VLC for Android beta

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  • Last update: 3 years ago
  • Size: 11.64M
  • Compatibility: 2.1 and up
  • Author: Videolabs
  • Content rating: Rated for 3+
  • Package name: org.videolan.vlc.betav7neon
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VLC Player Android Beta Review

While software video and audio players are as numerous as never before (in the world with lots of people using default apps for not willing to make any moves!), there are still classic titles that have worked hard to get its place in the sun. VLC player is developed by French-based VideoLAN association as a non-commercial and versatile cross-platform video and audio player. But users mostly see VLC as a great app for playing video.

Functionality 9/10

The thing required from a video player is playing videos, and the job gets done. The app supports all popular video formats, so you won’t have to encode your videos specially for mobile devices. The list is impressing; it includes MKV, MP4, AVI, MOV, Ogg, FLAC, TS, M2TS, Wv and AAC. It’s stressed on that you won’t need to download any external codec, they’re all already in.

But a new VLC is also an audio player (though it's rather hard to imagine that). The app features a special Audio section in the main menu with a catalogue of your audios. The audio player has its own media library, an equalizer, search module, streaming support (you’ll have to enter or paste the stream URL manually), and, of course, handset or Bluetooth control. You can also repeat your tracks or playlist or play a list in random order.

Design 10/10

Maybe the cause and the effect have switched in case of VLC: its design has become classic due to its supreme functionality. But anyway, this player has all we require from a video player. VLC for Android looks simple and clear when it comes to settings or video selecting. And while we’re watching videos, it doesn’t look like anything at all, stepping away to let the video playback in.

The app looks just as good both on a tablet or on a phone, as far as it makes sense to watch videos on a small phone screen. The control icons are scaled so they are easy to touch on any screen.

When it comes to visual interface, it resembles the way VLC looks on a PC. The logo and orange-and-white colors are the same, but there’s more: that feeling that everything is in place, and you can start using VLC as your default video app, even if you’ve never used it before.
An audio part of VLC is not as powerful as its video facilities and can’t stand the competition with specialized audio players. But if you wish to have as little apps as possible, VLC does the job and even offers a widget that makes sense when it comes to audio. With this widget you can control your playlist.

And yes, the app is translated into most popular languages. Your system language is selected automatically as you download VLC to your device.

Usability 9/10

The app’s settings are quite rich; you can select the folders for your media collection, color scheme (dark or light), audio and video output, adjust interface options and headset control. If you look a bit deeper, you can control audio encoding, video acceleration (hardware or software).

It only takes one tap on the screen to summon the controls from beyond. After a tap a set of controls appears. A play/pause button is in the middle of the screen, the scroll line and lock button below, and a set of three buttons in the right lower corner, so you can control subtitles, volume or ratio with one tap. Volume and brightness are controlled via vertical gestures on the left or the right screen edges.

The player can access local network storage (not available in beta version), read OTG drives and stream online videos and audios. Sometimes it’s far from perfect; the same video we played locally and remotely was opened in a different way, it crashed and stopped while playing. But we decided this is curable and depends on buffering settings. Enlarging buffer size helped a bit, though didn’t completely remove those lags. Another unsolved problem is file navigation; the app doesn’t save current positions and drops you back to home folder as you close the opened video.

Another feature made not as smooth as we’d wish is DVD ISO playback. The designers claim their app can play DVD video images, but in fact on some devices problems are experienced. For example, audio and video syncing drops, so the video playback stops while the audio track plays on. Of course, it’s not that common issue, but sometimes it happens.

Cross-platform use 8/10

VLC for Android is a port of a Windows program, and it’s available as well for iOS (mobile) and OS X and Linux (desktop). With its completely linuxed up ideology it’s logical. The player is unlikely to be developed for Windows Phone or BlackBerry, but let’s live for the living.

We also must notice that the major VLC update gave it a full release status, but the beta version is still available on Google Play. So if you decide to download VLC, you’d rather select the right version.

In-app purchases

None at all. VLC is supported by Videolan.orgб an enthusiast organization, so it has no ads, no premium features and no reason to pay for anything. If you want to contribute, you can do it with your own piece of work (programming, localization, beta testing) or by donating some sum via a form on videolan.org. But, anyway, you don’t have to. At all.

Conclusion

VLC Player is, in fact, a demonstration of what Liberté, égalité, fraternité means for software. Liberty is about being non-commercial and Equality is in free VLC for anyone. And fraternity is what made this project come alive due to developers’ good will and contribution.

Speaking of its quality, we must admit that the reputation achieved by Windows version still has no serious stains. VLC for Android keeps that orange flag up high.

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Conclusion

If not the best media player for Android, then one of those, no doubt, with audio and video playlists, LAN and online streaming and ISO support.


Pros : Completely free with no ads;
Rich functionality;
Easy interface;
Full audio player functionality;
ARMv6 devices supported.

Cons : Confusions between beta and release with some features absent in beta;
Issues with DVD ISO playback;
Network support is absent in Beta and needs reworking in release version.


Functionality 4.5

Design 5.0

Usability 4.5

Cross-platform use 4.0


Average : 4.5


FAQ


  • What is the VLC for Android beta app for?

    It's an easy-to-use video and audio player.

  • What video formats does the VLC for Android beta app supports?

    It supports MKV, MP4, AVI, MOV, Ogg, FLAC, TS, M2TS, Wv, and AAC.

  • Can I access the local network storage in the VLC for Android beta app?

    Not, it's not possible in beta version.


VLC for Android beta Version History


  • VLC for Android beta v.0.9.10 for Android 2.1+ May. 10, 2015
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