Our editor Vic Laurie has prompted us about the Excellent Free Media Player VLC Gets Substantial Cross-Platform Update. Indeed, VLC is a free and open source powerful media player and well known for its capabilities to play most audio and video files and run on most operating systems, either desktop or mobile.
The mobile versions of VLC are basically a port from the original desktop application. If you need an alternative player to the one pre-installed on your mobile device, VLC is one of the good choices as it’s completely free, has no ads and plays most local multimedia files, network streams and DVD ISOs. It also supports multi-track audio and subtitles, auto-rotation, aspect-ratio adjustments and other advanced features.
Despite being cross platforms, VLC’s performance results and features may still vary depending on which device you use.
VLC for Android has come out of beta but it requires at least Android 4.2 to run, while the older beta release needs Android 2.1 and up. Both releases are currently available for download from the Google Play store. This app automatically categorises your media files into video and audio, and allows you to browse directories as commonly available in the Android system.
VLC for iOS has returned to Apple’s App Store after its disappearance some time ago as a result of a licensing dispute as reported. The latest version has improved the user interface, WiFi sharing reliability and updated decoders. This app's library is divided into All Files, Music Albums and TV Shows. You can sync or add media files to its library, either via iTunes file sharing, WiFi sharing, from the Web, Dropbox or Google Drive.
When you first run this app either for Android or iOS, a simple guide is provided from the app showing you how to go around. You can also get more from its documentation for Android here and iOS here.
VLC for Windows 8 and Windows Phone are still a beta release so expect some rough edges to smoothen. Official documentation has yet to be available for these platforms as of this review. For a test, a video file that ran well with the VLC desktop version failed to playback the video stream with VLC for Windows 8 on my tablet. Hopefully this can be improved in a future update.
How does it perform on your devices? Share your experience with us.
VLC Media Player
For Android 4.2 and Up
Size: Varies with device
For Android 2.1 and Up
Size: Varies with device
For iPhone and iPad
Size: 47.1 MB
For Windows 8
Size: 12.4 MB
For Windows Phone
Size: 10 MB
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