The video player of choice — well, at least it should be for any web savvy individual — VLC, is famous for its ability to overcome most file format hurdles during its playback process, has been updated to the 2.0 level. Introducing “Twoflower,” the next step in the evolution of VLC’s fantastically robust media player.
The changes in the current version of the VLC player, which jumping from version 1.2something to the 2.0 level, are plentiful; and VLC’s download page is full of information concerning the new features the “Twoflower” version contains, including extended support for the Mac environment. While the are too many new additions to include them all, here are some highlights of what “Twoflower” promises:
With faster decoding on multi-core, GPU, and mobile hardware and the ability to open more formats, notably professional, HD and 10bits codecs, 2.0 is a major upgrade for VLC.
Twoflower has a new rendering pipeline for video, with higher quality subtitles, and new video filters to enhance your videos.
It supports many new devices and BluRay Discs (experimental).
Completely reworked Mac and Web interfaces and improvements in the other interfaces make VLC easier than ever to use.
Twoflower fixes several hundreds of bugs, in more than 7000 commits from 160 volunteers.
While that last “feature” is more of an explanation of how things get done at VLC, it’s also important because it focuses on the open nature of the player. It’s completely free to download, and the ability to decode and support so many different media file types comes solely from volunteers.
You can, of course, donate to their cause, but even with that pointed out, it should be noted that, even though it is a free program, there is no nagging ad support that can be cleared if you purchase the full version. Simply put, VLC embodies the definition of “free and powerful software,” in spirit and its execution. Simply put, if you use your home computing device to listen/watch media files and you don’t have VLC installed, you’re only cheating yourself.
Other fixes and new features include:
Rewritten video output core and modules, allowing subpicture blending in GPU. Shader support in the OpenGL output, for colorspace conversion, including 10bits. New video outputs for Windows 7, Android, iOS and OS/2. New debanding, grain, denoising and anti-flickering filters. New deinterlacing filter, including an Inverse Telecine algorithm.
Multi-threaded decoding for H.264, MPEG-4/Xvid and WebM. Support for 10bits codecs, WMV image and some other codecs. Rewritten support for images, including jpeg, png, xcf, bmp… Important changes in RealVideo and Real Format support. CrystalHD cards and Android OpenMAX support for hardware decoding.
As indicated, Mac users were not left out of the “Twoflower” fun either:
For Mac Users
Completely new, single window interface:
– Available in 2 colors: Lion grey and QTX black.
– Extensions support and better Lion integration.
Support for all QTKit devices through qtcapture and qtsound modules. Continued support for X 10.5 and PPC users (1080p and ProRes on Dual-G5!).
There’s even a section addressing those who watch anime on VLC:
For Anime Fans
Vastly improved MKV demuxer. Rewritten linked segments and ordered chapter files support. Correct support for FLAC, RV and Hi10p in MKV. Rewritten seeking support in cue files. Various ASS subtitles improvements.
As indicated, BluRay support has been included in “Twoflower,” although, VLC expresses this is in an experimental phase. Apparently, menus for these movies have been deactivated, but support for BluRay menus will be coming soon. Of course, the lack of BluRay menu support should the least of your worries in relation to VLC.
Simply put, the thing just works, and it works very well. The “Twoflower” era is just another step in the evolution of this powerful and reliable media player.