I am not so sure about the music side but when it comes to playing video, VLC is one of the best players for both Windows and Linux operating systems. I can’t even remember for how long I have been using it as the default video player on my computer. A few days back when I heard that the developers have crafted out a version of the player for Android devices, I was excited to try it out.
I have been using the player for a few days now and it’s quite stable considering the beta tag associated with its name. If you want to try out VLC Player for Android as you read on, it can be done from the Play Store. However the current version (released on 6th of December) only supports devices with an ARMv7 or an x86 CPU. The installation size also varies from Android versions and devices.
Important Note: We have written an amazing guide on VLC called The Ultimate Guide to VLC Media Player. It’s available as a beautiful page as well as a downloadable ebook. Make sure you check that out.
VLC Media Player for Android
When you launch the application, it will show you a warning that the app is still in beta phase and the developers takes no responsibility if anything goes haywire on your device. You can ignore it and check the option to hide any such future notification. The app takes care of both, your video and music needs and automatically scans and builds a list of music and video files you have on your device, unless you have them hidden as a system folder.
The player creates two separate world for videos and music and one can easily switch between them using the sidebar. The videos are listed along with their thumbnails and you can simply tap on any one of them to start the playback. The app remembers the last played position of videos in the library and resumes from where you left unless you give special instructions before you start playing. When you long press on a video thumbnail you can find the option Play from start. The player can also play videos from a network stream.
Along with the traditional buttons which can control playback, it supports gesture recognition. You can increase or decrease the brightness of the device by swiping your finger up or down in the left corner of the screen. Swiping the finger on the right takes care of the volume. There’s a button which can lock the on-screen controls but that does not work for the home and back soft keys. You can also seek the video by swiping your fingers left and right.
I was able to play 1080p high-definition videos without any lag but that might change if you are running the app on a low configuration phone or tablet. The player supports multiple audio tracks and subtitles. You can also change the aspect ratio of the video using the on-screen button while playing the buttons.
The audio player of VLC is pretty standard and there is nothing much to talk about it. The status bar notification lacks media control buttons but you can add the mini player as a widget to control the playback. There is only one widget size available and a bit healthy person might have a tough time dealing with it.
You can restrict the app media scanner to few selected folders by selecting the directories in the app preferences. There are other few settings here you can have a look at but none of them has a huge impact on playback.
VLC Beta player for Android is pretty good and is worth trying out. The developers are saying that the overall interface will be changed in the final build, and when that happens, we will let you know. Don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already.