I've just met with Jean-Baptiste and Felix from the VLC media player project about integrating their player as a library that we can drop into the iOS Wikipedia app to get Ogg and WebM audio/video playback working.

This will be a lot easier than maintaining our own media player library (which I'm already doing with ogv.js in JavaScript to get things working in Safari and IE, so that saves me having to duplicate the work in Objective-C!) Using the player is just a few lines of code and will take very little time to integrate once the clean library build is available.

I'll whip up a provisional patch on the weekend after we've landed some general app refactoring which is currently higher-priority.

= Performance =

Native code playback is much faster than my JavaScript solution, so the app will be able to play back high-definition WebM files that we can't play in Safari. Nice!

= Patents =

Felix is working right now on adjusting the build scripts to make a "free-codecs only" build easy, which thus won't have any patent concerns. (They've done it before manually for consulting customers, but it'll soon be a simple switch on the build script.)

Once this is set up it should be very easy for me to make a local build with the options we need, without having to maintain a fork or anything. We can then just drop the pre-built library into our app.

= Copyright licensing =

libvlc/VLCKit is LGPL-licensed, and between the VLC team's interpretation and our legal team's interpretation (thanks Luis!) and Apple's de-facto treatment of existing VLC-based apps, we're pretty sure this should not be a problem for our open-source app.

(The individual codec libraries are mostly BSD-ish licensed.)

-- brion