The VideoLAN project
the release of version 1.0.0 of the
VLC media player, its main
The VideoLAN project description states:
VideoLAN produces free software for video, released under the GNU General Public License.
It started as a student project at the French École Centrale Paris but is now a worldwide project with developers from 20 countries.
The VLC media player description states:
VLC media player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, ...) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.
It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network.
It doesn't need any external codec or program to work.
VLC media player is an all-encompassing application and the
feature list is quite extensive. The
What can vlc do?
document gives an overview of VLC's capabilities and the
has a large collection of documentation about the software.
Some of the more notable features include
cross-platform operation, support for a wide variety of
audio and video formats, the ability to play from many input sources,
and to send output to many destinations.
In addition to local media sources, a number of network-based streaming
formats are supported.
All of the audio and video CODECs are built-in.
VLC can also perform transcoding and live audio and video filtering.
In addition, the software supports metadata operations such as adding
subtitles and decoding tags.
Finally, VLC is also able to perform unicast and multicast streaming.
streaming feature list for more information on that capability.
VLC 1.0.0 is a milestone release, from the announcement:
The VideoLAN project is pleased to announce the release of the first version of the Goldeneye branch of VLC: 1.0.0.
This major release introduces many new features, new formats and new codecs to the VLC multimedia framework and fixes a very high number of bugs that were present in the 0.9.x or 0.8.6 versions.
Your author installed VLC 1.0 on an Ubuntu 9.04 "Jaunty Jackalope"
system by following the Ubuntu
installation instructions. Installation was fairly straightforward
and the software was run using the vlc command.
The test system's rather ancient Athlon 1700 processor was able to
use VLC to play an assortment of audio files (.wav, .flac and .mp3)
with no problems. VLC was able to play audio CDs from the local CDROM
drive by selecting Media->Open Disc then choosing Audio Disc.
VLC has the ability to browse various media sources and
playlists can be assembled from those sources.
A typical assortment of audio visualization features such as an
oscilloscope and a spectrum analyzer are available.
Audio effects include a graphic equalizer and a programmable
audio spatializer effect that can be used to enhance the stereo
separation of the audio.
A .mov file that was created on a Nikon S10 digital camera was
played, both the audio and video playback stopped and restarted on
regular intervals. Perhaps the processor speed is insufficient for
the task. It should be noted that video files from this camera
have had similar problems playing back on other video software such as
While VLC provides the normal assortment of start/stop
and rewind buttons, it lacks the ability to step through
individual video frames.
The video source was switched to a local USB webcam by clicking the
Media->Open Capture Device menus and adding /dev/video1 as
Some of the video effects were tried, and everything worked as advertised.
There was a substantial time delay (around 2 seconds) in copying
the video image to the screen. For comparison, the video
was run on the same system and it was able to display the webcam
image with very little delay.
The playing of streaming network media was also tested.
The Media->Services Directory menu was activated and the Shoutcast TV Listings
item was selected. View->Playlist was selected and
Shoutcast TV listings was chosen. A large collection of
media sources showed up in the window. Double-clicking on them
connected to the various audio and video sources and the
broadcasts played without any problems.
At first glance, VLC appears to be a fairly simple media player
but after poking around, the software reveals a huge breadth and depth
of capabilities. In most cases, the software performed quite well
on limited hardware. The inclusion of a wide selection of CODECs
makes VLC easy to install and use.
If you need a single application to access local and networked
media, VLC is an excellent choice.
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