Anyone who deals with a disparate collection of media files can attest to the headache of keeping up with a seemingly endless assortment of container files and codecs. That is, the headache it used to be until the introduction of VLC, the open-source media player that effortlessly seems to handle pretty much anything you can throw at it. iOS users have been able to enjoy a mobile edition of the program since the fall, and now developers have turned their attention to Android, which should be seeing its own VLC app in a few weeks.
Jean-Baptiste Kempf, head developer on the project, revealed Thursday that his group has made significant headway in getting video and audio to properly output on Android devices. There’s still a lot of coding to be done in order to ensure compatibility with so many different Android handsets; fragmentation rears its ugly head.
The key breakthrough came with the release of the new Android NDK earlier this month. That package lets developers use native code to get performance levels that might be unobtainable using the standard Java resources. That’s a big deal, since the iOS versions of VLC have had some problems with HD files; anything that speeds things up for Android is going to be invaluable, especially considering how some phones are significantly more powerful than others.
Look for the initial Android VLC app release in early 2011.