Major update to VLC for Mac adds 4K support, improved MKV support, interface improvements and more

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VideoLAN has released version 2.1 of its popular open source video player, VLC. The update — codenamed “Ricewind” — brings new audio processing to the app, to improve both processing performance and audio fidelity. There is full support for surround sound outputs in addition to new effects and many new supported metadata formats for audio.

On the video side, the app has ported the OpenGL output to OpenGL ES, making ports to iOS and Android much easier. Notably, VideoLAN says that VLC is now ready for Ultra-HD content (otherwise known as 4K). The app update has also focused heavily on improving MKV compatibility, including better seek performance and subtitle metadata support.

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VLC 2.0 arriving with all-new UI, native full screen in Lion, Blu-ray support, more

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VideoLAN, the organization behind the open-source cross-platform VLC media player, is geared to launch VLC 2.0—a total rewrite of the program with new capabilities and an all-new user interface on the Mac platform. Available on Mac OS X, Windows and a variety of Linux/Unix platforms, VLC 2.0 [changelog] includes enhancements such as a native full screen mode in Lion, a redesigned subtitle manager, support for multiple video files inside RAR archives and enhanced video output modes. The Mac version will also support unprotected Blu-ray media, and Windows users will get to enjoy a 64-bit version.

The developers also added support for VLC’s lua-based extensions, letting users get information about movies from Allociné, post to Twitter, fetch subtitles automatically, and so forth. No disc burning features are included because “there are more suited apps for that.” One of the developers on the project Felix Kühne published a series of screenshots (more available on Flickr) highlighting the new Mac interface, credited to designer Damien Erambert. According to Kühne:

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