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VLC video player hits iPhone and iPad

Apple iPhone and iPad owners can now have a version of our favourite 'have-a-go' video player, VLC.

Apple's iTunes software is notorious for being overly picky about which file formats it will play, and many common file types have to be transcoded using a third-party application like Handbrake. Which is all a bit of a bind if you're in a rush and just want to throw a couple of quick movies at your portable device.

You'll still have to fire up iTunes to get your videos onto the device, but there's a simple drag 'n' drop interface in File Sharing under the Apps tab.

We've tried chucking a whole host of previously unplayable files at VLC, including MKV, AVI and WMV clips - all of which played back perfectly (although getting clips to play full-screen is a bit of a stretch, if you'll pardon the pun). Throwing an untouched VOB file directly from a commercial DVD into the mix made the software throw a bit of a wobbly, but you can't have everything.

The full version of VLC is a neat little package that will probably have a go at playing a slice of buttered toast if you crammed it in your disk drive. Its mobile sibling isn't quite as versatile, but it's nicely put together, is better at 'having a go' than any other iThing-friendly media player we've seen thus far... and it's free.

There really is no excuse for not having this. Unless you have a 3G iPhone, in which case it probably won't work judging by some of the comments on the App Store.