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:

Playlist and video output share the same window, service discovery modules can be easily accessed through a sidebar and various audio + video filters are available through the respective panels. Besides that, the interface is noticeably faster and easily expandable.

As you can see from the image gallery, VLC 2.0 for Mac does away with the previous Spartan look and feel of VLC 1.2 in favor of an iTunes-like appearance that sorts media types in the left-hand column. Meanwhile, the media playback area and the controls occupy the remaining screen real estate. In case you missed it, VLC is among must-have Mac apps as it packs in support for dozens of media formats that either are not supported at all or are poorly supported under Mac OS X and QuickTime platforms. Essentially, the program does away with the need to install a bunch of codec packs. You will have access to the VLC 2.0 download free of charge here. If you are willing to try the first release candidate, download it here.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bBQwXpND_4] A video depicting what developers contributed to the VLC project throughout 2011, day by day.

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