The long wait for the most popular multimedia player that can play almost any video format, the VLC, is finally over for many of the Android users. The dream of being able to play and watch consistently any kind of video file on the Android smartphones is finally within reach. After more than a year of developing, the VideoLan project has finally brought to light the VLC for Android.
However, the VLC app for Android that was released recently is still a beta version, which means it is still unstable. The app is compatible only with particular Android devices with ARM systems that utilize ARMv7 architecture set CPUs that supports the NEON media processing engine. This means that there are some devices, which are mostly those released before Samsung Galaxy S on the later part of 2010, that are not compatible and cannot run the beta. The only exception is the Nvidia Tegra Platform, however the Tegra 2, which is consequently a popular choice for many Android makers, cannot run the current beta because it doesn’t have the NEON instruction set. The VLC team also stated on its description that the beta of the app launched is not designed for regular users but for hackers and power users only. They also stated jokingly on the description that “it might kill your kitten, destroy your house and start the Mayan apocalypse. Use it at your own risk. Have Fun!” The VLC team says that the other versions of the application to support more Android devices are already on their way.
In its current version, the VLC beta can play most of the local audio and video files as well as any network streams. The current version includes a media library video and audio media files and enables a direct folder browsing. The VLC app supports a multi-track audio and subtitles and also includes other features like the auto-rotation gestures and adjustments for a more efficient volume control.
The developers of the Android app from VideoLan Project promises to bring in almost all of the features in the final version of the app that made the PC version of the universal media player famous. For individuals with supported phones, the VLC for Android beta version will give them the access to their entire media and video library on their phone. The VLC gives a full search capability including the network streams support and subtitles which will surely come in handy if they like to watch some foreign movies.
There are only limited types of hardware that the Hardware decoding works with and this means that some Android phone users will experience a stutter video. By default, the video decoding hardware acceleration is disabled and users will first go to the preferences pane to enable it if it is supported in their device. This should give the users a smooth video playback without any decoding artifacts. The users can also use the widget designed for easy audio controls that displays a cover art and enables user access to the media library.