VLC is the open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most media files, as well as DVDs, Audio CDs and VCDs. Throw a media file at VLC and chances are it will play it.
That makes news that the App is being ported to Apple TV significant.
What this means is that files not supported by iTunes, such as MKV and FLAC, will soon be playable on the new Apple TV.
Unfortunately for many media buffs, the Apple TV won’t support external storage through its USB port, much like its predecessor.
In fact, the new Apple TV uses a USB-C port, meaning even those curious about attaching an external hard drive will be unlikely to try – unless they own Apple’s £15 adapter.
So how will files be playable in VLC? Well, content can be streamed on a local network from a PC, not exactly the best option when a decent internet connection is present, but will likely satisfy most casual users.
For the more extreme media buff, Plex has also announced that it is exploring Apple TV as a potential platform in the future.
Plex is already one of the most media server providers in the world, but it has never officially supported the Apple TV.
With tvOS, those who have a Plex media server will one day be able to browse their TV shows, photos, movies and music directly from their Apple TV.
Unlike VLC, Plex can connect to a media server anywhere in the world – it doesn’t have to be a local connection; it will also organise content by watched, unwatched and by season.
Plex is not making any promises just yet; currently the company says it is just exploring the developer tools available to it.
One key feature that won’t be available to Plex, unless Apple gets in touch, is Siri functionality.
Apple will only make universal search available to select App developers, like Netflix and Hulu.