The Video LAN Organization has come one step closer to their motto, "VLC plays everything and runs everywhere". The first port of VLC media player for Apple TV has arrived on the App Store, promising to play almost any video stream or file in its native format. The announcement comes hot on the heels of a major update to the VLC for Mobile iOS app. Not only does VLC bring incredibly versatile video playback to Apple's latest app platform, the software adds several Apple TV specific features.
Now that the VideoLAN organization has resolved its licensing issues, development of VLC for iOS is in full swing. Arguably the most versatile free media player available, the VLC for Mobile iOS app received major updates this month. Notable changes include full iOS 9 support and a rewritten Apple Watch extension for watchOS 2.
After a short hiatus from the App Store, VLC media player will again be available for iOS installation. The app returns to Apple mobile devices with several enhancements and new features. The app was first pulled over licensing issues in early 2011, and did not resurface until mid-2013.
The same thing happened one year later, with VLC disappearing from the App Store yet again in mid-2014. Now version 2.4.1 of the video player promises to resolve the licensing issues, bringing with it iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus optimizations, in addition to AirPlay, passcode lock, and folder support.
One of the more versatile video applications to be released for iOS, VLC Media Player was launched in late 2010 by Applidium. Unfortunately for VLC fans the app was pulled due to wording the General Public License (GPL). Now according to a report by Cult of Mac the app could return to the App Store.
The open-source GPL didn't allow Applidium to distribute VLC Media Player in the App Store, since Apple controls content in the store with Digital Rights Management (DRM) controls. VideoLAN, the creators of VLC have since changed the licensing on their software over to the Lesser General Public License (LGPL), opening the door for developers like Applidium to distribute apps built on the software in venues like the App Store.
After only four months, VLC Media Player is no longer available on the App Store. This free app makes it possible to play a variety of media formats on iOS devices without first converting them to the normal iPhone video format. If you haven't already downloaded the app, you've missed the boat.
The problem stems from incompatibilities between Apple's App Store Digital Rights Management (DRM) policies and the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) that governs distribution of some open source software including VLC. In fact, many observers were surprised to see Applidium's port of VLC appear in the App Store in the first place.