A preview of VLC Media Player 4.0

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 6, 2019
Music and Video

VLC Media Player 3.0 was released in 2018; the non-profit organization that is behind the program, VideoLAN, revealed information about the upcoming VLC Media Player 4.0 recently in a presentation at FOSDEM 2019.

VLC Media Player 4.0 will be the next big release of the cross-platform media player. VLC 4.0 will introduce new and improved features, but it will also drop support for older operating systems.

In short: VLC 4.0 won't support Windows XP or Vista, Mac OS X 10.10 or older, Android 4.2 or older, or iOS 8 or older.

Good news is that a preview version of the program is already available for download. Be advised that the preview is a development build that may have bugs, missing features, or other issues.

Interested users can check out the development directory on the VideoLAN website to download the latest builds to their devices.

VLC Media Player 4.0

vlc media player 4.0

VLC Media Player 4.0 will feature interface changes, changes to the video output architecture, media library, input and playlists, virtual reality and 3D support, and more.

The new version of the media player comes with a new input manager that manages inputs. One of the advantages of using a new input manager is that VLC supports gapless audio; the change goes hand in hand with a rewrite of the playlist which is now flat and fast because of that.

Another important change is coming to the clock. The current clock is based on input-PCR controlling. VLC 4.0 switches the clock system to one that uses different clocks for different purposes. The effect, without going into too much detail, is that it benefits synchronization, improves frame accuracy, and eliminates resampling.

Changes are coming to VLC's video output as well; the change is beneficial in several regards, e.g. when it comes to management but also recycling.

The media library that is used by the Android version of VLC comes to the desktop versions and the iOS version of VLC with the release of VLC 4.0. Features include audio and video indexing, support for playlists, and support for shares.

VLC 4.0 will feature support for virtual reality headsets such as Vive, PSVR, or Oculus. The engineers managed to find a way to interact with the headsets directly so that it is not necessary to install dependencies to do so.

VideoLAN plans to change the default user interface of VLC Media Player. Below are some screenshots of the new interface. Note that this is not set in stone yet.

What else is coming?

  • UPnP rendering
  • AirPlay output
  • HEIF, Dash/WebM, TTML images, AV1 encoding, WebVTT encoding
  • SDI as stream output
  • SMBv2/v3
  • RIST in and out.

Closing Words

VLC Media Player is a popular media player that is available for all major desktop and mobile platforms. The outlined features are promising and while it is too early to give a final verdict, it will be a major release that will introduce features that prepares VLC for years to come.

Now You: Which media player to do you use mainly on the desktop and mobile?



A preview of VLC Media Player 4.0
Article Name
A preview of VLC Media Player 4.0
VLC Media Player 4.0 will be the next big release of the cross-platform media player. VLC 4.0 will introduce new and improved features, but it will also drop support for older operating systems.
Ghacks Technology News

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Super said on May 23, 2020 at 8:41 pm

    Tried VLC 4. Uninstalled it after an hour, installed VLC 3. back. UI stinks.
    I like to use shortcuts (ctrl-v to paste http links). I do not want looking up media info (images, lyrics) from the web. I hate cover art downloads. I use m3u and xspf lists that I manage by a text editor (vim). As you can see, I love textual interface and shortcuts. For me sliders and fancy graphics are not important. I just want simple. VLC 4 is not that.

    1. Max Leopold said on December 4, 2020 at 9:27 pm

      If you don’t like the Nightly Builds by VLC 4.0 –
      perhaps have a look at the Alternative IINA via https://iina.io/

  2. BrentDR said on February 22, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    LOL I just tried it out and what a joke it it. Going into the video tab makes my CPU go crazy and takes like 15 seconds to load, no way to order songs in a custom order, no playlists, useless fading animation on everything… no thanks, I’ll stay on MPC.

    1. Jake said on February 26, 2020 at 10:40 am

      It’s outspoken early beta you fool!

      1. BrentDR said on March 14, 2020 at 10:33 pm

        yeah stfu, it’ll still be terrible after 10 years of being in “”beta””

  3. Raynond DiFronzo said on December 17, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    I wish that VLC would fix the on going problem where the first video in a large playlist (ex: 24 4 minute clips) stutters and fragments because VLC is trying to play that video before it has completed formatting its output cache. Why can’t VLC display a “Loading – Please Wait” message until it has completed all of its setup work?

