The VideoLan team has uploaded a first test version of VLC Media Player 0.86b. VLC player happens to be my favorite media player right now on Windows which is why I also look at beta releases of it to find out what is new.
The new version fixes some crashes, adds VP31 decoding to Windows platforms and Direct3D Video Output modifications for Vista compatibility. You can download this version right from the VideoLan ftp site;
Simply select the version for your operating system (Win,Mac,Linux) and install it. I had no problems using the new version. If you experience crashes with the old version, you may want to try this new version out.
VLC Media Player is one of the few players that lets you play most file types out of the box without the need for additional codecs or plugins. It does not use a lot of processing power or ram even when playing large video files.
A 700 megabyte testfile used about 32 megabytes of ram and most of the time 0-2 processing power. Media Player Classic used less ram on the files (24.6) but between 18-28 processing power. So, if you are looking for a new media player to switch to give VLC a try, it is worth it.
Update 1: VLC Media Player 1.0 has been released in 2009. The version introduces several new features that improve usability and compatibility significantly. This includes new HD codec support, full screen video scaling and support for playing media files in zip archives.
Update 2: VLC 1.1.11 is the current release version of the player. It has been released in 2011, and introduces new features such as gpu decoding, support for the WebM video format and overall performance increases.
Update 3: The developers are preparing to release VLC 2.0 this week. This new version should get users excited as it introduces 64-bit support on Windows, a port to the Android and Apple iOS mobile platform and experimental Blu-Ray playback.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.