VLC is one of the best media players available, whher you’re looking for something on desktop or mobile. The Android version has come a long way since release, offering one of the best ways to view your movies and TV shows on the go.
Today the VLC app was updated with several new performance enhancements and fewer app permissions for the security-minded. The speed enhancements Comecon improved decoding methods and a quicker interface, plus some changes that bring things more in line with Material Design. There’s also support for 4K videos, in case you’re the kind of person to store enormous 4K rips of movies on your 16 GB phone.
Hit the link below to grab the update if you haven’t already.
source: Android Police
Come comment on this article: VLC gets updated with simplified permissions and tons of speed tweaks
Kodi’s media player got a name change last year and now it has something even better — official Android status. The app formerly known as XBMC is now available on the Google Play store for all takers. It actually arrived to the store last month in beta form, but prior to that could only be sideloaded on Android. Version 15 (codenamed Isengard) now supports Android 5-specific features like 4K and variable refresh rates on certain Android TV devices, like NVIDIA’s Shield. Another new trick on all platforms is “adaptive seeking” that lets you search material faster by tapping a key several times.
There’s also new audio and subtitle lists, an updated add-on manager, improved video queuing and better live TV closed-captioning. It has other minor tweaks and fixes (check the source), and the XBMC foundation said that the next release would support DirectX 11. You can grab the app now on Google Play, but just remember that Kodi is a deep app, so leave yourself some time (and possibly some help) to get it working.
Turning an Android device into a media center is a somewhat difficult task. There isn’t a lot available and Android as a whole doesn’t always play nice with what’s available. However, there are some apps that can help you along the way. Let’s take a look at the best Android media center apps.
[Price: Free / $4.99]
First on our list is AllCast and it isn’t a media center on the face of it but it can act like one. You can keep your media on your Android device and with AllCast, stream it to practically anything including Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox 360 and One, and others. This essentially turns your phone into a media center that you can control and send content to your home TV screen at will. It’s a clean solution that requires little set up and you can pick up the AllCast Receiver app to turn any Android device into a device that AllCast can stream to.
[Price: Free / $4.69]
BubbleUPnP is a DLNA app that lets you stream your media to a variety of devices similar to AllCast. It works with Chromecast, DLNA TVs, most modern gaming consoles, and it also supports local playback. Much like AllCast, it’s not a media center on the face of it, but you can use it to manage and stream your media to practically anywhere straight from your Android device. A bonus is that you can also access media from other DLNA-enabled devices (e.g. your PC) and play media from them.
[Price: Free with in app purchases]
LocalCast is another competitor in the DLNA-streaming space and, as such, also works well as a media center app. It supports the usual array of devices including gaming consoles, DLNA-enabled TVs, Chromecast, and others. You can also stream from some unusual places like Google Drive, Dropbox, and more so you can manage and stream your media without keeping it on your Android device. It’s a nifty app with some good features.
Matricom MediaCenter is a fork off of XBMC and one of the few ways to get XBMC straight from the Google Play Store. It’s based on the latest build (Kodi) so you can expect to see all of the features (and issues) found in XBMC’s Kodi. It’s a good alternative media center, especially for fans of XBMC. It says that it only officially supports the Matricom G-Box Q, but I was able to install it on all of my current devices. That said, it may not be available for all devices. There is also a matching launcher you can install for a full experience.
Media Browser for Android is a basic media center-style application. With it you can browse your media and the app will pull information about it in order to make more in depth. It requires a media server set up that’s very similar to Plex which means it can be installed and will work across multiple devices. The interface is basic, but effective, and it’s a good alternative to Plex when it comes to a media center and media streaming setup.
Mizuu is a more classic media center app that manages your on-device media and also some places where you can stream content such as YouTube and TED Talks. It features a Material Design inspired interface that made headlines not long ago. It used to be a paid app but it recently went completely free so you can try it out without spending a dime. It has one of the best interfaces of any app on this list and if all you need is local media management, this is a great option.
My Media Center is an interesting application because it integrates so many various functions. It manages your local media but you can also connect your TV services (using compatible devices) and use the app as a DVR. It cannot stream live TV or recorded TV but it does allow you to manage your TV from your Android device. This includes a universal search so you can find the stuff you want, the aforementioned DVR scheduling, and then, of course, your local media is integrated in. It’s a fun app with a lot of potential to be an all-in-one sort of solution.
[Price: Free / $4.99 for the app. $4.99/month, $39.99/year, $149.99 lifetime for Plex Pass subscription]
Plex is known as one of the premiere media browsers available. You have to set up a media center on your PC which is surprisingly easy but after that you can stream media from your PC to your Android devices, TV, gaming consoles, and a lot more. The paid version of the app is fairly useful but the best features are in the Plex Pass subscription which actually allows you to use gaming consoles and lets you stream from literally anywhere with an Internet connection. The interface is quite lovely and functional as well.
