VLC 4.0 is taking shape and fixing concept errors, but will it arrive in 2021?

VLC 4.0 playing video

It has been almost three years since VideoLan he presented the future VLC 4.0. The design change will be so important that I have been thinking for a long time which will be the only software that I will use to play music and local audio, as the music library will be vastly improved over v3.x. What initially dislodged me has been fixed over time, and this December I have given to try the player again.

Between my feelings I have positive and negative again. The best way to test it now on Linux is through its snap package, so it is not as fast, at least when opening it, than the official repositories version. In fact, in Manjaro it doesn't even open for me, until I run it the first time with the command "snap run vlc". The good thing is that, once opened, two things that made me worry have been solved, and the first is that, when playing a video, it has only one window again.

VLC 4.0 videos will play in a window

Because if. When trying VLC 4.0 nightly in the past and trying to play a video, I always ran into two problems. One of them was that some videos only showed a green image with the background sound, a mortal sin for software that has become famous for being able to play all kinds of video content. The other problem that worried me was that of have two windows when playing a video. To give you an idea, in the past the videos were played in a window similar to what we see in MPV Player, and the menus were in a separate window. VideoLan had to reconsider and now we see what we have in the header capture. By the way, on the right, although they are not visible (bug) is the volume control; we can raise and lower it with the mouse wheel or the touch panel.

Picture in Picture in VLC

A detail from the previous capture also draws attention. When we are playing a video and we click the upper left arrow to go back, the video will be minimized and appear in PiP mode or Picture in Picture, more or less as we see in the native function of youtube.com. If I compare it with the famous video service owned by Google, it is because, if we minimize the window, everything is minimized, something that does not happen if we use the Firefox PiP or any compatible browser.

For everything else, we have the same thing we had months ago: the music library greatly improves With respect to the current version, life is thrown to index it the first time we run it and the interface is very reminiscent of a mobile application, but all the menus are still available from the three points on the top right.

New options when starting it for the first time

Regarding the distribution, right now it does not respect if we change the minimize, close or restore buttons to the left, but I doubt if this will change depending on the mode we choose when starting the application for the first time. And it is that, right now, the first time we open it It asks us if we want the classic or the modern mode, something that I do not know if it will be the case when the stable version is released.

Less important is that they have improved support when playing external links. In VLC 3.x, there are YouTube videos not playing, but VLC 4.0 does move all the ones I've tried to reproduce. Of course, the quality is still bad, something that we have Google to thank. It is worth mentioning that MPV does reproduce the videos at a higher quality. There I leave the data.

By 2021? Hmmm, I don't think so

This year it was rumored that we would have VLC 4.0 in 2021, but now I have my doubts. In fact, I'd bet we'll have to wait, at least, until 2022. If you are wondering "how what at least?", The answer is found in the performance, which I think needs to be polished a bit (quite a bit). What is a fact is that it looks good, and I remain convinced that I will leave Elisa when they deliver the stable version. The wait will be worth it.


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  1.   Emilio said

    By 2022? Hmmm, I don't think so