When it comes to media players, Android device users are spoilt for choice. There are nice offerings like GoneMAD, Neutron, n7player, Rocket Player, BS Player and legends like Poweramp and doubleTwist that have been there since the beginning of time. However, for most users, more so those who have PCs, there is always the need for something that is familiar on Windows desktops that is also available on the Android platform. Given that VideoLAN’s free VLC player is one of the most popular in the world, it’s always an easy pick for many. Well, the likes of jetAudio and Media Monkey also exist but those are just so-so. Only that, unbeknown to them (users), the experience can be quite jarring and frustrating, a departure from the master of the desktop that they know.
With the release of VLC 3.0, which is available starting today, the team behind the popular music player hopes that those dark days of a 50-50 user experience are behind it. Version 3.0 of the app fixes most of the glitches of its predecessor, version 2.5, as well as adds one of the most requested features: Chromecast support.
As is always the case with anything that is meant to work with Google’s popular media streamer, things should be easy.
“As soon as a Chromecast is detected by VLC, you can send it a video or audio media and enjoy watching it!”
Support for Android Auto, desktop extensions like Samsung’s DeX and Chromebooks has also been added. Interestingly some of the features that have been added to the app so as to take advantage of things like DeX and the Chromebooks also apply to [some] Android boxes that have the app installed. I am able to drag and drop files to the player on my Remix mini as well as get a context menu on right clicking the media in question.
Unfortunately, thanks to Chromecast’s development kit not being fully open source the new version of the app still lacks access to Google Play Services. What this means is that those who use VLC at home (or wherever) to cast videos won’t be able to use voice control features like they would when using other apps like Google’s own YouTube app.
The team behind VLC has gone to great lengths to explain why it took forever to add Chromecast. You can read that here.