VLC (UWP) updates for Q1, 2018

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VLC's always been the maverick app of the computer world - able to play formats that nothing else will touch, available on every platform, yet with enough glitches and caveats to make the average regular user cry. But it's still evolving, even on Windows 10, with an attempt below by me to summarise all changes to VLC UWP in Q1 2018, i.e. since I last reported a major update (for v2.6)...

As usual, I'm amalgamating numerous small changelogs into one big one - there's no point in me reporting on every minor change and improvement, plus lots of changelog entries are only applicable to other platforms. So, here's (roughly) what's new during Q1, 2018, up to the current v3.0.2.0, most of what follows applies to VLC UWP on Windows 10 Mobile:

  • Fix snapshotting with subtitles when using hardware acceleration
  • Improve compatibility for DxVA2 and D3D11 decoding, fix crashes when seeking and fix blacklisting of broken drivers
  • Fix SSA subtitles forced alignment
  • Fix E-AC-3 stuttering
  • Fix TTML inside MP4
  • Improve MP4 read of color information
  • Fix flac seeking and improve flac parsing
  • Improve mkv opening & seeking speed
  • Fix display of chapters with no name defined
  • Miscellaneous MKV crash fixes
  • Fix "reset audio volume" being forcefully deactivated
  • Improve resampling and latency computation for CoreAudio
  • Passthrough is now disabled by default
  • Fix audio stutter after unpausing with headphones
  • Fix transform filters with hardware decoding
  • Fix snapshot and filters with HEVC hardware decoding
  • Fix a buffer overrun during GPU/CPU image copy
  • Fix use-after-free when cleaning playlists
  • Fix crash on exit on Windows
  • Fix potential stack buffer overflow with faad
  • Enable Cineform HD in avcodec
  • Improve MKV seeking speed
  • Fix adaptive http redirections
  • Replace old API, fixing adaptive TLS leak
  • Fix subtitle (srt,ssa..) seek when having a single entry
  • Miscellaneous MKV, MP4 & AVI crash fixes
  • Fix out of bounds read in mpeg4video

As usual VLC takes an eternity indexing a new card from scratch, so if you have a new microSD or if you've just installed VLC then be patient. Be VERY patient. Every video is examined, every music track is opened fully and the upshot is that you need to leave it alone for a good half an hour in most cases while the indexing takes place. You can play stuff that's already appeared in the UI, but don't panic if you don't see all your music immediately! You'll know when indexing is complete, as the spinning dots will cease in VLC's UI.

It's worth the wait though, since VLC is now mature and plays video and audio media impeccably.

Screenshot, VLCScreenshot, VLC

Music browsing and playback, clean and fluid, at least on my high end IDOL 4 Pro...

Screenshot, VLCScreenshot, VLC

Not widely known, but VLC includes a software graphic equaliser, which works well apart from not having a 'custom' setting - so you have to live with one of the presets; (right) VLC is terrific at handling sideloaded video files, as here, from my 128GB microSD.

Of course, you might well ask why you should care about VLC's UWP app when the likes of Groove Music and 'Films & TV' work OK on Windows 10 Mobile. Good question.

Possible reasons:

  1. VLC can play video and music file types that Groove and Films & TV can't, see the VideoLAN page for more on its limits.
  2. VLC doesn't (seem to) have the annoying track startup delays that sometimes plague Groove Music
  3. VLC includes its own graphic equaliser, important on non-Lumia devices (I was trying it above on the Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro) which don't have the (ex-Nokia) Extras/Equaliser module in their ROMs.

Comments welcome - are you a big VLC user?

You can grab VLC's UWP app for all Windows 10 devices here in the Store. It's free and still improving.

Source / Credit: Store