The hugely popular multi-platform, open-source VLC Media Player is well known for it's wide support for virtually every multimedia format available. The nifty media-player is already available for Windows, Mac, Linux and Apple iOS platforms, while Android port of this software is still under development in pre-alpha phase - we now have a first public compiled binary build of Android VLC Media Player for Android available for download.
Similar to another popular media-player port of MPlayer to android, VLC for android will allow users to say goodbye to all the multimedia re-encodings as they will become a “supported format” for your device once VLC is in there.
There are two builds available of VLC for Android, known as NEON and NONEON. The difference is in the processor type.
Because VLC for Android makes use of the NDK (Native Development Kit), it is compiling native-level binaries that will only work on the processor class for which they were designed. This means that the same build will not work across all devices.
Specifically, when building the native VLC libraries for Android, you have to specify whether the target supports NEON floating-point extensions. Certain devices contain a dedicated floating-point unit (FPU) which is used to do floating-point calculations such as division (think fractions). Other devices don't have a dedicated FPU, and instead need to emulate one in software.
Although VLC could be built to simply always emulate an FPU and thus work across devices, making use of the dedicated NEON FPU is advantageous from a processing perspective as it offloads work that the CPU has to do.
So that's all well and good, but how does one go about checking if their device supports NEON or not? It's actually quite simple. Using either a file manager on your device or simply ADB, locate a file called /proc/cpuinfo and open it.
When you do, you'll see something like this:
Processor : ARMv7 Processor rev 2 (v7l)
processor : 0
BogoMIPS : 1597.74
Features : swp half thumb fastmult vfp edsp thumbee neon vfpv3
CPU implementer : 0x41
CPU architecture: 7
CPU variant : 0x1
CPU part : 0xc09
CPU revision : 2
Hardware : mapphone_CDMA
Revision : 0000
Serial : 0000000000000000
If you see the word neon on the Features line, then your device supports NEON extensions. If it's not there, then you'll have to use the NONEON variant of VLC.
VLC for Android is still in pre-alpha stages, and I am simply building it from their GIT repository using their wiki instructions. As such, don't expect any degree of support for these APKs from the VideoLAN group or myself, and expect bugs.