Monday, September 15, 2008

VLC releases upgrade for media player

I apologize for not writing in a while. College has started up again and I am busy. Posts may come a little slower now.

VLC is widely known throughout geekdom as one of the best alternative to Windows Media Player. Today the VLC developers have done something momentous. They have released a new version. There is a whole slew of improvement including a redesign of the interface and many new codecs.

This release is also important becasue for the last year or more they have been working on one version, 0.8.6a to 0.8.6i.

In order to see the difference in the last two versions, I have provided pictures. Below is a picture of VLC 0.8.6 on Windows Vista Beta 1.


Below is picture of VLC 0.9.2 running on Windows XP.



I have only used this player a little bit before I wrote this post. One of the feature that I like is visible only when playing DVDs in fullscreen. When doing so, the controls appear in the bottom center of the screen when the mouse is moved.

The following is a list of new features directly from the VLC website.

Interface

A new interface module based on the Qt toolkit has been added to VLC.

This new interface module has a few improvements on the old one:
· Simplified settings and dialogs
· Media library integration
· Album art displaying and metadata editing
· Live activation of Video and audio filters
· Basic encoding profiles
· Multiple start modes (classic, enhanced and minimalist)
· System tray icon and minimizing
· Fullscreen controller

Playlist

The playlist has been improved in many ways, in addition to the new Media Library (very simple so far, but will be extended in the future):
· Live Searching in the playlist,
· Youtube, Dailymotion, Google Video and similar services URL can be scripted in VLC to play directly those URLs,
· last.fm submission support,
· Album art support,
· Better metadata tagging reading and writing support for audio files.

Playback

A lot of new decoders, demuxers, and protocols have been added.

There are new codecs support, like Flash video variants, camcorder codecs (M2TS ones), Dirac, Atrac3, H.264 PAFF, APE audio, RealVideo, VC-3, Fraps and others, but also better decoding and better performance.

There are improvements in the demuxers and new supports (subtitles format rework with many new formats, Tivo2, OMA, MIDI support...).

Tag supports of audio files have vastly been improved(fix of APE, AAC, OGG tags,...)

This version also supports DVB windows devices (BDA), iSight Webcams, v4l2 on Linux and many other ones.

Filters

Many new audio and video filters have been added:
· New video filters like puzzle game, color extracting, sharpen, logo erasing, blue-screen and more have been added.
· New audio filters have introduced Replay Gain support, Faster/Slower audio playback with pitch correction and a spatializer.

Most video filters can now be streamed.
Developers
· libVLC has been rewritten and split and supports externally built plugins
· VLCKit, a Mac OS X Framework, enables external developers to develop applications around VLC.
· New bindings can be found on the wiki and the forums

Misc

A new update system, more secured, was developed for this release.

New localizations in Finnish, Persian, Polish, Punjabi, Bulgarian have joined the old ones.