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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The OS X version of the app has some significant advances in UI, as well. The playback menu is now customisable, with the ability to toggle all of the transport controls (such as next, previous, shuffle, repeat).  Amusingly, videos can now also be played as a desktop background. Subtitle options are now exposed in the main player window. There is also wider support for accessibility and VoiceOver, such as in playback windows and full screen mode.

Although the new version is currently only available on the Mac, an update to the iOS app is imminent.