VLC 4.0 update release in 2021 with online play-anything action

Chris Burns - Feb 12, 2021, 9:37am CST
VLC 4.0 update release in 2021 with online play-anything action

This week the folks behind the video player app VLC announced that they’d be bringing a major new version of the product to the public later this year. VLC 4.0 will be released in the year 2021 with a brand new user interface, making the entire video watching experience more intuitive and full of features for videos of all sorts. This new update will bring VLC into the future with more than just local video playback – they’ll be rolling with extensions for online content, too.

This update was revealed in a VideoLAN foundation President Jean-Baptiste Kempf interview with Protocol. In said interview, Kempf makes the current state of software clear. Where the desktop experience (and the mobile experience, to be quite frank) used to be about installing apps for every little activity, now it’s back to basics.

“People have stopped installing software on their machines,” said Kempf in the interview. “What they install is a web browser, a video player, an office suite, probably a PDF reader, maybe a photo reader, and that’s it.”

Kempf notes that this means an app like VLC is more likely to be specifically targeted by malicious parties. Hackers understand that there are only a few apps on any given computer – and VLC might very well be one of them. As such, they’re working to sandbox VLC beyond any security protocol they’ve initiated before.

Per the interview, VLC 4.0 will be release this year with a new UI that’ll be “a bit more modern.” This release will “integrate more online content directly into the app” and will “pull in third-party content.”

The update will also apparently release a new VideoLAN plug-in for modern web browsers. Where the old plug-in really doesn’t work anymore – after years of being OK at doing the basics – now VLC will return as a sort of in-webpage player. This new version for the web will work with Webassembly and JavaScript.

VLC 4.0’s release date range is still pretty broad. Kempf didn’t really go further than saying it’ll be released inside the year 2021. Chances are we’ll see this app (and the plugin) released in Q2 or later… but we can still cross our fingers and hope for an earlier drop!


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