As Apple took a new stance
on its App Store submission rules earlier this month it opened the door for developers to branch out into areas that were previously more tightly controlled. One such area where this has paid off is the new VLC Media Player app
, based on the popular freeware program from VideoLAN.
Supporting many codecs from different platforms, VLC allows iPad users to skirt previous restrictions and play movies and video files without either the cost of purchasing them off the iTunes store or the hassle of a lengthy conversion process. Considering the iPad's potential as an entertainment platform, this is a great step towards unlocking more varied content and flexibility.
VLC is available for free from the iTunes store and is currently limited to the iPad, although Applidium
indicates (in French) that an iPhone/iPod version is in the works. While the App Store isn't known for its open-source apps, this version will follow in its bigger brother's footsteps with the source code incoming soon.