VLC video player expected to return to iOS App Store as soon as next week

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2015
Popular video player VLC has been absent from the iOS App Store since it was pulled without explanation in September, but the developer of the app has indicated it could become available for download once again as early as next week.

VLC Update


Felix Paul Kuehne, lead developer of VLC for both iOS and OS X, posted in his app's official forums last week, revealing that VLC for iOS will return to the App Store. The developer said it is likely to become available soon after the new year begins, due to Apple's annual iTunes Connect holiday shutdown.

Assuming the new version of VLC will pass Apple's approval process, that puts it on track to launch as soon as next week. The apparent impending re-release of VLC for iOS was spotlighted by iPhone Hacks.

Earlier this month, Kuehne revealed that a semi-public beta of VLC for iOS would be launching shortly before being submitted to Apple for review. The developer admitted that Apple's review process was proving "more difficult than expected."

Kuehne didn't indicate exactly why he was confident about the release window for VLC, but his comments do suggest that he believes the app will be approved and made available to download.

VLC has had something of a tumultuous past on iOS, having been pulled from the App Store only to reappear multiple times. Earlier this year, the media player gained support for Google Drive downloads and Dropbox streaming, along with a redesigned user interface.

Also still unknown is why the VLC application disappeared from the App Store in the first place. VLC for iOS was removed in September, and supporters have suggested the removal may have been due to licensing issues.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    I use VLC on my MBP, but what do iOS users use VLC for on their phones. It disappeared so long long ago I forget what it could actually do.
  • Reply 2 of 23
    raptoroo7 wrote: »
    I use VLC on my MBP, but what do iOS users use VLC for on their phones. It disappeared so long long ago I forget what it could actually do.

    Same playback options as on you Mac.
  • Reply 3 of 23

    I downloaded it back when it was first launched, just to grab it because I knew it would be pulled. It’s still on my iPad (iOS 5).

     

    Never used it, though. HandBrake makes VLC redundant.

  • Reply 4 of 23
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Will it support h.265? That's the only reason I would grab it at this point
  • Reply 5 of 23
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    charlituna wrote: »
    Will it support h.265? That's the only reason I would grab it at this point

    That's the one thing I don't know. I know VLC supports x265 and libde265, and that there are two apps in the App Store now that support libde265, but I've seen nothing to say that VLC for iOS will support libde265. I would doubt that it would be able to use anything but the CPU for decoding, which may not be the case with the iPhone 6 series as that has now has FaceTime encoding decoding for those devices in an end-to-end arrangement.
  • Reply 6 of 23
    VLC on my ipad is the only app that will play DTS audio.
  • Reply 7 of 23

    Hey, cool, I didn't know they'd released the ipa. 

     

    I'm jailbroken (wouldn't have an iPhone any other way) so I just installed it, no need for Apple to approve anything.

     

    http://get.videolan.org/vlc-iOS/2.3.0/vlc-iOS-2.3.0.ipa

  • Reply 8 of 23
    pfisherpfisher Posts: 758member

    JESUS, Apple, after so many decades, why is the "CLOSED" Quicktime still in use? It's absolute BS.

     

    I am sure there are MILLIONS of people who get their first Mac (or phone) and find out video does not work for Apple products.

     

    Well, maybe Apple wants some consistency. But after 35 years, something smells.

  • Reply 9 of 23
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,547moderator
    pfisher wrote: »
    JESUS, Apple, after so many decades, why is the "CLOSED" Quicktime still in use? It's absolute BS.

    I am sure there are MILLIONS of people who get their first Mac (or phone) and find out video does not work for Apple products.

    Well, maybe Apple wants some consistency. But after 35 years, something smells.

    Quicktime was never closed in the sense of there being plugins to play multiple formats. Perian inside Quicktime 7 plays almost everything VLC can and some things it can't. Apple switched Quicktime out for AV Foundation in Mavericks and iOS. This allows plugins to an extent too though.

