Great news for all iPad owners: the excellent VLC Media Player is now available for download in the App Store. This special iPad port has been developed by Applidium, based on the popular open-source media player for desktop computers.
VLC Media Player for iPad is meant to have native support for major video formats (like MKV and AVI), which can’t be played on iPad’s default video player without being previously converted. It also displays a thumbnail for each video for easier browsing, and is lighter on resources than other video players.
On the downside, comments from the first users who have tried it out report lots of problems with this early version of VLC for iPad – especially when you use it with iOS 4.2 (available as a developer's beta, so those users shouldn't really complain!). The most frequent complaints refer to the app being unable to play MKV files, playing sound but not image or even crashing unexpectedly from time to time.
It's somewhat surprising to read such negative feedback about VLC, when its original desktop version is probably the most stable and efficient media player around. In any case, I still think that having VLC Media Player available for iPad is excellent news. Let's just hope they fix those bugs in future releases, so that we can enjoy our favorite movies anytime, anywhere – and without any boring conversions required!