In 2012, VideoLan released a beta version of its famous VLC desktop media player for the Android platform. However, since the nonprofit development team did not have access to popular North American Android devices, it chose to exclude the United States and Canada from their initial release. That is, until now.
I know what you’re thinking, who cares, right? It’s not 2009, we have a lot of capable and robust media players on the Play Store. What could this offer above what is already available?
If it is true that VLC on Android is not the killer app today that could have been if it had been released a few years earlier, there are still some good reasons to be excited about its late arrival.
VLC Can Play Anything You Want
The claim of VLC for fame has always been its extraordinary ability to reproduce almost any type of file that can be launched on it, and we are happy to report that the Android version of the app is equally capable.
Reviews for the app indicate that users have succeeded by playing multimedia content in VLC after famous apps like MX Player and Poweramp had not outdone them. Some types of difficult files that have been specifically mentioned are FLV, OGG, OPUS, MOV, ISO and even WMA-VLC can easily play them all.
One Player to Rule Them All
Most of the media player apps on Android tend to be pony with one trick: they’re mostly specialized in playing video or audio, but not both. VLC, on the other hand, easily manages all your media files from one location.
VLC automatically detects and selects all the multimedia contents on the device. The library is then organized by the descriptions of the metadata available in the files. This is not absolutely revolutionary, but provides a convenient way to manage all your media files from a single point.
Powerful Playback Options
VLC has a number of useful playback settings at its disposal, such as an audio equalizer (nothing new there, but still useful), the ability to change the playback speed, go to a specific time, a sleep timer, a solid support for subtitles and a fantastic playlist management.VLC also allows you to open network streams from a URL, just as you can in the desktop version of the app.
Chromecast Mirroring Support
VLC promised full support for Chromecast in its Android app, but until then, on devices that support screen mirroring, VLC offers an almost native experience. Anything that VLC can reproduce can be streamed.
By default, when you mirror the screen and start a video in VLC, the video will be shown on Chromecast while the device will show a set of media controls. VLC will automatically attenuate the screen of your device, but to make mirroring work, the screen will be kept on for as long as you are transmitting.
Through settings, you can also ignore this behavior and have screen mirroring work normally.
It’s Open Source
VLC is an open source project, which means that all of their source code for the application is freely available for review by developers. In the days of heavy monitoring of the NSA, it’s always nice to know that there’s nothing bad that hides in the code we perform.
Although we would have liked to see an official North American version of VLC much earlier, we still believe that the desktop media giant has a bright future on our Android devices. Let us know what you think in the comments.
Media player and more
VLC media player is the most stable, flexible and lightest audio and video player in circulation today, especially when compared to others who play unusual formats after downloading a codec, or simply refusing to play.
The program manages tons of formats, from MPEG to FLV and RMBV files. V10 bit codes plus multi-thread decoding for H.264, MPEG-4 / Xvid and WebM, plus the ability to play HD and BluRay.
Also useful is the fact that you can use VLC media player to preview the files you are downloading because it plays incomplete parts of video files. VLC media player is not just for video playback. It also offers excellent integration with streaming video channels such as Channels.com, which allows access to channels such as ESPN, Reuters and National Geographic. Simply right-click or CMD-click on the playlist, select Discovery Services and Channels.com.
Channels.com will then be shown in the VLC media player playlist. Click on it to view the different categories of available channels. Click on the desired category and a drop-down list of all available channels will be displayed in VLC media player. Just click on the channel you want to watch and the streaming should start almost immediately.
How does it work?
VLC media player also has a very good hotkey support and if you take the time to learn the shortcuts so that it can be controlled without touching the mouse. If you’re watching DVDs or video files through it, this is not a problem. For music, play more or less any file and presents an equalizer and playlist creation. VLC media player is not as intuitive as iTunes as a media manager, but it is a much more flexible player in terms of file formats. You can even use VLC to convert your files, and in addition to all the physical formats and media that will be played, many streaming protocols and TV capture cards are supported.
