The iPad's large touch screen is crying out to be used for watching movies, but the built in support for video formats is a little limited. This is something VLC Media Player aims to correct by offering support for huge range of formats including DivX and Xvid.

As there are so many different video formats available, when it comes to watching movies on a Mac or PC, all you need to do Is ensure that the relevant codec is installed. The installation of codecs is not possible in the iPad, so the emergence of VLC Media Player opens up a new world of files formats.

The media player includes support for subtitles - all you need to do is ensure that the name of the subtitles file matches that of the video file and the text will be automatically displayed. Playing videos is a simple matter of connecting the app to iTunes using file sharing and selecting the videos you'd like to work with.

Movies are then displayed in VLC Media Player in a way that closely resembles iBooks for easy browsing. The app represents a great way to watch a wide range of different vide formats on your portable Apple device without the need for time-consuming file conversion. While the app is currently iPad only, an iPhone version is currently in development.

What's new in v2.4.1?

- UI improvements
- Reliability improvements for UPnP and WiFi Sharing
- Updated decoders


Far and away the best media player available for the iPad, VLC Media Player is an essential installation.