Popular VLC video player is getting AirPlay support

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VLC AirPlay
VLC will make it easy to stream to Apple TV from anywhere.
Photo: VideoLAN

CES 2019 bugPopular open-source video player VLC is getting AirPlay support “in about a month.” VideoLan, the team behind it, also plans to make it easier for users to switch to VLC from iTunes.

The confirmation comes just as VLC celebrated a staggering 3 billion downloads — around a quarter of which came from mobile devices.

VLC should be installed on every computer. The do-it-all media player is completely free to use, and it takes the hassle out of playing almost any media format. If you have a video or audio file that won’t open in QuickTime, you can be sure it will work in VLC.

What’s more, VLC will soon be able to stream content to your Apple TV over AirPlay.

VLC will get even better in 2019

That might not sound all that exciting to some Cult of Mac readers. If you use a Mac or iOS device, you can already stream content to your Apple TV. But with AirPlay support in VLC, you’ll be able to stream from third-party platforms, too.

It will be easier than ever to stream audio and video from Windows and even Android smartphones and tablets to any AirPlay device. And VLC will become one of the first apps to make this happen, following Apple’s decision to open up AirPlay to more companies.

Jean-Baptiste Kempf, one of VLC’s lead developers, told Variety that we can expect AirPlay support to arrive “in about a month.” And that’s not all we have to look forward to in 2019.

VLC is also adding enhanced VR support

A new update that rolled out this week adds support for the AV1 video format, and in future releases, we’ll see enhanced support for virtual reality video.

Kempf explained during a demonstration at CES in Las Vegas this week that the VideoLan team reverse-engineered major VR headsets to natively support video through the main VLC app. Relying on third-party SDKs would have added hundreds of megabytes of code to VLC, but the team’s own solution increased the app’s overall footprint by around 1 megabyte.