VLC media player app pulled from Apple App Store

The play-everything media app for iPhone is no more

Disagreement over Apple App Store distribution leads to pulling of VLC application.

Playing video files on an iPod or iPhone can be a pain, requiring lengthy and cumbersome conversions using third party software just because iOS doesn't support your choice of video format. Then along came VideoLAN, creators of the hugely popular play-everything media player VLC, with their own app for iPhone. And now it's gone.

After a lawsuit filed by one of the VLC team's original developers Remi Denis-Courmont, the app which allowed iPhone and iPod users to watch videos in almost any format was pulled from the Apple App Store. The dispute was apparently over Apple's imposition of DRM (digital rights management) on all apps in the App Store, in direct conflict with VLC's open source philosophy.

But while on the one hand we're happy to see open source advocates standing up to Apple, the upshot of the decision is that iPhone and iPod users who depended on the app to watch content are now stuck once again with Apple's less-than-extensive list of compatible formats. Users who downloaded the app while it was still available report that, for now at least, it continues to function, but for everyone else, watching videos on their iDevice is now business as usual.