How to Get the Most out of VLC for iOS

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VLC for iOS, without a doubt, is one of the best media player apps on the App Store. The features making this app stand out include gesture controls, playback support for media formats that are unplayable in the default iOS media player; the ability to transfer media files independently of iTunes; and file streaming/downloading.

If you’re new to VLC for iOS and have no idea what superpowers this app offers, then don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. In this article, I’ll show you all the best features and how to make the most out of this amazing media player app.

Add files from your computer to VLC on iPhone

VLC for iOS supports many new video formats such as AVI, MPG, MKV, etc. And it also lets you transfer these video files easily without the need for iTunes. The app can create a small web server so you can use to send files directly to the app’s local storage through a web browser.

The only requirement is both of your devices must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Here’s how you can make use of it.

Step 1: Launch the VLC for iOS app and tap the icon in the top left-hand corner.

Step 2: Here you will find an option named “Sharing via WiFi”, just tap on this option to turn it on and take note of two web addresses showing up beneath it. One is an IP address and one is a friendly web URL configured by the app.

VLC Sharing WiFi Address

Step 3: On your computer, open your web browser, then type in one of the web addresses the app gave you in the step above. Wait for it to load the web interface.

VLC WiFi File Sharing computer

Step 4: Find your media files, drag and drop them onto the Window; they will then be transferred to the VLC app automatically. You can alternatively click the “+” button at the top right corner then locate your files in the prompted-to-select window.

If you cannot connect to a Wi-Fi network at times, you can still take advantage of iTunes to put videos on your iOS device. The process is pretty straightforward and you don’t have to convert your video files to supported formats as we’ll sync files to the app’s documents.

First hook your iOS device up to your computer, launch iTunes and choose your device from the sidebar. Next, click “Apps” and scroll down to the “File Sharing” section and choose the VLC for iOS app from the list. Now you add your media files by dragging and dropping them onto the VLC Documents area, or simply clicking the “Add…” button to locate the files.

VLC iTunes

As soon as you click “Sync”, iTunes will start copying your files over to the VLC app’s local storage and you’ll be able to watch them from only within the app.

Stream and download media files using VLC

Although this is one of most notable features, very few VLC users know that they can stream and download videos using the VLC for iOS app. You only need to find out the URL of the video you wish to stream and copy it.

VLC iOS Network Stream

From the VLC menu, select Network Stream, then paste the video URL into the URL bar and click “Open Network Stream”. The app will immediately start streaming the video and play it.

Downloading works similarly, just grab your video URL, select the “Downloads” option from app menu, throw it into the URL bar and finally tap Download. It will start downloading the file and also show you the downloading status such as speed rate, the percentage of the file size that have been downloaded, and time remaining.

Play videos from Cloud Storage

If you have movies and videos stored on Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, or Box, then you’ll love this feature. In fact, this is a unique feature developed specifically for iOS users.

VLC Play Cloud Storage

From the app menu, select the “Cloud Storage” option. You’ll see the list of the supported cloud services include the aforementioned ones. Just select your service of choice and log in.

Once you’ve logged your account in, you can browse and play video stored in the cloud like play a locally-stored video. Also, notice the download button beside each video file, these buttons will allow you to save your files locally so that you can watch them without the need for Internet.