Among tech-savvy media fans, Video LAN Client (VLC for short) is easily one of the most popular video and audio players in the world. It's available for every major desktop platform, and for almost two years, it's been in beta for Android. Today the app has officially graduated to a 1.0 build, marking its formal exit from beta and a day of celebration for fans of flexible media playback on mobile devices.
Update: While both the US and Canada did not have access to VLC for Android on the Play Store at launch, some of our Canadian readers have pointed out that they have since been able to download it from there for quite some time now. As it turns out, the American release was indeed the last hold out.
We in the tech industry have a tendency to throw around the word "finally" perhaps a tad more often than we should.
Aside from Windows Media Player, there is probably no single video player more widely installed on computers than VLC. It may not have the prettiest interface (or icon), but everybody eventually turns to that huge orange traffic cone, especially for file types that simply can't play in anything else. While VLC provides a mostly full compliment of features, there is one request that has gone unanswered for a while: Chromecast support.
The Chromecast add-ons just keep coming, don't they? The latest tool to take advantage of Google's dirt-cheap media streamer is called Fling, from Plano, Texas developer Leon Nicholls. Unlike most of the tools from Koushik Dutta and others, this one expands Chromecast's desktop streaming powers. The Fling Java tool streams local video and audio files directly to Chromecast, and uses the popular VLC media player to transcode the ones that Chromecast doesn't support.
It seems like we've been waiting forever for an official build of VLC to land in the Play Store, and that day has finally come... for some people, anyway. First off, the build that just landed in the Store is for devices with ARMv7 NEON CPUs only. This includes most modern processors, like Tegra 3, Exynos, OMAP4, and Snapdragon S2, S3, and S4. If you have an older processor, like Tegra 2 or one that uses ARMv6 architecture, then a build for your device should be available "in a few days."
While this version is beta, it still supports all the features that users of VLC's desktop software have come to expect, like playback of nearly any video or audio file, media library, support for multi-track audio and subtitles; as well as some mobile-specific goodies like auto-rotation, aspect ratio adjustments, and gestures to control volume.
VLC is one of those tools that's in every geek's toolbox. The video player that supports every video format known to man still doesn't have an official, finished Android version, though. In the meantime, however, developer cvpcs, has done us all the courtesy of setting up an hourly build server for the alpha of VLC for Android.
The builds come in both NEON and non-NEON flavors. So, folks with older phones, or devices with the Tegra 2, for example, should probably download the non-NEON version.
The incredibly popular VLC Player is finally coming to Android after months of hard work by the open source project developers. Originally a desktop media center for Linux, Windows, and Mac, this versatile player will bring many new video-playing features to our beloved OS including a wide variety of formats such as DivX and Dolby TrueHD. The lead developer in the project, Jean-Baptiste Kempf, has confirmed that it will hit the Android Market in "just a few weeks", which means that Android will
be the first mobile platform to have a version of this software finally follow iOS and get its own port (thanks, Mikeyy).