VLC Media Player is a popular media player available for Linux, Windows and Macintosh operating systems. Version 1.0 of the player has been downloaded more than 150 million times. A recent video player comparison at Techradar saw VLC 1.0 at the top of the field together with other popular players such as SMPlayer, KPlayer or Zoom Player.
The developers of VLC are already working on the next iteration of the video player which could be beneficial in future comparisons as the developers plan to add gpu acceleration to the media player.
Update: hardware acceleration is built-in now. You can check whether it is enabled with a click on Tools > Prerences, selecting Input/Codecs from the new window that opens, and verifying that hardware-accelerated decoding is set to automatic or DirectX Video Acceleration.
You can download the latest version of VLC from the official website.
VLC currently is not the best player to play HD videos especially those encoded with H.264. The developer aim to change this with the release of VLC 1.1 which introduces GPU decoding on Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Linux as well as faster CPU decoding on Windows.
These new implementations should reduce the cpu load during video playback and improve playback as a consequence. This should work not only on desktop computer systems but also on netbooks or HTPC (home theater PCs).
A first preview version of VLC 1.1 has been available for two days now. The version is relatively buggy and only a early preview version. Interested users can download VLC 1.1 Pre1 from the Videloan ftp. Versions are available for all supported operating systems. Keep in mind that gpu acceleration is not available in the Mac release, only Windows and Linux benefit from this right now
VLC 1.1 will introduce the following additional features besides gpu acceleration:
DVB HD subtitles
PGS Subtitles from Blu-Ray dumps
Atrac1 audio codec
Indeo5 video codec
AMR (Narrow Band) audio codec
Windows Media Voice/Speech audio codec
Improved Flac support (7.1 and 88.2/176.4/192 kHz support)
7.1 Vorbis audio support
ADPCM in flv files
DVD-Audio files .aob, so you can play your DVD-Audio files on your computer
vqf, amv, wpl and zpl file support
Midi files on Windows port!
CDDB support on Windows
Enhancements to our Ambilight support
Extensions in lua script
Services in lua script
Chorus and Flanger audio filter
Visualisation using scripted .milk files
Windows 7 taskbar integration
Let us know what you think of this new release (if you have downloaded VLC 1.1) or the features that are introduced in the video player.
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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.