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VLC adds another trick to its bag with support for 360-degree video

VLC has been around for more than 15 years and for many computer users remains the go-to media-player software thanks to its ability to effortlessly handle a plethora of formats.

The enthusiastic army of developers behind the open-source media player has just added another trick to its bag: 360-degree video support for its desktop app.

VideoLAN, the organization behind the VLC player, notes that its new feature is the result of a collaboration with 360-degree and VR specialist Giroptic, which has provided everything from samples to cameras, as well as code and expertise, for VLC’s new functionality.

VLC 360 is currently offered as a technical preview for Windows 7 and later and macOS 10.10 and later, and VideoLAN promises to integrate the feature in the final release of VLC 3.0, which should be out in the coming days.

You can take VLC 360 for a spin now by hitting this page, loading it up, and clicking on a couple of test samples that include a couple of 360-degree videos. Alternatively, try watching your own videos if you’ve shot anything with an applicable camera such as Samsung’s Gear 360, or if you have any other suitable footage you can use.

“We are very proud to contribute our expertise in 360 to this open-source player,” Richard Ollier, co-founder and CEO of Giroptic, said in a statement, adding that the development will “allow the millions of VLC users to take full advantage of a promising new technology.”

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VideoLAN said that future releases of VLC with 360 features will be available for Android, iOS, and Xbox One, with mobile versions using a handset’s accelerometer to explore the images and videos.

The organization added 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.