VLC media player to receive a major rehaul with the version 4.0 – Digitalmunition

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Published on February 12th, 2021 📆 | 5186 Views ⚑


VLC media player to receive a major rehaul with the version 4.0

Our beloved VLC media player is not so different from what it used to be in the early 2000s. Three major releases, namely version one, two, and three have reinforced the video fidelity and the support for newer codecs. I shifted to different media players because I had a few problems with the redundant UI that took astonishing loading times despite the bleak interface. Another anomaly that I didn’t like was the lack of subtitle search options for media files.


VLC player is set to receive a major update that will bring it up to date with a more interactive UI, animations and icons while adding a few necessary quirks that are long due. The news has been in the air for quite some time, with a conference and presentation in 2019 that highlights the important and new updates to the media player. The founder of the VideoLAN group, Jean-Baptiste Kempf, reiterated that VLC will be more interesting to navigate than ever but will still retain all the features that made it the popular free to use media player, since its inception.

The first major change is the UI and the look and feel of the media player. Version 4.0 will feature an elaborate pane for music as well as media files, which shed its earlier design. The icons will change too, bringing in darker and smooth icons will a bold attire, that are easy to click and look at from a distance. I find the icons to be very much identical to the VLC media player for Android that uses a cleaner and modern icon pack. The all-black menu bar and the player design is something that most media players like the Pot Player, for instance, have adopted for a long time. All black themes are in vogue now and there’s no way that VLC media player should not include it in version 4.0.

Like the Android counterparts of the MX player, VLC is aiming to bring in more online content into the software. The video content will be free to watch instead of advertisement placement in between the playback as well as advertisement integration into the player. I don’t like the fact that VLC media player will give in to the lucrative world of advertisement, but a company needs capital to thrive, and ads are a clever way to do so. The VLC media player has been downloaded 3.5 billion times until now, making it almost half of the world’s population.


VLC was used in webpages by a direct plugin that had poor response time and very few file formats to work with. VLC 4.0 will remove the plug-in and now use Webassembly and JavaScript to facilitate the webpage playback. Another nifty quirk is the creation of the Moviepedia project that is more like the IMDb database but with the option for editing and managing by the VLC users. These two features or rather developments sound pretty ambitious that will most likely be shelved for a later release.

No precise release dates have surfaced on the web and the founder is equally mum on the topic. I still like the fact that VLC founders are looking to continue their legacy and build a robust player that can keep up with newer counterparts. You also get the subtitles to search and download option, a feature that I love on my Android TV.

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