What’s New In VLC 2.0? We Review The New Features & Improvements

Developed by VideoLAN, VLC is one of the few media players, which support a huge array of codecs, compression methods and file formats, and is best known for the way it handles multimedia file rendering. There’re surely sheer number of media players available nowadays, but VLC is arguably the most powerful, open source media player that comes with an extensive list of features and options. Last month, VideoLAN announced that the next version of VLC (codenamed Twoflower) would be released soon, and provided some nightly builds of  VLC 2.0 for testing purposes. If you’ve been eagerly waiting for VLC 2.0 final version, you will be glad to know that it has just been released. In this post, we discuss some of the most significant improvements and features of this major update.

VLC 2.0 brings a slew of enhancements for both novice and skilled users alike. Apart from numerous major video and audio output improvements, it includes some changes for packagers, such as default UTF-8 encoding (non-UTF-8 file support will not be available in future versions), the plugins path can be overridden with VLC plugin path environment, default tarballs will come compressed with XZ/LZMA, and most importantly, all the web plugins are moved to git://git.videolan.org/npapi-vlc.git.

VLC-2.0.0-New-Features-1

It also includes a wide range of additional devices and file formats support. You will be able to easily access and play media files contained in RAR container. The support for Blu-Ray discs has also been included. You can now specify Blu-Ray discs from Open Disc dialog, and tweak other Blu-ray playback settings. Moreover, the latest version supports all QTKit-compatible video and input devices. It also lets you capture partially hidden windows in the X11 screen input. The HTTPS access is also improved, and Windows version will be able to access media over HTTPS without facing any issues.

Major Interface Improvements And New Audio & Video Filters

Apart from under the hood changes and code improvements, the main interface has also been revamped and deeply debugged to give best media playback experience. If you use VLC as an audio player and often tweak with equalizer settings, you will notice a newly added Compressor tab alongside Graphic Equalizer. It lets you enable dynamic range compressor to change RMS/peak, Attack, Release, Threshold, Ratio, Knee radius and Makeup gain values.

compressor

You will also notice changes in Preamp, EQ sliders, and especially in Video Effects and Synchronization panels.  The Video Effects console’s tabs and their options are re-adjusted in a compact window. You no longer have to change the panel size or use the tabs navigation buttons. Apart from this, it now includes numerous new video effects and filters. For instance, the Basic tab is renamed to Essential, and now it has 2 extra effects including Banding removal and Film Grain. There is no Transform control in Essential tab, but you can access it from Geometry tab.

vlc essential

You will find Color fun controls in Colors tab. It also adds extra color controls including Negate colors, Posterize and Sepia. Since Image modification tab has been removed, its controls are placed into other tabs. For example, you can now access Gradient controls, which include Gradient mode and color & cartoon effects, from Colors tab.

color fun - colors

Alongside Magnification/Zoom, Rotate and Puzzle game, you will see Transform and Wall controls (from vout/Overlay tab) in Geometry tab.

geometry

Another major change that you will notice is re-adjustment of Logo controls. You can find all the options and controls which were accessible from Logo tab, in Overlay tab. It also adds a new feature namely Add text that allows you to overlay text on both local and streaming video. You can also enable/disable this filter with a click, and set the text position.

logo overlay

Similarly, you can access almost all the controls of Image Modification from Advanced tab. It includes controls like Waves, Water effect, Motion detect, Psychedelic and Motion blur from Image Modification tab, and Clone effect control from Vout/Overlay tab. You will find 2 new controls namely Anti-flickering and Spatial Blur to control/reduce flickering on the video, and apply special blur effect, respectively.

mirror effect new advanced

The audio/video and video/subtitles synchronization features have also been improved. If now offers a new subsdelay filter that allows you to change subtitles delays by specified value. Unlike previous versions, VLC 2.0 synchronization filters are more responsive, and immediately apply custom subtitles playback settings.

sub factor new synchronization


Apart from supporting 3 playlist view modes, VLC 2.0 now adds iTunes-like cover art playlist view. You can access the coverflow playlist view by clicking the change playlist view button, present adjacent to search bar.

coverflow playlist

If you switch to playlist view while watching a video, it will show a video thumbnail preview in left side bar. Unlike previous versions, which show only the sample VLC cover art, VLC 2.0 displays the associated cover art, and if it doesn’t find one, it simply shows the live thumbnail preview of the video. You can double-click it to watch video in full-screen mode.

playlist video thumbnai main

Talking of video window-related improvements, the full screen view mode now shows the docked video controller. It becomes active whenever you move mouse pointer to select the required option. A small button besides volume control lets you dock/undock the full screen video controller.

docked video

VLC 2.0 also makes it easy to choose and play other multimedia items in playlist while watching the video in full screen. Now, you don’t have to switch to compact mode to select audio/video file from playlist. You can access playlist from right-click context menu while watching video in full-screen. Just move to Playlist option, and it will show all the items on the screen. Moreover, you can now easily select subtitle file and access Tools menu from Subtitle and Tools options, respectively.

2.0 right-click

VLC 2.0 comes with a real-time search feature, which lets you easily find the options you want to tweak. The Preferences includes a search bar at top-left corner, allowing you to quickly search any option from  preferences’ categories.

preferences search

The Mac OS X version also includes a great deal of new features and options. The Main window and Video window is re-written from scratch. VLC 2.0 Mac version comes with both Mac OS X Lion skin (grey color) and QTX style skin (black color); you can switch between the default Interface styles from VLC—>Preferences.

