VLC Media Player for Android is almost a reality

first_imgAndroid as a platform has always fallen a little short when it comes to media playback. The native apps that come with every Android device don’t make it easy to watch movies. The only native app that allows you to navigate movies is the Gallery app, which is great for photos, but bad for movies.There are a handful of third-party apps in the Android Market that try to act as a suitable replacement, but most of them only have a few file types they will support. Converting your entire video library to support your phone seems pretty silly to me. On my computer it’s easy, it doesn’t matter what the file type is as long as I’ve got the VLC Media Player installed. The greatest atribute VLC has is the truly massive library of video and audio codecs enabling it to play nearly any video or audio file. Fortunately for the rest of us, one clever developer found the tools needed to start bringing VLC to Android.Among the many contributions to the Android ecosystem made by Austen Dicken are his developments in support of the Motorola Droid line of phones for Cyanogenmod, Embedded Gentoo for Android, and as a fun side project he’s playing with VLC for Android.Austen describes his work on VLC for Android to be pre-alpha at this point in time, but he is still able to show some impressive results regarding basic functionality. In its current form, VLC for Android is actually two separate programs, one for the two different processor types currently supported by Android. The processor types are flagged NEON and NONEON. You will need to know which your phone is in order to use the app.Currently, the app supports playback, and little else. There’s some file management so the app can just pull from a single folder on your SD card instead of searching the entire card, but no more of the features you would expect to see in a desktop version of VLC. For a pre-alpha, the app has been faster and more stable than any other video player I have used on Android. On top of this, it’s free and has played every file I have thrown at it so far.Please be aware that this app is pre-alpha. It’s not available in the Android market, and Austen has already stated in his blog that there is no support for this app. Download and install it at your own risk, but be prepared to enjoy a great video playback experience.last_img