The guys from VideoLan today announced the release of their open source multimedia software VLC 2.1, codename Ricewind. The update adds a new audio core, hardware decoding and encoding, port to mobile platforms, preparation for 4K / Ultra-HD video and more supported formats. Ricewind fixes more than thousands bugs and over 140 volunteers worked on the update which resulted in a huge changelog.
The mentioned audio core rewrite makes it possible to support higher sample rates, introduces better volume management, better device selection, new channel layouts and new outputs. On the decoder part there are now more formats supported. The update adds support for Ulead DV audio, Techsmith Screen Codec 2, Microsoft Expression Encoder Screen, Indeo Audio Coder and RealAudio Lossless. Also on the encoding and demuxing part there are lots of improvements.
VLC 2.1.0 also brings new ports of Android and iOS and partial support for a Windows Store App. Lag in reactivity, notably on volume change and seeking, have been fixed but also some grave video settings propagation. To identify music the update adds support for audio fingerprints using AcoustID
The developers have announced that they will now more often release major updates of VLC. They aim for a 6-months schedule with long term support.
According to the developers the VLC core is now ready for next generation formats like H.265/ HEVC (expected in a month) and VP9 (expected in two weeks depending on Google). The developers also stated that their goal is to make it possible to play everything everywhere for free. This means that they will release VLC versions for as many platforms as possible, supporting as many formats as possible while remaining open source.