VLC maker VideoLan unveiled a technical preview called VLC 360-degree for Windows and Mac. The experimental version enables you to view 360-degree videos using the desktop program, and navigating the video with your mouse. The new 360-degree feature is set to be folded into stable version of VLC version 3.0. If you really want to try the technical preview, know that it’ll replace your current build of VLC.
VLC managed to integrate support for 360 degree videos by working together with a camera maker Giroptic which specializes in 360-degree cameras. You will be able to use your keyboard and mouse to look around in the videos, controlling your point of view. This feature will be available on mobile devices as well with VLC using the accelerometer in the phones to control the point of view.
Sadly, this early version of VLC doesn’t support YouTube 360-degree videos using VLC’s network stream feature. VideoLan does have a sample videos you can try out, however. We contacted VideoLan about the YouTube support, Video Lan President Jean-Baptiste Kempf told us that support for YouTube videos is dependent on Google. ‘When YouTube will export videos with 360 metadata standard, they’ll play directly,’ Kempf said.
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 this feature in the final release of VLC 3.0, which should be out in coming days.
Support for 360-degree video is just the beginning for VLC’s immersive video plans. In 2017, the group plans to support VR headsets such as the Google Daydream, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive. VideoLan also plans to support Razer’s OSVR. The app is also getting 360-degree audio support “including head tracking headphones,’ says the company, although it isn’t clear when that will happen.