    The codecs that VLC supports are legacy or rarely used formats. Nothing tops H.264/265 for quality at a given bitrate. For people who own content legally, they won't have media in other formats so it's not Apple's concern to support them. VLC and other 3rd party solutions can cover this.
  • Reply 10 of 23
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post





    Quicktime was never closed in the sense of there being plugins to play multiple formats. Perian inside Quicktime 7 plays almost everything VLC can and some things it can't. Apple switched Quicktime out for AV Foundation in Mavericks and iOS. This allows plugins to an extent too though.



    The codecs that VLC supports are legacy or rarely used formats. Nothing tops H.264/265 for quality at a given bitrate. For people who own content legally, they won't have media in other formats so it's not Apple's concern to support them. VLC and other 3rd party solutions can cover this.



    Don't start accusing everybody with content in other formats of piracy.  You forget, many people who use Macs are content producers, and until recently QuickTime was absolutely brilliant at handling just about any format you could throw at it.  AV Foundation is much less useful right now, and may never be as good.  And there are sometimes good reasons for not wanting to use H.264.

  • Reply 11 of 23
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pfisher View Post

     

    JESUS, Apple, after so many decades, why is the "CLOSED" Quicktime still in use? It's absolute BS.

     

    I am sure there are MILLIONS of people who get their first Mac (or phone) and find out video does not work for Apple products.

     

    Well, maybe Apple wants some consistency. But after 35 years, something smells.




    Actually, QuickTime is only about 23 years old.  I had to look up the release date, since I played with the betas quite a bit, I didn't remember exactly when they went GM.

  • Reply 12 of 23
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by pfisher View Post

    JESUS, Apple, after so many decades, why is the "CLOSED" Quicktime still in use? It's absolute BS.

     

    I am sure there are MILLIONS of people who get their first Mac (or phone) and find out video does not work for Apple products.

     

    Well, maybe Apple wants some consistency. But after 35 years, something smells.


     

    Are you joking or what? I can’t tell. There are people in this world stupid enough to believe these words, but most of us here have enough sense not to.

  • Reply 13 of 23
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    darkvader wrote: »
    And there are sometimes good reasons for not wanting to use H.264.

    For example...?
  • Reply 14 of 23
    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post

    For example...?

     

    If you’re stupid or being paid not to. Other than that…

  • Reply 15 of 23
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    If you’re stupid or being paid not to. Other than that…

    I can't imagine who would not want to use H.264 or H.265 today for video.

    The only area where the default support is behind is the MPEG-4 container v. MKV where Apple builds off the former to get features already present in the latter for their iTS content.
  • Reply 16 of 23
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,547moderator
    darkvader wrote: »
    Don't start accusing everybody with content in other formats of piracy.

    The statement will apply in most cases. Apple lists exceptions:

    http://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT202884

    " Files encoded using modern and standards-based codecs such as H.263, H.264, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, JPEG, and Apple ProRes open in QuickTime Player without being converted. Several additional professional camera formats play without conversion if Final Cut Pro, Motion, or Compressor are installed on your Mac.

    Media files that need to be converted when opened in QuickTime Player also appear with a generic QuickTime icon in Finder and Quick Look. Some media file formats, notably .MOV and .AVI, can contain video compressed with a variety of codecs, some of which may need to be converted before playback.

    QuickTime Player determines which codec to use during the conversion process based on the type of media file being opened. Most older media files, and those that rely on third-party QuickTime codec components, are converted into movies that use H.264. Legacy video workflow formats, such as those encoded with the Animation codec, are converted with Apple ProRes.

    Optimized encoding settings are used during the conversion process to minimize generation loss. As a result, size of the converted QuickTime movie may be larger than the original media file.

    iMac, Mac mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models introduced in 2011 and later can use hardware accelerated H.264 encoding during the conversion process.

    QuickTime Player 7 plays many older media files without conversion, but it's recommended that you convert important older files to newer formats whenever possible."

    The last line is funny - 'we know Quicktime 7 works better but we'd rather you put your media through a lengthy generation-losing encoding process for no reason when we could just let you playback the movies by supporting the legacy codecs for playback as they clearly are already supported for conversion'.