VLC media player simplifies the addition of subtitles to your video files: just add the SRT file to the folder where your video is stored and it will be automatically played with subtitles.
Finally, the interface in VLC media player has been slightly improved in version 2 even though it remains strictly functional. However, you can download skins to completely change the look of the VLC media player. The preferences menu is complete without being overwhelming, and there is extensive documentation online.
Complete and free
VLC Media Player is simply the best multimedia application for Windows and Mac. Play virtually everything, no problems – what more could you need?
VLC Media Player for Android
When you launch the application, you will be shown a warning that the app is still in beta and developers do not take any responsibility in case something goes haywire on your device. You can ignore it and select the option to hide any future notification. The app takes care of both video and music needs and automatically analyzes and creates a list of music and video files on the device, unless they are hidden as a system folder.
The player creates two separate worlds for video and music and you can easily switch between them using the sidebar. Videos are listed along with their thumbnails and you can simply tap one of them to start playback. The app stores the last played position of videos in the library and picks up where you left off unless you gave special instructions before starting to play. When you long press a video thumbnail, you can find the Play from the beginning option. The player can also play videos from a network stream.
Together with the traditional buttons that can control playback, it supports gesture recognition. You can increase or decrease the brightness of the device by sliding your finger up or down in the left corner of the screen. Swiping the finger on the right takes care of the volume. There is a button that can lock the on-screen controls but does not work with the home and back function keys. You can also search for the video by swiping your fingers to the right and left.
I have been able to play 1080p high definition video without delay, but this may change if you run the app on a phone or tablet with a reduced configuration. The player supports multiple audio and subtitle tracks. You can also change the aspect ratio of the video by using the on-screen button during button playback.
The VLC audio player is pretty standard and there is not much to say. The notification on the status bar is missing multimedia control buttons, but you can add the mini player as a widget to control playback. There is only one size of the widget available and a somewhat healthy person may have difficulty managing it.
You can limit the app media scanner to a few selected folders by selecting directories in the app’s preferences. There are other settings here to take a look at but none of them has a huge impact on reproduction.
The VLC beta player for Android is quite good and worth trying. The developers are saying that the general interface will be modified in the final build and, when that happens, we’ll let you know. Do not forget to sign up if you have not already done so.
VLC Media Player on Windows 10
VideoLAN released a beta VLC for Windows 10 , after a long period of development and “a lot of problems”, the team announced. The new app for Windows 10 has all the features you already know and love from the iOS and Android versions of VLC, as well as some extra extras.
“Like the classic VLC, it supports a very large number of formats”, according to VideoLAN president Jean-Baptiste Kempf. It also boasts a multimedia library with video management; a complete player with subtitles, chapters and audio / video synchronization; an audio mini-player; and a network shares the browser.
In addition to all this, the app supports some specific features of Windows 10 such as Cortana voice commands, Live Tiles, the ability to add artists and albums to the Start and Continuum menu for those with a Lumia 950 $ 598.99 on AT devices & T or Lumia 950XL.
“Under the hood, we use some unique technologies for Windows 10, like some features of DirectX 11.1 for low-latency video and audio,” wrote Kempf. “This should give you more battery life and allow uniform 4K playback.”
There’s also a picture-in-picture mode that lets you browse your library comfortably while you’re playing a video. On the audio front, all files are sorted by album and artist, so you can quickly locate what you’re looking for. The app will also provide detailed information on musicians, including bio artists and the like.
The app currently runs on desktops, tablets, and Windows 10 mobile devices; it should also arrive on Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 in a few weeks.
Perhaps even more exciting, VideoLAN is planning to bring the app to Xbox One, Surface Hub and HoloLens devices once “some remaining problems are resolved”. The Xbox One version is scheduled to arrive this summer; meanwhile, VideoLAN has released a picture of the app running on the console to make us all excited.
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