later, VLC is 100 percent
    open-source.”

    Will it be possible to view the source code then since if it ever gets removed from the AppStore and the source code is available, developers will be able to compile it and it would also be possible to put it in Cydia…

    • Kristen Vacketta

      You can actually already load it onto jailbroken devices, I’ve had VLC on my jailbroken iPad for like a year. :)

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Me too but I do not think the version in Cydia has been or is being maintained…

  • Gerardo Castro

    Can it play .flv files?

  • smtp25

    I use and fully recommend OPlayer, its a paid download (and latest version doesn’t have AC3 but old does) very slick

  • Gerry

    Nplayer :)

  • Clement Yeo

    AVI , RMVB & MKV?

  • Ameer

    nPlayer is the best player hands down .. Supports all formats up to 1080p support streaming from online ftp smb upnp ..etc servers , folder locks , endless options , softcoded subtitles

    • Drew

      Does it support rar streaming?

  • http://blog.harhigh.com Ranger187

    Wewt! Installed it from the link and synch’d my device. Thanks!

  • batongxue

    Nothing beats Infuse in terms of elegance.

  • Shui Ling Mow

    Is the VLC for iOS application compatible with the Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter? It would be great if the app sends output to a HDTV.

  • Ricky

    Following them now

  • Tushar Bose

    NPLAYER is by far the best in app store
    supports h/w acceleration in almost every format
    has similar features of mxplayer in android

  • LH2613

    Yay….Now I can download um… Do the ios version has mp3 support?

  • Guest

    Seems gone in the US and German store…

  • deepdvd

    Just downloaded it from the US Store. It wasn’t working a little while ago.

  • Matthew Black

    I put an avi file into it as soon as I got it and the sound on it didn’t work. Great start.

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