Technology

VideoLAN Media Player Debuts 360 Features


Written by Al Caudullo

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Acknowledging the help of Giroptic, the 360 VR camera, VideoLAN has released VLC version 3.0 which delivers 360 playback for both MacOS and Windows. They went on to state on the website, “This project wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Giroptic, who has provided samples, cameras, code and expertise on those features.

Richard Ollier, co-founder and CEO of Giroptic said,“VLC is one of the video players most widely used in the world. We are very proud to contribute our expertise in 360° to this open source player.
This will allow the millions of VLC users to take full advantage of a promising new technology and be widely involved in its democratization.”

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And he is not wrong. VLC is a free, open source player that play practically every video format in use today. The VideoLAN Project, as it is known started as an academic project in 1996. Originally VLC stood for “VideoLAN Client”, but since it is no longer just a client that no longer applies. However, the name has stuck in the form of the VLC Media Player. There are versions available for Windows, Windows Phone, Android, Tizen, iPad and iPhone and even the iPod Touch.

The default system includes free decoding and encoding libraries. This makes the software immensely popular since you don’t need to pay for proprietary plugins. The addition of 360 is another step in opening up the 360 platform to a broader base of users.

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The list of 360 features includes:

Playback of 360 Videos following the Spatial Video spec
Playback of 360 Photos and Panoramas following the Spherical spec
Display modes with Zoom, Little planet and Reverse little planet
Control it with your Mouse and Keyboard
Open Source and Cross-platform, accelerated with OpenGL and Direct3D11

This is a big step as future releases of VLC with 360 features will be available for Android, iOS and Xbox One. Mobile versions will use the phone sensors to navigate inside the videos.

VLC will probably support VR headsets like Vive, Daydream, Oculus or OSVR, in 2017.

VLC will also get 3D audio playback, including head tracking headphones. We’ll keep you posted.