The VLC media player is one of the most popular programs of its kind in the world. In addition to playing almost every media format ever invented and boasting a plethora of customization options, VLC also gained a whole lot of fans by being developed as an open-source software project. The Android port of this popular player has been available on the Google Play Store for over four years now and just like every other version of VLC, the app has been receiving regular updates ever since then.
Speaking of which, VLC developers just announced another major feature for their media player. Namely, as of a few days ago, this piece of software boasts support for 360-degree videos. The said functionality is still in an experimental phase of development and is currently only available through a technical preview version of VLC for computers running Windows and macOS. However, VideoLAN already confirmed that support for 360-degree videos will be packed with the VLC 3.0 which is slated for an official release in the next couple of days.
This feature has been developed in collaboration with Giroptic, a San Francisco, California-based virtual reality startup best-known for its portable 360-degree cameras. According to VideoLAN, Giroptic has provided them with video and code samples, cameras, and guidance while they were developing VLC support for 360-degree videos. The wording of VideoLAN’s press release suggests that the Californian firm helped them free of charge, simply for the sake of driving the global adoption of 360-degree video content. The Android version of VLC is expected to introduce this feature at some point next year. In addition to that, VideoLAN announced that they’re planning to bring VLC to VR headsets including HTC Vive, Google Daydream, and Oculus Rift. That VLC port is also expected to hit the market next year. Last but not least, developers confirmed that 360-degree audio support for the Android version of VLC is also in the works, though no release window for the thereof has yet been given. All in all, aficionados of 360-degree videos have a lot to look forward to next year. Regarding the VLC technical preview mentioned above, keep in mind that this feature is still a work in progress so it may not run seamlessly before VideoLAN launches VLC 3.0.