So you've got an iPad and you like watching movies, but the thought of encoding all those movies into an iPad/Apple-friendly format fills you with dread. Fret not dear reader, today's app of the day lets you have your cake and eat it.

As long as your cake is a video, and you're a being who can live solely by watching TV shows and movies, that is...

VLC Media Player


Simple yet effective, VLC Media Player for the iPad lets you watch virtually any video, regardless of which format it's in.

You start by loading your iPad with the videos that you want to watch, via iTunes. It's a fairly simple process as, basically, all you're doing is uploading a series of video files to your iPad without having to preload them into an iTunes library. Just go to the Apps tag, and add them using the file management section. They're then transferred onto the iPad directly, with no new encoding process. You can quit iTunes without having to sync.

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Opening the app shows your video files on a row of shelves, much like with iBooks. There's little else to it, as you can now just sit back and select the file you want to watch.

Viewing videos is virtually the same experience as watching them in the native Apple Video app, although VLC won't resume from where you left off if you exit it. You get a timeline bar, showing the time left 'till the end of your movie or show, and the chance to pause, skip or stop the action when you want. You can also control the volume as well in app.

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In our test, we watched a stack of shows and movies and the app holds up fine, although it did crash when we had battery warnings or messages - which was frustrating.

Still, if you want to watch your video files and don't want to be tied to importing them into iTunes first, this is certainly the way to do it.

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