We’re massive fans of Chrome OS here at Ausdroid, but there’s limited video playback options outside of Google’s own fairly limited player. That limitation is now at an end with VLC now available as a download from the Chrome Web Store.
Jean-Baptiste Kempf, president and coder for the VideoLAN organization announced the release on his website. The Chrome OS app is an ARC-welded version of the Android app, mainly due to the way that the underlying code is written. Using the Android App allowed the VLC team to recycle 95% of the Android code and the resulting optimisations they had added in over the last couple of months.
ARC or Android Runtime for Chrome was released by Google in limited access to selected developers to bring their Android apps to ChromeOS after last year’s Google I/O. They expanded the function with the release of the ARC Welder tool in April this year, but it’s taken till now for an official VLC ARC port to appear.
Reliance on the ARC Welded app does have limitations, the largest being you can really only run one ARC-welded app at a time – though with a little playing you can get more going.
It’s time to note that this is VLC for Chrome OS, not Chrome, so you will need a Chrome (Book, Base, Box, Bit etc.) to install it.
The biggest feature of having VLC for Chrome OS is the support the application brings for the more hard to get codecs like AC3 sound which Google has never licensed for Chrome OS. Reports from users are saying that AC3 sound is definitely working, which is further supported by the feature list for VLC for Chrome OS:
- all video files supported in VLC, including MKV and DVD ISOs,
- all audio files supported in VLC, including FLAC and other weird audio formats,
- subtitles files, from SRT to SSA and with auto-detection, when possible,
- a media database like on Android and iOS to select the right medias, and resume playback,
- playback of streams, local and on the internet, include adaptive streaming like HLS or DASH,
- we also support playlists, accelerated playback, audio equalizer, audio/video synchronization and hardware accelerated video/audio decoding.
If you have been scared off by lack of video playback options in Chrome OS previously, it’s time to revisit that. Head over to the Chrome Web Store to check it out.