[Price: Free with in app purchases]
Remote Media Center HD is a bit different because its point is to communicate strictly with your PC. That lowers the potential points of failure and simplifies things for people who only need to engage with media on their computer. It also has some features similar to My Media Center where you can search the EPG grid (TV) and schedule DVR recordings. You can even use it as a remote. It does take a little bit of set up and know-how to get it to work flawlessly but it is still a solid option.
VLC for Android is a long time favorite media player for desktop and laptop users and the Android variant became stable at the end of 2014 so mobile users can enjoy it as well. It plays music and videos from a vast number of codecs and even allows you to stream video content if you have the URL for it. It has a media center style interface which makes it a light and solid option for people looking to manage their local content with a few extra features tossed in for good measure. It’s also totally free and easy to use.
XBMC has been a popular media center option on a ton of devices for many, many years and it’s getting better on Android all the time. You can get the latest Kodi stable builds for your Android device with the only hiccup being that it’s not actually available in the Google Play Store. You’ll have to download and sideload this application on your own. XBMC is a full featured media center that manages your DLNA media, your local media, and there are a host of plugins that let you access all sorts of other content. It’s trusted by many but it does require a little bit of know-how to set up so prepare for that.
You can find the installation instructions and download links for XBMC by clicking here
If we missed any awesome Android media center apps, let us know in the comments!
CES 2015 is well underway, at least the press releases are, with all the major players introducing great new products all day. Sony has a great selection of new and updated gear to be proud of, and on the personal audio front they have introduced a new 128GB Walkman Hi-Res Digital Music Player NW-ZX2.
The new Walkman is an Android powered device with a 4-inch TRILUMINOS touchscreen, WiFi, Bluetooth and NFC. That 128GB or internal storage is matched by a microSD expansion slot and battery life is projected at 60 hours while playing MP3 titles, down to 33 hours when playing Hi-res audio.
Audio support is an exhaustive list, including the most popular audio formats that are not protected by copyright. MP3 support runs the gamut of the audio type, with this 60 hours of battery expected with MP3 files at 128kbps. Hi-Res audio includes FLAC, Apple Lossless and AIFF running at up to 192Khz at 24bit.
In addition to the list of supported file types, Sony has highlighted a list of key features, including the S-Master HX digital amplifier, DSEE HX (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine), ClearAudio+, Clear Bass, VPT, an equalizer and more. You are also open to install your favorite media player from the Google Play Store as well, thanks to it running Android as an OS.
By all accounts, Sony has a killer audiophile device here, but you aren’t going to buy the NW-SX2. Your favorite audiophile is probably not going to buy this unit either. Why, you ask? Let me explain.
In the world of Android, most devices strive to launch or update to the latest release of the OS. While this is usually pretty important for your phone or tablet, Sony has a different perspective when it comes to this Walkman NW-SX2, as the unit will ship with Android 4.2 Jellybean.
OK, Android Jellybean is something you may shake your head at and overlook, it isn’t a phone after all. I figured you might say that, so I saved my best argument for last. You and most people out there are not going to purchase the Sony Walkman NW-SX2 because of its price tag. Take a guess. Nope, higher. Higher. That’s right, the ‘best’ personal audio device that Sony has to offer will run you $1200.
Oh, and it does not come with headphones, you’ll need to buy those separately. Head on over to the Sony website for more details.
What do you say, does the iPod Touch, or your old Android device re-purposed as an MP3 player, have anything to worry about in the Sony Walkman NW-SX2?
No doubt, people love utilizing VLC’s applications to play their unconventional media files, but pairing nice looks with that great functionality can go a long way. Thankfully for Windows 8.1 users, VideoLAN, the maker of VLC, has just released a completely redesigned version of the app for Microsoft’s OS. The application now features a much brighter, cleaner and polished look than on previous iterations, making it look flatter and more in line with Windows 8’s Modern UI. As WinBeta points out, the revamped VLC player is designed only for the tile-based side of the platform, meaning it won’t work with that traditional Windows desktop you love so much.
Source: Windows Store
Philips has just revealed a new lineup of 4K TVs, along with a way to actually play something on them. The standout model is the 55-inch curved Philips 8900 model that brings Smart TV features via Android. That gives access to the Google Play Store for apps, games and content and an interface that smartphone users may find
less miserable more comfortable. The set itself uses Philips’ three-sided Ambilight and micro dimming to adapt the viewing experience to your room, along with a 1,000 Hz refresh rate, high-quality upscaling and a curved “ribbon” stand. Unlike Samsung and others, Philips didn’t explain exactly why it thought a curved screen was a good thing, other than hyping its “striking appearance” (hey, at least they’re honest).
Philips (or rather TP Vision, the awkwardly-named company that markets Philips TVs) also showed off the Philips 9100, a flat, high-end model UltraHD TV in 55- and 65-inch sizes. It also gets Smart TV functions powered by Android, and the 1,000 Hz refresh rate, upscaling, and four-sided Ambilight glow. But the model’s piece de resistance is Spotify integration, letting you control music with your smartphone, without actually tying it up for streaming. Unlike the curved model, it also ships with a 50 watt subwoofer.
