VLC Goes 1.0

Free open source QuickTime Player alternative, around for most of the decade, is finally out of beta.

VLC, possibly the most versatile desktop video player in the world, was announced as version 1.0.0 (aka “GoldenEye” if you prefer Ian Fleming style nicknames). Its features are widespread, but among the most significant is that it is the only major alternative to QuickTime Player that allows you to step frame by frame through a video file, a limitation which has frankly stymied professional use of Windows Media, Real and other closed-source players.

But that’s not all. With VLC 1.0.0 you can also:

• record live video
• play dozens of file formats on Mac, Windows or Linux, many of them otherwise unsupported (including QuickTime on Linux, apparently)
• play DVDs from any region
• play damaged or partially downloaded files otherwise considered “unplayable”
• view full screen (and even pipe audio out to AirTunes)
• since some readers are already using VLC 1.0.0, I encourage you to add other favorites in the comments!

The feature list is quite long and – due to the intense rush to download VLC – the forum and wiki, major sources of information, are disabled today and perhaps for some time.

If there were one feature I would hope they would add for version 1.5, it would be playback of image sequences. A nerd can dream.


Mark Christiansen

Author of After Effects Compositing series at lynda.com; founder of New Scribbler LLC, developer of Cinefex for iPad; Adobe Press author, VFX artist on major motion pictures including Avatar and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End