  4. nonW00t said on October 27, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    MPC-BE, at least for now. It has seekbar thumbnail preview, where MPC-HC doesn’t (even if HC has been saved from its funeral). Though I’m not too thrilled with BE’s devs, they seem to be jerks about certain flaws.

  5. Nick Campbell said on June 10, 2019 at 3:37 am

    MPC-HC. However, every so often, I’ll use VLC. There are a few aspects that are nice, seeking functions, video/audio sync. But VLC will not remember the last played playlist, that’s why I stick with MPC-HC.

  6. Matthew Parker said on February 12, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    VLC is open source and trusted. That’s the main reason why we use it on our machines.

  7. ULBoom said on February 10, 2019 at 11:50 pm

    Pot Player. Went to it when MPC HC became unstable a few years ago and development ceased. Have to try MPC BE (as noted in the second post) since I knew MPC was taken over but not by whom. Found it on Source Forge. Loved MPC and used it for years as it morphed into the HC version. Super simple, lots of capabilities.

    I’ve used SM player, too. Seems to work well but the interface is too kid-like and some useful settings don’t seem to save.

    Pot Player has an incredible number of settings, filters, codecs, etc., most of which I don’t use but the interface is simple and it does the same thing every time you play a video.

  8. Peterc said on February 7, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    For a while now, I’ve been trying (to the extent possible) to use Windows apps that are cross-platform with Linux, and for media players I’ve ended up with VLC and SMPlayer.

    On *my* Windows laptop, at least, SMPlayer’s video rendering and stability is *markedly* better than VLC 3.0.x’s, so I use SMPlayer for videos. And because VLC’s playlist management is better than SMPlayer’s — not mind-blowingly great, just a little less primitive — I use VLC for audio. The biggest hassle in using the two players is that their default keyboard shortcuts are very different and I’m a little reluctant to customize one to more closely match the other because it screws me up when I have to use someone else’s computer … and I still don’t know SMPlayer’s keyboard shortcuts as well as I know VLC’s.

    On my Android phone, SMPlayer is not available so I use VLC for both video and audio. But since I almost never watch videos or listen to music on my phone, I really can’t say how well it works.

    I *also* can’t say how well VLC and SMPlayer work on my Linux laptop because I’m still in the midst of configuring it. (For anyone who wants to tease me about that, just pretend you’re a Linux noob using a conservative distro with a limited repository and want to install the latest (non-broken) versions of youtube-dl and youtube-dl-gui (aka YouTube-DLG), make a functional .desktop file for YouTube-DLG, and learn how to easily keep both programs up to date. Go on. I just finished doing it, but I can wait for you to catch up. ;-)

    At any rate, I think it’s cool that the new VLC will support AV1 and I really hope its video rendering and stability improve, as well. (And I hope that SMPlayer’s primitive playlist functionality improves in a future release, as well.)

    Oh, and by the way, I *like* the cone. It’s easy to spot in menus and on the taskbar/panel. Plus, it reminds me of that statue of the Duke of Wellington in Glasgow that pranksters keep topping with a traffic cone as a hat. Working with computers, I take my smiles where I can get them…

  9. Ayy said on February 7, 2019 at 8:57 pm

    PotPlayer on windows, mpv on linux with smplayer frontend.

  10. dmacleo said on February 7, 2019 at 6:15 pm

    notice they offer an msi build, that would help when deploying to multiple pc using a gpo.
    I use vlc, nix and win based pcs. just always works for me to mess no fuss.

  11. Gerard said on February 7, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    The new GUI doesn’t look like something I’ll want to use. Well, all good things come to an end, or so it seems. Goodbye VLC. Fortunately there are good alternatives.

  12. TelV said on February 7, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    Looks like you’ll need 20/20 vision to be able to see anything if the UI in the screenshot is going to become the default. I positively detest these black backgrounds with fonts almost the same color which fails to take into account that older users don’t have perfect eyesight anymore and can’t see what’s written on the interface.

  13. asd said on February 7, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    I’ve been a big fan of VLC since forever, but lately I have noticed that it has trouble playing some new fancy Ultra HD encodes (e.g. video stutters, while audio plays fine or vice versa), while PotPlayer and SMPlayer play the same files without any issue. I hope VLC improves the situation in v4.

  14. Darren said on February 7, 2019 at 9:24 am

    Whoa. Didn’t know this. Thanks gwacks.

    VLC’s network streaming is awesome. Use it all the time on my android tablet to watch locally decoded movies.

