Open source VLC media player coming to iPad

The people behind VLC, quite probably the most useful media player available right now, have submitted an iPod version to the Apple software police.

VLC - which is rightfully famous for having a go at playing just about any kind of audio or video file you care to throw at it - should appear some time next week, if it makes it through the often unfathomable approval process implemented by Apple.

The Open Source Video Lan Client has been tweaked to run on the iPod by software developer Applidium.

The outfit says the download will be free, and that patches will be passed back into the main VLC tree allowing others to create iPad software based on VLC's code.

Whether Apple will approve a piece of software that has always made its own Quicktime offerings look a bit old hat remains to be seen.

Grown-up versions of VLC - which come in Mac, Windows, and Linux flavours as well as for a number of less prevalent operating systems - will play back audio and video in a bewildering array of esoteric formats, even if the file in question is damaged. Even better, just about every codec known to man is built in.