The popular program VLC Media Player has just been upgraded to version 2.1.0. The new version is already available on the official Videolan website and considered a major upgrade by the developers.
The new version introduces several new features, including a new rewritten audio core, hardware decoding and encoding support for many supported operating systems (including Android), and support for additional formats.
The release notes highlight several other changes that users of the program may be interested in. As far as audio is concerned, the new audio core is just the tip of the iceberg. VLC 2.1.0 features new audio outputs for select operating systems such as Android, iOS, Vista or OpenBSD, improved support for multi-channel layouts, new audio effects, and support for new audio metadata formats.
Format support has been improved significantly in the new version. It features improved avi and mkv format recording, support for audio formats such as FLAC in avi, extended support for mkv, avi and mjpeg streams, and extended metadata tags and cover art support in ogg, avi, mp4 and mkv.
VLC 2.1.0 is the first 4k-ready version of the player, the new ultra high definition format that will gain traction over the coming years.
The new version supports new audio and video codecs.On the video codec side of things, it added G2M4, MSS1, TSCC2, CDXL, Ut and VBLE codecs, and on the audio side Ulead DV audio, Indeo Audio Coder and RealAudio Losless codecs.
VLC 2.1.0 is also the version were partial support for the start screen interface of Windows 8 has been integrated into. It is still not clear when the first public preview will be released though.
Note: you can enable or disable hardware accelerated decoding under Tools > Preferences > Input / Codecs.
Other new features of interest:
Existing users can download the latest version of the media player from the official website linked above. The old version of the player will be uninstalled in the process before the new version gets installed on the system.
The msi installer that was provided during Nightly development of VLC 2.1.0 has not been made available for the final version.
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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.