    I don't like Quicktime X at all. They added some editing capability and for basic edits can let you export without encoding but at random, it just blanks that option out and forces a re-encode. Limited playback support, forced conversions, UI overlapping the video, limited editing features, Quicktime 7 was way better. It hasn't however been a problem for decades, only since they changed it.
    darkvader wrote: »
    You forget, many people who use Macs are content producers, and until recently QuickTime was absolutely brilliant at handling just about any format you could throw at it. AV Foundation is much less useful right now, and may never be as good.

    Quicktime 7 still works. When Quicktime 7 stops working then it's a problem. There's still no point in Apple using the VLC code though. The VLC application only plays one movie at a time too.
    darkvader wrote: »
    And there are sometimes good reasons for not wanting to use H.264.

    ProRes for edit, H.264 for authoring. There's no point in authoring from Quicktime to anything other than H.264. Windows users prefer WMV to embed in their Powerpoints but screw them.
  • Reply 17 of 23
    misamisa Posts: 827member
    Marvin wrote: »
    The statement will apply in most cases. Apple lists exceptions:

    http://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT202884

    ...

    Quicktime 7 still works. When Quicktime 7 stops working then it's a problem. There's still no point in Apple using the VLC code though. The VLC application only plays one movie at a time too.
    ProRes for edit, H.264 for authoring. There's no point in authoring from Quicktime to anything other than H.264. Windows users prefer WMV to embed in their Powerpoints but screw them.
    Don't confuse containers for codecs.

    VLC can play just about everything, regardless of codec and container, even obscure and invalid combinations (like MP3 as an audio codec with h263 video codec inside a MP4 container) you can even use VLC to play video streams from multicast IPTV sources.

    QuickTime 's container format IS the MP4 container, but not all the features of it. WMV is just a container format, not a codec. MKV is a derivative of the AVI container, and favoured by Google for its vp9 codec, but was popularized by pirates ripping video to break past 32bit pointers imposed by AVI.

    VLC contains some hardware acceleration features depending on the platform it is on. If VLC has been pulled for any reason in the past, it's likey to due code-rot in the libraries it links in.
  • Reply 18 of 23
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,547moderator
    misa wrote: »
    VLC can play just about everything, regardless of codec and container, even obscure and invalid combinations (like MP3 as an audio codec with h263 video codec inside a MP4 container)

    Quicktime 7 with the Perian and Flip4Mac plugins does too and it can edit them.
    misa wrote: »
    WMV is just a container format, not a codec.

    It's both but it's not common for wmv containers to have media in non-Microsoft formats.
    misa wrote: »
    VLC contains some hardware acceleration features depending on the platform it is on. If VLC has been pulled for any reason in the past, it's likey to due code-rot in the libraries it links in.

    http://www.tuaw.com/2011/01/08/vlc-app-removed-from-app-store/

    "VideoLAN itself did not pursue removal of the VLC app from the App Store. As berserk as it sounds, it really has been all about one guy's beef with the App Store's rules. One guy with a vested interest in seeing Apple lose to his employer, Nokia."
  • Reply 19 of 23
    pfisherpfisher Posts: 758member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post





    Quicktime 7 with the Perian and Flip4Mac plugins does too and it can edit them.

    It's both but it's not common for wmv containers to have media in non-Microsoft formats.

    http://www.tuaw.com/2011/01/08/vlc-app-removed-from-app-store/



    "VideoLAN itself did not pursue removal of the VLC app from the App Store. As berserk as it sounds, it really has been all about one guy's beef with the App Store's rules. One guy with a vested interest in seeing Apple lose to his employer, Nokia."



    Out of the box, Quicktime player should support more than the narrow amount of formats. Well, maybe Apple has always tried to set standards and not allow 900 formats like you see in the messy Windows world.

     

    With that said, there should be a player for OS X that ships with the computer that is more forgiving of other formats.

     

    However, Quicktime has been pretty narrow ever since it shipped decades ago.

  • Reply 20 of 23
    Originally Posted by pfisher View Post

    Out of the box, Quicktime player should support more than the narrow amount of formats.



    Why perpetuate incompatibility?

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