updated 11:09 pm EDT, Thu June 28, 2012
Major improvements in minor upgrade for OS X users
Alternative multi-platform and multi-format media player VideoLAN Client (widely known by its initials, VLC) has updated to version 2.0.2, which despite the minor version number is a significant if not major upgrade for the long-standing open-source player and converter. Mac-specific changes includes fixes to PowerPC Macs with certain video cards, osd and menu support, and HiDPI support for Retina display and high-resolution display Macs.
The program updates its support for libvlc/VLCKit applications in OS X; fixes cropping, zooming and rotating video; improves subtitles auto-detection and Blu-Ray playback, and offers many fixes for bugs in MP3, mp4, voc, MKV, Real media files, DVB channels, various mp4 audio codecs like Apple Lossless, Vorbis and Dirac; MPEG-2 audio encoding, JPEG generation for stills, and incorporates numerous bugfixes in OpenGL, Lua scripts, Qt, skins, the web interface and various security concerns.
The video output in v2.0.2 is said to be more accurate, RAR compressed files can now be played properly, HTTP access through a proxy is fixed, v412 webcams that output to H.264 are supported, HLS support is improved and the AAC decoder is now more stable. Audio output has also been improved, including DirectSound device selection, PulseAudio volume control, sampling rates in JACK output, and latency and broken driver issues in ALSA output.
Mac users in particular get a plethora of fixes and enhancements, including support for video output on Macs using the ATI Radeon 7500 and 9200, along with the NVidia GeForceFX 5200 Ultra. Ten-bit encoded streams now work correctly on Intel Macs that have the Intel GMA 950 chipset (running OS X 10.6 or later). The program also now fully supports Mac keyboards other than those made by Apple.
New features include drag-and-drop support of playlist items between the temporary list and the media library; importing of playlist items from the service discovery modules to the media library or a playlist, and the return of an option to hide window decoration during playback as well as returning Keep Aspect Ratio when resizing. Users with Apple Remotes can now set the Mac to sleep through a longer press of the Play/Pause button.
VLC now offers improved compatibility with third-party apps that use SPMediaKeyTap, new controls for altering the subtitles duration next to the Track Synchronization panel, persistent hidden items in the sidebar, and fixes crashes that occurred when trying to play an Audio CD or DVD (or BD DVD) via drag-and-drop onto the program's icon. Crashes during program exiting and when mounting devices with many logical volumes (such as a RAID array) while VLC is running are fixed, and the chosen audio device is now remembered properly. The program has also been updated to be compatible with Growl 1.3, a third-party notification system.
Finally, the program has picked up numerous translations so that it can work with languages major and minor, including slavic languages like Czech, Estonian, Ukranian, Hungarian and Polish; Asian languages like Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Thai and Khmer; well-known languages such as Irish, Japanese, French, Italian, Greek, Spanish Hungarian and Dutch; and lesser-known languages like Walloon, Breton, Galician, Telugu and new support for Scottish Gaelic.
The program is free of charge and available on all three major platforms. There are still no announced plans for a mobile version of the program, though a short-lived unauthorized version found its way into the App Store last year.