VideoLAN, the non-profit French organisation behind various open-source projects, has introduced a new release of its ever-popular VLC media player.
Version 1.1, codenamed 'The Luggage', is available now at videolan.org and introduces a raft of new features; including GPU-accelerated decoding of various formats on Windows and Linux platforms, improved support for MKV HD and added support for a number of new codecs.
In an effort to make the application both faster and lighter, the developers state that improved decoding can provide performance gains of up to 40 per cent, and the software itself should leave a smaller footprint as less popular features have been removed and repackaged as extensions.
Speaking of extensions, VLC 1.1 comes equipped with a new script framework for easier customisation, and there's a bevy of audio enhancements, too. These include support for DVD-Audio files and added support for CD-Text under Windows.
Despite the long list of improvements, however, it seems VLC development hasn't been entirely trouble free.
Unlike previous releases, version 1.1 is without integrated SHOUTcast functionality. According to VideoLAN, "the SHOUTcast module is not available on the distributed VLC any longer, because AOL Corporation is hindering Open Source Software."
The developer adds that in order to include the SHOUTcast module, it would have been required to adhere to AOL's licensing requirements - which include a mandatory obligation to bundle the SHOUTcast Radio toolbar. VideoLAN adds that users wanting to complain about the removal of SHOUTcast should contact AOL directly.
Extending its frustration to others in the industry, VideoLAN also comments on the hardware best suited for GPU-acceleration by stating that it is "quite sad to be forced to recommend NVIDIA GPU, until ATI fixes their drivers on Windows, and until VLC developer get access to some Intel hardware supporting GPU decoding".