Users will now be able to run the popular VLC media player on their Chromebox or Chromebook devices as the company recently launched it as a port of the VLC Android version of the app.
Chrome OS is the latest desktop OS to be ported with VLC. Prior to the launch, the media player already existed for Windows, ReactOS, Haiku/BeOS, OS/2, Solaris, BSD, Linux, and OS X.
"VideoLAN and the Android teams are happy to announce the port of VLC to the ChromeOS operating system," said VideoLAN. "This is the port of the Android version to ChromeOS, using the Android Runtime on Chrome."
It should be noted that Chrome OS has a built-in media player of its own which allows users to play common media formats. With the VLC launch however, media users can now access more powerful features in their browser. These include support for a bigger range of audio and video formats such as MKV and FLAC and support for playlists, files with subtitles and Internet video streams.
"VLC for Chrome OS is also a full audio player, with a complete database, an equalizer and filters, playing all weird audio formats," said Google on its web store page. VLC for Chrome OS plays most local video and audio files, as well as network streams (including adaptive streaming), DVD ISOs, like the desktop version of VLC. All formats are supported, including MKV, MP4, AVI, MOV, Ogg, FLAC, TS, M2TS, Wv and AAC. All codecs are included with no separate downloads."
Back in April, Google also launched Android Runtime for Chrome (ARC) which had allowed developers to launch Android apps on Chrome OS, Windows, Linux and Mac. The launch paved for easy porting of VLC for Android, which is a good thing, considering that the latter has support to several devices. There is also an expansion to Android TV and Chrome OS that is currently being carried out.
Users ought to remember that Chrome and Chrome OS are not identical. Jean-Baptiste Kempf, VideoLAN's president and lead developer, said that since ARC is only available for Chrome OS, it will not work on Chrome's desktop version.
"The ARC solution was a blessing, and helped us to recycle 95 percent of the Android code and optimizations we did in the last months," said Kempf in a statement given to VentureBeat.
VLC for Chrome OS is a free and open source app. So far, the app has been tested on an HP Chromebook 14 and on a Chromebook Pixel. Since the app can play files that are saved to a computer or a network drive, users can still operate the app even when they are offline.