For the budget set, TP Vision launched the Philips 7900 UltraHD TVs in 49- and 55-inch sizes. Those models are also powered by Android, but have knocked-down specs like two-sided Ambilight only (instead of four-sided), and 600Hz refresh rates — two features that purists won’t care about anyway. Like the rest of the models, the 7900 also sports minimal bezels.
Finally, if you’re tired of upscaling HD content, TP Vision also announced the Philips Media Player UHD 880, joining Samsung, Sony and a few others with such a box. It’ll work with all the new Philips models as well as those from 2013 and use a new HEVC streaming format (aka H.265), the standard used by video services like Netflix. The UHD 880 will be powered by Google’s upcoming Android L OS, giving users the store, apps and games that also come on the TVs. Other features include WiFi, ethernet, USB and HDMI 2.0. It’ll run 249 euros when it arrives in Europe early next year, but if you bought an 8000- or 9000-series model like the first two above, Philips will throw it in for free. Meanwhile, all three new 4K model lines will arrive to Europe in Russia sometime this quarter, but there’s no word yet on pricing.
VLC Player is a a pretty household name by now with the media player being one of best and most popular on PC. It’s mobile compatriot apps are not yet quite as widely accepted, however things may be about to change as it has been confirmed that VLC for Android is getting Chromecast support soon. Interestingly, the VideoLAN development team had only initially mentioned Chromecast integration for the Windows, Linux, Mac and iOS versions of the player, however the Android version was confirmed soon after that.
Perhaps ironically, especially given that Chromecast is a product of Google, VideoLAN has said that Chromecast support would only be coming to the Android app after the iOS version. This is somewhat predictable though, as the Android app is still in beta, iOS having gotten preference, though it looks like the PC version is likely also going to be delayed somewhat due to a lack of SDK support. However, it has already been mentioned on the Play Store page that the next major revision of the app will remove the beta tag.
What do you think about VLC for Android getting Chromecast support? What do currently use for playing your media? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Source: Android Police
Let’s say you bought a new laptop and wanted to check out a few videos that you legally downloaded without leaving Windows 8′s touch-focused UI — until now, your options have been pretty limited. If you’re feeling a little adventurous though, the beta version of VLC’s media player that Microsoft News spotted on Redmond’s app store should do the trick. It’s an experimental port of the Windows RT app, however, and as such the application has a few hurdles to clear before it’s ready for prime time. General sluggishness compared to the desktop version and some audio bugs, for instance, are a few issues that may crop up. Developer VideoLAN says that this version isn’t nearly as stable as it should be (it is a beta, after all), but that hasn’t stopped you from downloading its apps before, has it?
VLC for Windows 8 first beta: http://t.co/CxDfE2gfNi
– VideoLAN (@videolan) March 12, 2014
Via: Microsoft News
Since its launch in September, Opera’s iPad-centric browser Coast has struggled to remain as visible as some of its more popular mobile apps. In an attempt to breathe some life into the app, the company today dropped a new update that introduces a number of new customization, navigation and media features that set it apart from Apple and Google’s browser offerings. In version 2.0, Opera has ditched the familiar forward and back buttons in favor of the gestures it supported at launch, so expect your swiping finger to get more of a workout. The app now lets you set wallpapers using images from your Photo Roll and gives you the option to select which apps to open PDF files in, whether it be iBooks, Dropbox or another PDF-compatible app. Coast now also features its own media player, which is capable of handling music playback from the iPad lockscreen. The new update is said to make browsing speedier and more secure than before — very helpful if you need to make a quick escape from some of the nastier corners of the internet.
Via: Opera Press
Source: Coast (App Store)
Amazon has opened its pre-order doors for the Samsung Galaxy Player, the Android 2.2 device that we first laid eyes on at IFA last year.
And with Sammy hoping that the Player will take on Apple’s touch screen PMP king, the iPod touch, the price point signals its intent.
Coming in at £40 cheaper than the 8GB iPod touch, the 8GB Samsung Galaxy Player may not have the retina display of its Cupertino rival but it does boast DNLA compatibility, a 3.2-inch TFT-LCD display, expandable SD card memory, and access to the Android market.
Basically, it’s a Samsung Galaxy S without the phone capabilities (in the same way that the iPod touch is a phone-less iPhone).
It’s got Wi-Fi on board and you’ll get 30 hours of audio playback or 5 hours of video from the 1000 mAh, replaceable battery.
It can handle an array of file types and video codecs including MP3, AAC, WAV, FLAC (lossless), WMA, OGG, AMR, MPEG4, H.264, H.263, WMV, DivX and Xvid.
There’s also a 16GB version available for £30 more, so if you’re thinking about video on the go, then you may want to fork out the extra.
The models from Amazon are white, and will be shipped when the Samsung Galaxy Player is released on 7 January.
VIA : pocket-lint