There is a good news for the Android users who were waiting for the release of do-it-all player for their devices. VLC Beta got released a week ago and is now available for free download from Google Play. Looks as if the VideoLAN team is busy with several things. Recently it updated the OS X desktop client to support the Retina display on the MacBook Pro, and now a beta version of VLC has landed in the Play Store.
The basic interface is surprisingly good, borrowing here and there from the stock Music app with the handy addition of a visible index bar. Search functions make it easy to find any song among thousands. You can view songs by album, artist, or genre and when a song is being played, you can view the album art, artist, and use play/pause and skip buttons at the bottom of the screen.
Just like its counterparts on Mac and Windows, VLC is a free, open source, supports just about any media file that you have stored on your Android based phone or tablet, and offers an audio and video media library with full search capabilities. It also provides subtitles and streaming options, including HLS (HTTP live streaming).
There are a lot of features which VideoLan team has planned to incorporate in the final player. Some of them such as auto-rotate, aspect ratio adjustment, controlling volume through gestures, support of home screen widget, support for headset controls, have already been included in the device.
Along with such features come various drawbacks, which the development team has mentioned as “It might kill your kitten, destroy your house and start the mayan apocalypse. Use it at your own risk. Have Fun!”. According to the team, VLC in android is unstable and slow, along with that performance improvements and a UI face-lift are also required. Still in its early build stage with a lot of unfinished elements, this particular version may not work on all hardware and is recommended for power users and hackers.
Although it won’t cause any damage to your Android device, don’t expect blistering performance or uninterrupted playback. Users may face some problems such as stuttery video and decoding artifacts, audio issues, glitchy running of videos and rough transitions.
One more major problem is that your hardware may not support this player.Although as of now it is designed for ARM v7 CPU and NEON hardware, and requires Android 2.1 or high it will support almost all devices in future.
Lot of work still needs to be done to make it compatible with all the hardware devices. This beta version is just to provide an intriguing taste of what a user can expect from the future releases. This is obviously a very early demo of what is going to come, but it’s definitely an app to keep an eye on. It’s nice to see VLC finally making the jump to Android, but there are a lot of video players already on the market with a wide range of hardware support such as BS Player, MX Player, and Dice Player.
Let us see if VLC will grab the go-to app status and will maintain its reputation of Swiss Army Knife media player, as everyone wants to ensure that he or she is able to playback almost any file format imaginable, and the mobile version will feature the same luxuries.