VLC Player is a popular open-source, cross-platform media player that needs no long introduction. Whether you’re using Windows, MAC, Linux or any other supported operating system for that matter, you must have tried the media player at least once. Its universal support for virtually all known multimedia file formats make VLC Player a the default choice for many users. While the iOS variant of VLC Media Player is available on Cydia, it’s the Android users who’ve been eagerly waiting for the media player to be released to the Android Market. Well, that day might not be very far away as Android developer CVPC has just released a pre-alpha build of VLC Player.
It seems as if the developer, like most Android users (including me), thought it was about time the platform got its variant of the VLC Media Player and so decided to come up with a build of his own. The developer has created two variants of the app: NEON and NO-NEON for two types of processors.
Here’s how to find out your device’s processor type:
- Use any file manager with root access capability (Root Explorer, ES File Manager) to navigate to the /proc directory
- Locate and open file cpuinfo in HTML Viewer
- You should now be looking at detailed information about your processor. Try finding the word ‘neon’ in there
- If you find it, then you must download the NEON version of the player. If not, then continue with the NO-NEON variant (links at the end of the post)
In order to install the downloaded APK, you must have the Unknown Sources option checked (enabled) on the Menu > Settings > Applications screen.
VLC Media Player opens in video mode by default. There’s a button at the top-right corner to toggle between video and music mode. To start playing files, you must first specify directories on your device that contain media files. For this, tap Menu > Preferences > Directories and select the desired folder(s). Depending upon the selected player mode, you can view a list of all the music/video files on your screen.
We tested the player on a couple of our devices (Samsung Galaxy S and HTC Desire Z to be precise). While the APK was downloaded and installed successfully, the app itself – we must admit – did disappoint. When put to test with multiple video formats, the player seemed to take an eternity to list them all. Moreover, the quality of the video files that were played (eventually) wasn’t up to par as most of the files either did not run smoothly or were filled with playback glitches. Still, this is just a pre-alpha build and so it isn’t a big surprise that it isn’t ready to replace your default media player.
The video player offers you the option to switch between various screen aspect ratios and to lock the screen during playback to avoid pausing or skipping ahead by mistake.The music mode of the player played all tracks fed to it without any hiccups. When in music mode, you can see the various filters that can be used to categorize your music. Just swipe left/right on the screen to sort music by songs, artists, albums, genres and to view your playlists.
That’s about it. As mentioned earlier, the app is just a pre-alpha build so you might experience a few bugs and force-closes here and there or you might not be able to run it on your device at all. Still, if you like to get an early taste of what the final product might have to offer, you may download the APK for your device from the links provided below or head over to the app’s developer’s website (link provided at the end) for further information.