VLC matures, now ready for video and music prime time

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After the initial launch and finish of it beta period, VLC (for Windows Phone) has undergone a couple of major updates, summarised below. The upshot is an all-purpose media player that works in landscape or portrait, on phone, tablet or desktop - and it's worth getting to know, not least because it's free. Calling it part of the platform is too strong, but VLC on the desktop has been my 'go to' media player for years, and I can see the phone version heading the same way....

Amalgamating the updates since my earlier story:

  • Speed improvements while playing lots of songs, playback fixes, improvements in playing 720p videos on high end devices.
  • You can hold albums, tracks, artists instead of tapping the “…” buttons to show the flyout menu.
  • Improvements in music indexation algorithms, bringing album cover support.
  • Dark theme now available.
  • Overhauled user interface, includes responsive design, to make better use of screen space on smaller displays.
  • Parsing and layout rendering is now between 50% and 130% faster.
  • File and folder playback for media which hasn't been properly tagged.
  • Some use of Windows 10 APIs and interface guidelines - looking ahead!
  • Revamped the video player design.

Quite the major update to v1.3.0.1 then, I've given it a bit of a walkthrough:

Screenshot, VLCScreenshot, VLC

The dark theme was picked up automatically on my Lumia 930, but can be overridden in settings if needed. Here I'm browsing videos and music (the latter by albums, artists, songs, etc.) The left two icons in the toolbar are for picking an image (what for??) and for opening a streaming URL (do people still do this manually??) - so there's definitely some UI sanitisation still to happen.

Screenshot, VLCScreenshot, VLC

Far right on the panorama is a file and folder display, just browse around and pick what you want to play, etc.; (right) the default home display is of your favourite music and recently played videos - a nice touch and well displayed. Any currently playing music is shown at the very bottom.

Screenshot, VLC

The whole UI works in landscape too, as you might expect from a true universal Windows application, so there's no rotating backwards and forwards as you browse through videos.

Screenshot, VLC

The video playback UI has been given a facelift - don't worry, the speed controls are still only a tap away!

Highly recommended. If it's not the 'finished article' yet then it's not that far off. You can download VLC here in the Store. What do you think? Has this taken over from the default Windows Phone media applications?

Source / Credit: Windows Phone Store