VLC appeared in the App Store for iPads a couple of days ago. VLC is a great open source video player/converter that will play many video types that QuickTime won't (without help at least from things like Perian). The iPad port is also free, so I thought I'd give it a spin (being the cheapskate that I am).
Why would you need another video player, you might ask? (Go ahead, ask.) You just might have some AVI or WMV or MPEG-1 video lying around that you haven't bothered to re-encode (because you could play it on your computer already with VLC!).But now you want to take it with you. So rather than re-encode, it would be nice to just transfer those videos and go.
Yes, I imagine it would be. I have to imagine, because I'm finding that VLC on the iPad won't play back very much. I tried MPEG-1 and 2 files, AVI, WMV, FLV, DivX, QuickTime (using Cinepak, not H.264)…all formats that play just fine on my Mac in VLC. But on the iPad, only the AVI and QuickTime files played. The AVI file was using H.264, and it was kind of choppy. The rest didn't even show up on the iPad, even though I got to wait for them to download, and some were big, so they obviously transferred.
So in it's present form, VLC on the iPad is not very useful. Fortunately, it's free, so hopefully, at some point, it will be, but for now, it's of no use to me. I see others also having the same problem in the App Store, so it's not just me. For now, your best bet is to continue to re-encode your video into a supported format with Handbrake, the free, cross-platform utility.