VLC Adds Support for 360-Degree Video

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The free, open-source VLC media player just got a sweet new feature: support for 360-degree videos.

The nonprofit VideoLAN organization worked with 360-degree camera maker Giroptic on the new feature, which will let you play all your 360-degree videos and images directly within VLC. VideoLAN says this makes VLC the first major video player to support 360-degree videos right out of the box.

Those interested in checking it out can download the VLC 360 technical preview for Windows 7 or later and macOS 10.10 and later. The feature will be integrated into the final release of VLC 3.0, which is due soon.

For now, VLC has some 360-degree test samples — an eagle video, surfing video, and mountain panorama — so you can try out the new feature in preview. You'll be able to use your mouse and keyboard to check out a 360-degree video or panoramic photo from all angles.

VideoLAN said the project "wouldn't have been possible" without Giroptic, which provided samples, cameras, code, and 360-degree expertise.

"VLC is one of the video players most widely used in the world. We are very proud to contribute our expertise in 360-degree to this open source player," Giroptic co-founder and CEO Richard Ollier said in a statement. "This will allow the millions of VLC users to take full advantage of a promising new technology and be widely involved in its democratization."

Future releases of VLC with 360-degree features will be available for iOS, Android, and Xbox One, VideoLAN said. VLC will also "probably" support VR headsets like the HTC Vive, Google Daydream View, and Oculus Rift in 2017.

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