We heard from VideoLAN a couple of weeks ago with suggestions that an official VLC build for Android was finally nigh. Well, nigh becomes today, as the first official beta of VLC for Android is available for download from Google Play right now. It comes boasting, as we would expect, a pretty impressive list of features and support:
- Plays all files, in all formats, like the classic VLC.
- Audio and video media library, with full search.
- Support for network streams, including HLS.
- Supports Android from version 2.1 (platform-7).
- Supports ARMv6, ARMv7 and ARMv7+NEON.
- Subtitles support, embedded and external, including ASS and DVD subtitles.
- Multi audio or subtitles tracks selection.
- Multi-core decoding, for Cortex-A7 A9 and A15 chips.
- Experimental hardware decoding.
- Gestures, headphones control.
For anyone who isn't familiar, VLC is an extremely powerful, open-source, media player, that can pretty much play any type of media file thrown at it. An official build for Android has been a long time coming, but there have been several, unofficial builds to play with. We've been using one for quite some time now, and the results are pretty impressive. True to its word, we've yet to find a video that has stumped it. And, despite expecting bugs, it has proved surprisingly stable thus far. Bodes well for the official build.
There are a few conditions though. This is the NEON version only at this time, but other builds will be coming that support a wider range of devices. And, VideoLAN has published a list of recommended devices to try out the beta on, but it's not a compatibility list, so go take a look. But, do be warned, we are seeing a big old list of incompatible devices.
From what we've seen so far, there's every possibility it's a location based issue and not an actual device incompatibility. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is listed as a recommended device by VideoLAN, but on the American side of the Atlantic, we're seeing the "cannot be installed in your device's country" message in both the U.S. and Canada.
It's also important to note that this is an early beta, and it's likely to be full of bugs. But, it does come with a homescreen widget. Things will change before the final release too. In any case, it's finally here, and the developers are keen for users to join in the testing, and engage with them in their official forums.
For the full rundown, hit the source link below, and head on over to Google Play to grab yourselves a copy. We know a lot of you guys have been waiting on this one. We're going to go away and have a good look ourselves