How-To Geek

Watch Almost Any Video File Type with VLC for iPod and iPhone

VLC is a geek’s favorite media player, and now it’s available for the iPod Touch and iPhone. Here we take a look at how to use it and what you can expect with the new app.

VLC has been available for the iPad for several weeks now, and has finally come to the iPod Touch & iPhone.

Download VLC for iPhone & iPod Touch

Download the VLC Media Player like you would any app either from the iTunes App Store or directly on your device.


Using VLC for iPhone & iPod Touch

When you first launch it, you’ll be prompted with a message explaining how to get video in your VLC library.


Plug in your iPod Touch or iPhone, launch iTunes, and click on the device. Select Apps and scroll down to File Sharing. Click on VLC and add videos under VLC Documents.


Or you can do a simple drag and drop of the files as well.


After you add video files they are synced to your device right away without having to use the Sync feature in iTunes.


Just tap on the video you wan to watch. One thing we noticed is the playback controls don’t disappear after a few seconds as they normally do while watching a video.


Just tap anywhere on the video screen and they will be hidden. Then tap it again to bring them back.



Here is an example of a video we downloaded from YouTube. Like the desktop app, VLC for the iPhone & iPod Touch will play virtually any file you throw at it.


It also allows you to delete video files directly from the device without the need to connect it to iTunes first. Just tap Edit in the upper right corner and tap the delete button.


The VLC app is free and allows you to watch file formats not supported natively. With VLC for an iOS device, it makes it easier to watch various video formats without having to convert them first.

VLC Media Player iTunes Preview

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 10/28/10

Comments (19)

  1. SpudGie

    YES!!!! Just what I was waiting on. VLC rocks on the desktop and now on the Ipod Touch!! You go VLC!! :)

  2. Jose Carlos Torres

    does it support FLV?

  3. chess


  4. donzymeth


  5. Mysticgeek

    @Jose Carlos Torres: Yep. It supports FLV.

  6. Grant Johnson

    So, how long until they ban it?

  7. John

    Not compatible with iPhone 3G.

  8. Paul

    I love the idea, but I ran into a problem with my iPhone 4. Brought over an mpeg4 that plays as it should on both a laptop and a desktop (xp & vista respectively). However, on my iPhone it plays the video and background soundtrack, but no audio. It’s just one file on each of my computers, so I’m not sure what I missed. I even moved it from one to the other via Dropbox, so I know it’s just the one file. Still, I do love the idea, and I’ll keep trying to figure this out as it could be very helpful.

  9. Paul

    Brought the same video over in DVD format (VOB file), and it worked like a charm. Go figure. I’ll keep experimenting. Thanks for bringing this player to our attention!

  10. Toxigen

    Great idea, but HOW do I download the program?
    Had this geek email 3 times this week and NONE of them have an active link to vlc!

  11. smartiesko

    yeah! VLC rocks!!

    ..I’m just wondering if it also supports subtitle files (srt,etc.) ;)

  12. fmaruchi

    Toxigen, go to iTunes Store and search for VLC Media Player. It should also be in the Top Free Apps.
    You can also download it direct with your iOS Device, same thing: open the App Store and search for VLC Media Player or in the Top Free list.
    Have fun!

  13. TheBowman

    Does anyone know if it will output to the TV using the AV cable?

  14. Sasha

    Despite this being a leap forwards for iPhone and iTouches, this app is still very incomplete, lacking many functions that the iPod app has. It has a bunch of errors, and it does something funky with the videos – they look waaaay more compressed than they really are.

  15. gm95

    does it support MKV files?

  16. vbmike

    I just found out last night that it will not play through an iPod video cable. I never thought that would be something that would be restricted by the app. Any ways around this?

  17. Hatryst

    ** UPDATE **
    Due to a licensing issue, the app has been pulled off from the app store. It is now available on Cydia. Google for details…

  18. Shay

    It doesnt work with my Video out cable. So close to perfection.

  19. Grindel

    dear how to geek. you guys make me sick. How is it that people who claim to be geek only regurgitate the official line. I have an iPod touch 4g 32GB for which I paid good hard earned US$ for. The first thing I did to it before I did anything else to it was to Jailbreak it. I just paid near $400 for some hardware the last thing I want is some cooperation dictating to me how I can utilize that which I own. I downloaded VLC from installious. I do this for multiple reasons the first is that it is no longer available on AppStore because Apple decided that it was unfair competition for iTunes video. namely because I can DL content from the internet and play it without Apples permission. I said all of that to say this. Because I used an alternative means to acquire the App (VLC) iTunes doesn’t support adding video to the VLC library. And you people who call your selves “geeks” can only post information that is officially approved by the Cooperate slavers who hold your balls and allow you to have a website. Pfft I pissed more geek out this morning than you have had all your life.

    open iPod using iPhoneBrowser look in “\var\mobile\Applications\” Here you will find a list of directories that are named using long strings of Hex digits open each one untill you find a sub-directory called “” you should also see a directory called “Documents” here is the working directory for the VLC App. Any video format files that VLC can read should be placed here. You don’t need iTunes to load your data screw the corporatocracy.

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