The folks over at VideoLAN just launched VLC, the world’s most used media player, on the Apple TV. Those of you interested in downloading and using VLC on your Apple TV will have to search for it in the App Store on the Apple TV. If you have already have the iOS app, you should see it automatically in the “Purchased” tab in the Apple TV store.
The recently released app gives users access to all of their files and video streams in their native formats, which means that you don’t have to convert content in order for it to play properly on your device. This goes along with the company’s goal of stating that “VLC plays everything and runs everywhere.”
The VideoLAN team says it has been working on it since Apple first announced the “future of television.” In reality, today’s release is just VLC for iOS ported to work on the big screen. The company recruited 2,000 beta testers who have been helping test the port since mid-November via Apple’s TestFlight service.
As of right now, the VLC for Apple TV can play, pause and look for all the file formats you’re used to on other platforms, even going as far as including support for chapter and title navigation along with multiple audio and subtitle track selection. The app can also automatically discover content on the local network using Windows Shares (SMB), DLNA/UPnP media servers, FTP and PLEX servers. The login credentials that users utilize for the devices and services are securely stored on the Apple TV and synced to the respective iOS device (whether it’s the iPad or iPhone) or vice versa. VLC also supports custom playback speed, which the VideoLAN team mentioned no other media player on the Apple TV currently offers.
Alongside all of the traditional features that everyone is likely used to, the new app also includes a handful of Apple TV-specific features. Out of these, Remote Playback is likely the most interesting as it is a custom way of casting media stored on other computers to the Apple TV via a browser. So how does this feature really work? VLC provides you with an IP address for your Apple TV. If you open it in your browser, it allows you to drag and drop one or more files to play them on the Apple TV.
If you still aren’t convinced about using VLC for Apple TV, might be interested in learning that native integration with several cloud storage services such as Box, DropBox and OneDrive are also in the pipeline. This functionality is already available in the iOS app and is currently being tested by the Apple TV beta testers. Furthermore, the VideoLAN team has hinted that VLC fans can expect a lot more in the pipeline for 2016 so expect a slew of feature releases to be released in the future.
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