  15. gwacks said on February 7, 2019 at 4:23 am

    I’ll stick with VLC Player and never use PotPlayer no matter how good its UI is. Not only the PotPlayer is closed source, but it is also a *shame*.


    1. ULBoom said on February 10, 2019 at 11:41 pm

      It would be nice if they explained what terms were being violated. Pot Player doesn’t use ffmpeg unless you install it separately after the player is installed.

  16. Franck said on February 7, 2019 at 2:16 am

    Great news !!!

  17. LordDaMan said on February 6, 2019 at 11:52 pm

    The “new” interface is what the windows store version of VLC has always looked like

  18. Dran said on February 6, 2019 at 11:32 pm

    It looks like we lose 90% of the customization options with this new ugly mobile UI? I hope I’m wrong.

  19. Weilan said on February 6, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    VLC seems OK, so does MPC, but I like PotPlayer the most, because I’m used to the UI.

    When I have multiple files, like multiple episode from TV series, the playlist of PotPlayer works best. It’s docked to the right in fullscreen so when you drag your mouse to the right edge of the screen, playlist shows up. Not only that, but when you doubleclick one file from the folder, it automatically enqueues all files into the playlist and arranges them in alphabetical order.

    Neither VLC or MPC do that. Also both have pretty bad UI’s, not ugly, just bad, I like how both use the Windows shell and I hate PotPlayer for not doing the same too.

  20. ilev said on February 6, 2019 at 8:04 pm

    I use MPC-HC on the desktop. Infuse on iOS.

  21. Anonymous said on February 6, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    MPC is much better than VLC. There’s a very old bug that’s not fixed yet: VLC will keep doing Font Building everytime a video is opened

    1. boris said on February 6, 2019 at 9:02 pm

      I used to see this error popup once a day when I first open VLC, but sometimes last year it disappeared.

      1. Teglicha said on February 7, 2019 at 4:14 am

        I’ve never seen another video player doing any such kind of “font cache rebuilding” :@ .
        How is this possible that any other player works perfectly with fonts and subtitles without any popup and waiting to rebuilding anything?! Come on, waiting fo about 1-2 minutes before I can watch my first video?!

  22. Johnny said on February 6, 2019 at 6:41 pm


  23. Yuliya said on February 6, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    I like VLC. Both on PC and phone (:

  24. stefann said on February 6, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    Version 3.x is final version that works in XP and XP x64.

  25. Dave said on February 6, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    VLC is the only media player we use and we use it on everything “to play media”.

    The library functions are garbage, especially on android.

    Like Mozilla and M$, they are adding shit no one wants :(

  26. Coneiforme said on February 6, 2019 at 5:49 pm

    About time they changed the interface, also gapless greatly appreciated, as I test sound files with it before adding to the library which is handled by a different program. If only they’d get rid of the stupid cone.

  27. John Fenderson said on February 6, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    “Which media player to do you use mainly on the desktop and mobile?”

    I primary stream media from my Kodi server. On the desktop, I use the web interface for this, and on mobile, I use Yatse (A Kodi front end for Android).

  28. Anonymous said on February 6, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    Is it really worth upgrading ?

    They already support the latest codecs.
    You can stream over SMB, in windows.
    The play list manager is already good.
    Transcribing UI is also good enough.

    1. Jeff said on February 6, 2019 at 5:46 pm

      It’s not as awesome as MPC-BE.

      1. Neelesh said on February 7, 2019 at 2:10 am

        Really? It’s ;ast update was in 2016

      2. Jody Thornton said on February 7, 2019 at 3:32 pm


        The next release makes a slight pop sound on some MP3s when it starts. So I just with the version that caused no issues.

      3. Jody Thornton said on February 6, 2019 at 6:03 pm


        That’s what I use, but I stuck with an older x64 version (v1.7.1 from November 2013)

      4. JerryJ said on February 10, 2019 at 7:43 am

        No, that’s not what you use. What Jeff said was MPC-BE (“Black Edition”), which is under active development and pushes out nightly build everyday. The one you use is MPC-HC (“Home Cinema”) – I saw that from your version number – which ceased development in 2017 already. The two are very different.

        I do agree with Jeff that VLC is not as good as MPC-BE or PotPlayer. It never has been.

  29. John G. said on February 6, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    VLC is a nice media player for the common file formats, however I still prefer Klite Codec Pack.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.