Late last year, we heard that the open-source media player VLC was destined for an Android port to arrive sometime in early 2011. Soon, we moved into what was clearly no longer “early” 2011, and VLC had yet to materialize. In March we got a small update on the project, learning it might be coming out in beta in a few months’ time. Again, the window passed with no release. As of today, there’s still no official release, but one Android developer has taken matters into his own hands, compiling what he’s calling a pre-alpha version that you can check out now.
Why have we been patiently waiting for VLC for so long? After all, there are lots of other Android media players out there, right? Part of the appeal of VLC is its near-universal compatibility. Most of the time, it will play whatever file you throw at it without blinking. Add to that some powerful tools for viewing streaming video, and it’s enough to keep our interest piqued.
Curious developers have been able to compile their own builds of VLC for Android for some time now, but CVPCS (whom you might remember from his CyanogenMod work) has made his publicly available. There are two different APKs: one for phones with processors supporting NEON floating-point operations, and one without. Download the proper one for your hardware, and you’ll be able to check out this very early version of VLC for Android, as we all continue to wait for an official release.