VLC is known for supporting basically any video format you throw at it on a wide range of platforms. Now the venerable media player is getting into the 360-degree videos with a technical preview called VLC 360° for Windows and Mac released over the Thanksgiving weekend.
The new feature was developed in collaboration with Giroptic, a California-based startup specializing in VR and portable 360-degree cameras. The latter reportedly provided VideoLAN with video and code samples, cameras and guidance to implement the feature. As a result the desktop apps can now display 360-degree photos, panoramas and videos, using the mouse and keyboard to control your point of view.
While VLC can already play YouTube videos directly using its network stream feature, unfortunately that doesn’t apply to YouTube 360-degree videos for now. VideoLAN’s Jean-Baptiste Kempf told PCWorld, “When YouTube will export videos with the 360 metadata standard, they will play directly.”
The ability to play 360 degree videos should arrive in final for with with VLC 3.0, which is expected at the end of the month. Going forward VideoLAN says it will make this feature available on its mobile apps as well, and use device sensors to navigate inside the videos.
The organization also said that its software will “probably” support VR headsets such as HTC’s Vive, Google’s Daydream, and Facebook’s Oculus Rift some time in 2017.