VLC for iPad and iPhone is available, but how to install it? (it is not an App Store app)


  • Is there a way to get into the directory as on a flash drive and just put the app file in there?
    – user6072
    Commented Apr 27, 2011 at 17:50

1 Answer 1


VLC was available on the iTunes App Store for some time, and the process for installing it was like any other.

However, a developer, who has contributed to VLC development in the past (IIRC) got in contact with Apple and asked VLC to be removed due to License Incompatibility.

VLC is licensed GPLv2, which states among many other things, that the source must be available, and I believe there are other provisions surrounding VLC with regard to Apple's per-device DRM.

Thus, Apple de-listed VLC from the App Store, and you cannot buy it anymore. Note that those who purchased it before will likely have it forever. (I still do, I still use it!)

There are two ways to install it/run it today:

(1) If you have a paid Apple Developer account, you may take the source, import it into XCode, codesign it, build/deploy it onto your own device. (Or for that matter, get someone with a Developer Account to do it for you.)

(2) Since VLC ships a raw .app file, it can be installed if your iPhone/iPad/iPod is jailbroken. I believe raw .app files can be installed via Installous? (Anyone is free to correct me on this, as I don't use Jailbroken devices anymore.)

Update: VLC for iOS was subsequently relicensed and re-released on the App Store. It can be downloaded by visiting this link.

  • that's one reason why GPL isn't truly free, unlike MIT.
    – cregox
    Commented Apr 3, 2011 at 16:25
  • 1
    MIT isn't free. WTFPL is free :). (warning, slightly NSFW. naughty words) Commented Apr 4, 2011 at 7:06
  • Jason, I never stumbled upon that one before, but it does sound PERFECT. I'll seriously use only WTFPL now.
    – cregox
    Commented Apr 4, 2011 at 10:30
  • 1
    GPL tries to keep your rights. "The GNU Public License was invented as a way to make sure that all users has the right to redistribute and modify the software they have. The problem introduced with the App Store is that only Apple can distribute an application that works. Even if you get the source code to modify the application, Apple charges $100 per year just to run the modified piece of software on your own device. This clearly violates the spirit of the GPL." michelf.com/weblog/2011/gpl-ios-app-store
    – gagarine
    Commented Apr 28, 2012 at 22:35
  • @gagarine it violates the spirit of GPL but not of "free". Apple can't do what it wants with GPL software and thus we can't see GPL stuff on app store. "Free" can mean many things but, to me, that shows how unpractical it is. The problem with proprietary software isn't about costs or making money. It's about sharing information and transparency for a bigger and faster society growth. In fact even proprietary code can do that, some time we need to close to ensure its funds and/or stability. As long as you still share the code when needed, it doesn't matter if it's closed or open.
    – cregox
    Commented May 2, 2012 at 13:52

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