Sunday, 20 December 2015


For the past 14 years, VLC has gradually gained traction around the world as “the” software for users interested in media playback, mainly because it is so flexible when it comes to the audio and video codecs it supports.
VLC continued what BSPlayer started, and it improved the job a hundred times. But a new milestone has been reached as the Chrome OS platform finally supports VLC. The media player has been downloaded almost a billion times across Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS and Android.
This is good news for Chromebook owners, who were limited until now to the formats natively supported in the Chrome OS media player. Since the update, users can download VLC from the Chrome Web Store.
VLC for Chrome OS works just like any other version, supporting all video and audio files, including MKV, FLAC, and DVD ISO. At the same time, users can use it to stream media files from local or Internet sources with all features that come with it: subtitles, accelerated playback, playlists, an audio equalizer, and hardware-accelerated decoding.
According to Jean-Baptiste Kempf, president of VideoLAN, the program is basically a port of VLC’s Android version, based on the App Runtime for Chrome tools released by Google in beta earlier this year.
As Kempf explains in his blog post, it would’ve been extremely time-consuming to build a native Chrome app in JavaScript, from scratch; the team used roughly 95 percent of the Android code for the OS version.
This discovery is especially important seeing that App Runtime adoption hasn’t been visible among developers. Except for VLC, only a handful of notable Android-to-Chrome ports have adopted it, such as Evernote, Vine, and CloudMagic.
There’s an explanation for that, however, seeing that Google doesn’t officially offer a way to port these apps to Chrome for Mac or Windows. Therefore, most developers would rather write native Chrome apps, which is less of a hassle.
In fact, VLC debuted on Chrome OS way back in March, and there are few clues as to why it took the app another nine months to surface. However, VLC warns users about potential glitches and bugs in the initial release.
If you’re wondering why this matters, it’s because it might hint to Android Runtime getting more of a chance to play an important role next year in the Chrome OS-Android merger – which is only rumored for now.

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