Mac OS X Lion - VLC 2.0

Additionally, it includes Compressor and Spatializer filters, track Synchronization panel, new video effects filters. VLC 2.0 supports Mac OS X Full-Screen mode, allowing you organize media collection without any distractions.

mac os x audio

As far as codecs support and improvements are concerned, VLC 2.0 will allow you to use ffmpeg-mt to balance the decoding load. This will significantly reduce the time it requires to decode following formats: H.264, VP3, VP8, JPEG-2000, Mpeg-4 ASP/DivX and RV3/RV4. Moreover, the MKV file container playback improvements have also been incorporated. The latest version brings update for both RealVideo 3.0 and RealVideo 4.0 file playback. For those who play around with subtitles, it now supports decoding EBU subtitles files (.stl), and brings improvements for EIA-608 closed captions. Other notable improvements include support for WMV images (WMVP and WVP2), Lagarith Loseless video codec, ProRes 422 – 10 bits, DNxHD and JPEG-2000 – 10bits, and encoding of MPEG1/2 files via MP2 fourcc codec.


VLC 2.0 comes with quite a long list of features, interface-related improvements, code fixes, audio and video filters, demuxers, and streaming abilities. We’ve tried to cover only the most salient features and improvements. It must be noted that VLC 2.0 doesn’t include some modules from previous versions. You can view complete list of both added features and removed modules here.  VLC 2.0 is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. The 64-bit version for Windows is in works, and will be available soon.

Download VLC 2.0

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  • Mblaz2910

    I just wish subtitles would go below video.

  • Grayscale00

    So do they still have that problem wherein the program rebuilds the whole font cache everytime you install a new font on your system? (which takes a very long time)

  • Anonymous

    I don’t find coverflow for my album, I open folder with all my albums, and I can’t choose coverflow when I choose “Change playlist view”. Anyone could help me ?

  • http://www.techishare.com Samuel

    Thank you for this very nice in-detailed article Usman!

  • https://plus.google.com/114184423134867973203/about Juan Manuel Granados Garcia

    Videolan as a video player is impressive, although as music player even I can not findaccommodation or good features.
    I have many discs in RAR or ZIP, VCL and is supposed to be open, but if the songs are inanother folder in the same archive, not playing, not playing all the songs in a compressed file, just a few, and if the songs have unicode characters, just put the songs with the name???.

    Instead, foobar2000 will not have many functions like vlc, but it’s better archivesreproductions that the vcl.

    VCL hopefully, improve on that aspect, because if I like the video player.

  • Leeyan

    It has superb quality. Just downloaded. nice update.

  • Upocketcoffee

    i was always a fan of vlc media player but im sorry to say that i just uninstalled this latest version, it was far too buggy on my system (could not play video only audio and this affected my wmp as well, it kept changing my windows visual settings to basic every time it started…)

    • Clit

       your computer just sucks.

      • Upocketcoffee

        maybe you’re right but it sucks a bit less without vlc

      • Veribla

        It would seem that you’re a very intelligent human being.

  • Marcelo

    I really like this program.  It has every feature I need except stay on top as an audio player.  The convert/save feature is very useful for video and audio conversion.  I like to customize the toolbar.  It has a few neat visualizations and plenty of good shortcuts.  Dragging and dropping audio files is handy. I like to be able to change the gamma, contrast and brightness for some videos.

  • Pawan Deep987

    there is no itunes like cover flow option

  • Michael

    Now that I have updated, nonne of my videos have preview, they are all just orange cones, the ones from the previous version, I can see the video and not the orange cone. how do I fix this?

  • Bharatgawande22

    this vlc media player version is bull shit….when i try to play mkv file the seeking bar is shown full before the file ends…and secondly the audio is very low…must improve these things….

    • ItzMee

      I just downloaded and installed the program, and played an MKV file with excellent results
      Maybe it’s the quality of your source material. 

      (just sayin)

  • Kalta

    i cant undock the playlist from the main viewing screen on mac. this article says there is a button by the  volume controls but that is on windows and i see no such button on my mac version. what gives?

  • Devesh singhal

    vlc 2.0 has ruined my lappy’s voice…:(

  • Chaitanya

    the vlc 2.0 does not playing Audio in Movies or Video properly.

  • Akeydesk

    Version 2.0 stinks!  Constant color shifting upon watching video.  For example, If the video scene moves in for a closeup, the entire background and face color keep changing!  As if it can’t decide on the color of the subjects.  Thank God I kept GOM and can drop VLC.  Too bad they made a mess of it.  

  • Guest

    Is this version onwards the FAST / SLOW rate control is not possible anymore? Did you guys checked?

  • http://www.facebook.com/antonisashiotis Antonis Ashiotis

    vlc player, I cannot save my preset compressor settings as i do with my preset equiliser settings. pls help!

  • http://www.facebook.com/antonisashiotis Antonis Ashiotis

    vlc player, cannot save my preset compressor settings as i did with equalizer preset. pls help!

  • c

    The VLC 2.0 suck. I does not support a lot of videos and is slow in my machine. I just reinstalled version 1.x