VLC, the cross-platform play-everything-and-we-mean-everything video client is about to go 2.0 on the Mac. And amongst all the new features is one very welcome change: A completely re-designed interface that makes it look a lot more at home on Apple hardware than the open-source v1.x ever did.
VLC, or Video LAN Client, started out in 1996 as a school project at the École Centrale Paris in France. It has since become one of the most useful video apps anywhere, able to open and play almost any video file ever made. Even if you only watch DVDs you should grab it: you’ll never have to watch a trailer or anti-piracy ad ever again. It works almost anywhere, and even existed as an iOS app for a short while.
V2.0 for Mac has reached “final design” stage, and will be available later this week at the official Videolan.org site. The most obvious new feature is that it is no longer ugly, with a sleek new design by student Damien Erambert. While it doesn’t exactly match the look and feel of OS X Lion, it certainly looks like a Mac app rather than some horrible Linux abomination. You can even switch between regular Lion gray or a slick black style reminiscent of some of Apple’s pro-apps.
And Lion users will be pleased to see a proper Lion-compatible full-screen option.
Under the hood the changes are legion, but it’s the new UI that has us excited, especially with its navigation sidebar which makes finding the media on your Mac and your network dead easy.
It looks so good I’m tempted to go back to watching movies on my Mac instead of my iPad.