Looking to play video files beyond those supported natively by iOS? Don't want to spend the hassle and time sink of transcoding a file into the right format? You're in luck: the latest version of the VLC Media Player app brings broader media support to your iPhone and iPod touch.
VLC debuted on the iPad last month, but version 1.1.0 now also runs on the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and recent iPod touches. In addition to the usual playback features, it also expands compatibility for file types and supposedly sports improved decoding optimizations for smoother performance. In addition, there's better file management, allowing you to delete videos from the app without having to resort to doing so via iTunes on your Mac or PC.
In my brief tests, VLC on my iPhone 4 seemed more promising than the initial iPad version, which often failed to display video or featured poor playback performance. The iPhone app handled all of the few video files that I threw at it, though I did notice a couple of playback skips here and there.
VLC Media Player is a universal app, so it runs on all iOS devices with version 3.2 or later, and it's a free download.