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Alt media player VLC cut from Apple App Store

Popular media player VLC has been pulled from Apple's App Store at the request of one of the program's original developers--in a move that's caused some hard feelings in the world of open-source software.

The situation involves a conflict between the General Public License, which governs VLC and many other open-source programs, and App Store policies.

"On January 7th, Apple removed VLC media player from its application store for iDevices," Remi Denis-Courmont, one of the developers of the desktop version of VLC, wrote in a blog post picked up by the Web site of the … Read more

Play nearly any video file

As you probably know, the iPhone and iPod Touch make terrific video players--but they're limited in terms of the video formats they support. If you've got, say, Divx or MKV files you want to watch, you're out of luck unless you run them through a converter first--a time-consuming hassle, to say the least. If you're lucky enough to own an iPad, the VLC Media Player app enables you to work around this limitation by playing virtually all video formats, no conversion required. Even better news: it's now available for iPhone and iPod Touch as well. (… Read more

Log-in session quits when running video in OS X 10.6.5

A few people on the Apple Discussion boards have described an issue that seems to have cropped up in OS X 10.6.5, where the system may force-quit the log-in session when attempting to play video.

This is not a widespread problem, but has affected a few people and seems to happen when they use certain media players that support hardware-accelerated video playback. When the crash occurs, the system may flash a blue or black screen and then present the log-in window, quitting all user applications and unsaved data. Not all video players spur this behavior, and the problem … Read more

VLC for iPhone may get pulled from App Store--by the developer

News of the weird: Remi Denis-Courmont, one of the developers of the VLC Media Player app, has apparently sent Apple a "formal notification of copyright infringement" and asked that the app be removed from the App Store.

Yes, we have apparently crossed over into Bizarro World.

In the old days, it was Apple that did the app yanking, usually for obscure or arbitrary reasons. In recent months, however, the company has lifted--or at least loosened--many of its previous restrictions. Prior to that, it's unlikely the VLC Media Player would have been allowed in the first place.

As … Read more

VLC for iPhone plays nearly any video file

As you probably know, the iPhone and iPod Touch make terrific video players--but they're limited in terms of the video formats they support. If you've got, say, Divx or MKV files you want to watch, you're out of luck unless you run them through a converter first--a time-consuming hassle, to say the least.

Last month, the VLC Media Player app for iPad enabled users to work around this limitation by playing virtually all video formats, no conversion required.

I'm happy to report that VLC just went universal, meaning it's now available for iPhone and iPod TouchRead more

VLC Media Player comes to iPad at last

If you were excited last month by the arrival of CineXPlayer, which lets you view Xvid-formatted videos on your iPad, you'll love this: uber-popular open-source video player VLC is now available for iPad as well, meaning you can now watch just about any video in any format.

Indeed, as the developer's fractured-English description notes, "It comes with support for nearly all codec there is." And based on the dozen or so sample videos I threw at it--Divx, MKV, Xvid, etc.--that seems to be the case.

As with CineXPlayer, you copy videos to VLC by way … Read more

Whistle while you walk

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VLC goes modern in latest update

Perhaps the best-known alternative media player for Windows and Mac, VLC's popularity has been driven by its open-source and cross-platform nature. The latest update, for Windows, Mac, and Linux, goes to great lengths to keep the player current.

VLC 1.1 adds in hardware acceleration on Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Linux computers; supports encoding and decoding the HTML5 video and audio codec WebM; better MKV HD support and 40 percent faster HD decoding; introduces lua-based extensions; and has overall better performance because of the removal of "tens of thousands of lines" of code.

There's also … Read more