VLC for iOS review: If you have content, it's the best for video playback

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.1
  • Installation and Setup: 9.0
  • Features and Support: 6.0
  • Interface: 10.0
  • Performance: 9.0
Review Date:

The Good VLC for iOS is a video player with great on-screen controls, numerous ways to upload media, and support for both Dropbox and Google Drive.

The Bad Building a video library from scratch will take a long time.

The Bottom Line As long as you have the videos to watch, VLC's gesture controls and smooth performance make it an excellent app for video playback.

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VLC for iOS brings the popular open-source media player to your iOS device, letting you watch videos from almost any format directly, and connect with streaming and cloud services to access your video library. This latest update gives the app a facelift to better fit with the iOS 7 aesthetic, and also adds several features for easier video watching.

Don't be alarmed, but when you first launch VLC for iOS, there is nothing to watch or listen to, nor is there any way to explore video content. VLC is a player, not a browser, so you'll need to connect it to services where you already have videos, a streaming server, a UPnP media server, or your personal video library on your computer. I say this all to point out VLC for iOS is not a streaming video service like Youtube or Vimeo; you will have to go out and get the videos on your own if you want to watch them in the app.

Getting your content
Fortunately, if you already have videos available, connecting to services is easy. VLC for iOS lets you connect with Dropbox or Google Drive, or you can connect with your iTunes video library or another network stream. All are accessible by hitting the menu button in the top left (where you'll find all the app features and settings) and you simply need to sign in to a service to access your library.

The app also has a nifty browser-based Wi-Fi upload process to add content to VLC for iOS. In the slide-out menu, you'll find a Wi-Fi upload button that is off by default. When you flip it to the on position, you're given a Web address you can enter into your desktop Web browser. From there, a window opens to let you drag-and-drop video content which will be automatically uploaded to your iOS device. It's a really simple process for adding videos.

Watching movies and videos
Part of what sets VLC apart from other video players is the things you can do once you're actively watching a video. You get all the usual controls, like play and pause, and a slider to advance the movie on its timeline. But you can also control video speed, use gesture-based controls to adjust video playback, and you can apply filters to make the video look better.

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Where to Buy


Part Number: id650377962


Quick Specifications See All

  • Category Video and screencasting
  • Compatibility iOS