VLC is a popular open source media player famous for supporting almost any kind of file format. It’s loaded with features, and can even do things like stream media from Twitch while touting native Chromecast support. The developers are always looking to add more things to make it the ultimate media player, and have just released an update that virtual reality fans will love. Starting with a new technical preview called VLC 360°, users can now view their favorite immersive video content in their favorite media playback app.
Though this is just a preview for now, the feature is set to be baked into the full experience in VLC 3.0. There is no release date for this version as of yet, but the developers have mentioned that it will be hitting the mainstream sometime in 2017. When that happens, the media player should have full and complete VR support, and should even be able to do things like stream 360 degree video content from places like YouTube.
The developers worked with a consumer 360 degree camera company called Giroptic to get make sure the player works properly with these videos, and it seems to be doing a great job so far. The company is looking to expand file types of the videos that can be played back, and says they hope to support Google Daydream, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and even Razer’s OSVR later down the line.
This update won’t be specific to desktop, either. The company will be bringing the features to Android and iOS later on, meaning you could use the application with devices such as the Samsung Gear VR headset.
In addition, supporting the XBOX One Windows store app means that the developers will make the player compatible with Microsoft’s new virtual reality headsets in the future. This, in combination with 3D audio support for tracked headphones means that users should be able to use virtually any headset or accessories later down the line with the player, leading to the ultimate experience for virtual reality enthusiasts.
Do you use VLC in your daily life? I personally love using it to stream movies to my Chromecast. I couldn’t get along without it.
You can find the most recent build here.