VLC Overview: 2.1 “Rincewind” appears the identical, performs higher

At a Look

Skilled’s Ranking


  • Extra secure and versatile
  • Opens media quicker


  • Similar default look
  • The myriad choices may very well be higher organized

Our Verdict

As at all times, VLC is the free media participant you need in your system…however the variations in 2.1, whereas actual and welcome, are laborious to identify.

The VideoLAN Participant, a.okay.a. VLC, hardly ever struts a flashy replace. Its default look by no means adjustments, and the enhancements are invariably underneath the hood. But it surely’s free and highly effective…and with its built-in codecs overlaying nearly each kind of media underneath the solar, it’s the massive canine within the multimedia playback kennel.

VLC’s default interface stays the identical, however VideoLAN has enhanced the participant’s efficiency and stability with a rewritten audio core and bug fixes all through.

Model 2.1 “Rincewind” is out for Mac and Home windows each, however I examined the Home windows model solely. VLC 2.1 is considerably higher with video than earlier iterations, particularly WMV and FLV information. I nonetheless noticed the occasional undrawn frames (which may exist for as much as 5 seconds in earlier variations) when in search of, however they weren’t as frequent as they’d been, they usually disappeared extra rapidly. Loading instances appeared quicker as effectively.

VLC can also be nice for taking part in audio and helps every thing, together with encompass as much as 7.1 channels. Effectively, nearly every thing. It didn’t play my historic VQF file, however I’ve but to seek out the participant that may. VideoLan rewrote VLC 2.1’s audio core, and I’d like to say I may hear a distinction…however I couldn’t. It was darn good already.

VLC 2.10 screenshot
VLC’s FX and filters haven’t modified a lot in 2.10 “Rincewind.”

VLC is my default participant for audio once I’m on a system with DTS or Dolby augmentation. But it surely has no psychoacoustic FX similar to Trubass or iTunes Sound Enhancer, so when the sound requires it, I change to Window Media Participant. I’m hooked on that form of stuff once I’m listening for pleasure versus checking a mixture. The compression, equalizer, and Spatializer out there in VLC minimize an excessive amount of quantity at default settings and are too difficult for many customers.

Quite a lot of what’s modified in VLC is help for {hardware} decoding on Mac and Android methods, in addition to being ported to later variations of the latter. However there’s additionally down-mixing from 6.1 to five.1 or stereo within the FLAC codec, in addition to higher AVI and MKV recording. There’s a brand new subtitles menu on the primary web page for faster entry and the amount show now solely goes to 125% (previously 200%, which remains to be the precise most quantity), however these are the one beauty adjustments I may spot. There’s additionally obscure however intriguing point out of “preparation for Extremely-HD video,” which received’t have an effect on most of us—have you ever turned up any 4K video currently?—however may very well be necessary sooner or later.

These are only some highlights. VideoLAN retains an in depth record on the VLC launch highlights web page.

VLC 2.10 screenshot
VLC nonetheless has a myriad of choices, even with the preferences dialog in “easy” mode.

VLC stays a media participant you need in your system, if for nothing else than the occasional file that your favourite participant received’t deal with. Extra probably, it can grow to be your go-to. Should you’re upgrading, go for it. This model appears secure (not all have been) and far improved in lots of areas.

Notice: The Obtain button takes you to the seller’s web site, the place you’ll be able to obtain the most recent model of the software program acceptable to your system. That is donationware: You’ll be able to help additional growth by making a donation to the developer.

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