VLC Media Player 3.0 was released in 2018; the non-profit organization that is behind the program, VideoLAN, revealed information about the upcoming VLC Media Player 4.0 recently in a presentation at FOSDEM 2019.
VLC Media Player 4.0 will be the next big release of the cross-platform media player. VLC 4.0 will introduce new and improved features, but it will also drop support for older operating systems.
In short: VLC 4.0 won’t support Windows XP or Vista, Mac OS X 10.10 or older, Android 4.2 or older, or iOS 8 or older.
Good news is that a preview version of the program is already available for download. Be advised that the preview is a development build that may have bugs, missing features, or other issues.
Interested users can check out the development directory on the VideoLAN website to download the latest builds to their devices.
VLC Media Player 4.0
VLC Media Player 4.0 will feature interface changes, changes to the video output architecture, media library, input and playlists, virtual reality and 3D support, and more.
The new version of the media player comes with a new input manager that manages inputs. One of the advantages of using a new input manager is that VLC supports gapless audio; the change goes hand in hand with a rewrite of the playlist which is now flat and fast because of that.
Another important change is coming to the clock. The current clock is based on input-PCR controlling. VLC 4.0 switches the clock system to one that uses different clocks for different purposes. The effect, without going into too much detail, is that it benefits synchronization, improves frame accuracy, and eliminates resampling.
Changes are coming to VLC’s video output as well; the change is beneficial in several regards, e.g. when it comes to management but also recycling.
The media library that is used by the Android version of VLC comes to the desktop versions and the iOS version of VLC with the release of VLC 4.0. Features include audio and video indexing, support for playlists, and support for shares.
VLC 4.0 will feature support for virtual reality headsets such as Vive, PSVR, or Oculus. The engineers managed to find a way to interact with the headsets directly so that it is not necessary to install dependencies to do so.
VideoLAN plans to change the default user interface of VLC Media Player. Below are some screenshots of the new interface. Note that this is not set in stone yet.
What else is coming?
- UPnP rendering
- AirPlay output
- HEIF, Dash/WebM, TTML images, AV1 encoding, WebVTT encoding
- SDI as stream output
- RIST in and out.
VLC Media Player is a popular media player that is available for all major desktop and mobile platforms. The outlined features are promising and while it is too early to give a final verdict, it will be a major release that will introduce features that prepares VLC for years to come.
Now You: Which media player to do you use mainly on the desktop and mobile?
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