VLC Media Player Could Make A Return To The iOS App Store

VLC Media Player Could Make A Return To The iOS App Store

VLC has the power to do what QuickTime can’t.

Back in October of 2010, iOS developer Applidium brought VideoLAN’s legendary VLC media player to the App Store. Unfortunately, the universal app had a short shelf life, as it was pulled at the request of VideoLAN a few months later. The issue revolved around VLC’s General Public License (GPL) licensing agreement. Because VLC is open source software, it was technically illegal for Applidium to sell a port in Apple’s DRM-restricted App Store.

Fast forward more than a year later, and a change in VideoLAN’s licensing means that VLC can be legally brought back to the App Store in all of its glory.

The VideoLAN group has switched to the Lesser General Public License (LGPL), meaning developers are now free to distribute the software in a closed ecosystem like the iOS App Store. VideoLAN president Jeann-Baptiste Kempf told French publication PCINpact that the new license means we could see an app “similar to VLC” in the App Store now.

VLC has long been considered the swiss army knife of video players. The Mac app is great for playing all kinds of formats that are unsupported by standard players like QuickTime. There’s also the ability to live convert a video as you watch in the rare case that VLC doesn’t already support a random format. I downloaded VLC in the App Store before it was pulled, and I still use it every now and then to play files I would have to otherwise convert for Apple’s QuickTime-based Video app.

Here’s to hoping we see VLC back in the App Store soon!

  • Ecks51

    I still have, and use the VLC app on my iPad.

  • davester13

    Actually, no. Some people have claimed that having it available through the App Store was a violation of the GPL, but there was no actual lawsuit, and there is no direct legal precedent available relevant to it’s status.

  • technochick

    Actually, no. Some people have claimed that having it available through the App Store was a violation of the GPL, but there was no actual lawsuit, and there is no direct legal precedent available relevant to it’s status.

    You don’t need a lawsuit for something to be against a license. The agreement existed, it was presented to Apple and they pulled the app. No court needed for that. The developer balked cause they thought it could be free and it was in the clear, but cost wasn’t the only issue.

  • technochick

    I still have, and use the VLC app on my iPad.

    I had it for a while but lost my copy in a hard drive crash. I would welcome a return

  • Mookmill

    VLC is a great app but what about AV Player? It’s played everything on my iPhone that vlc plays on my mac. Great for finishing a TV series on the run!

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a senior writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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