VLC, the indispensable and ubiquitous video playback application has finally reached version 2.0. This simple, powerful and fast media app plays everything you could throw at it, files, discs – DVD, CD, VCD, Blu-Ray -, Webcams and Streams. All of this without the need for an extra codec pack or plug-ins. VLC has set the standard for light and powerful video playback software, it just works.
With today’s announcement the VideoLAN Organisation has made available the final release candidate of version 2. This is part of the build up before the big release of the finalized version 2.0, which will be available later this week. The risk takers amongst us can test the new software right away by downloading the file from VLAN, While the sensibly pre-disposed only have a few days to wait for the completed V 2.0. While the overly cautious will probably wait for the early 2.0 bugs to be squashed. Still, the stability of the available release candidate bodes well for the final version.
VLAN 2.0 introduces a complete revamp of the interface, looking more like iTunes than media player as it always has. The new look integrates the playlists and video into a single window. Thankfully essentials such as full screen playback are still included. Lua-based extensions are now supported across the board including the Mac OSX version, these extensions can add functionality to your VLAN experience, fetching media information and other handy tasks.
For Windows users there is now a 64bit version, the new interface and playback from within a split RAR file has been added. The 64bit version should improve stability and speed. VLAN also goes on to say that many of the changes in VLAN for Windows are under the bonnet.
For Mac OSX users there are a raft of new features. Most notable is the inclusion of Blu-Ray support and playback. Apple doesn’t officially support Blu-Ray as of yet so this is a small coup for VLAN. It is able to read the disks, decrypt the movie and play it back in all of its hi-def glory. The Mac OSX version will now be identical to the Windows version, in features, not just version number.
The epitome of simplicity in action VLAN is about to undergo a major visual overhaul. Aside from the new interface there are indeed many behind the scenes changes, dragging the Mac and Windows versions into alignment and preparing VLAN to go fully cross platform, including a new iOS version. Version 2.0 is looking to be a new point to move forward from, a stable foundation for the future.