The latest update to ubiquitous open-source media player VLC is here, and it comes with native support for Apple silicon Mac computers — the new versions of the MacBook Pro, the MacBook Air, and the Mac mini with Apple’s own M1 processor. VLC 3.0.12 also includes some visual tweaks to bring it further in line with Big Sur, the latest version of macOS.
Mac apps don’t strictly require native updates to work with the M1 processor, since Apple silicon Macs include Rosetta 2, a translation layer that lets software compiled for x86 processors run surprisingly well on the newer Arm-based hardware. But for an app like VLC, which many users rely on for playback of hefty 4K or 8K video files, the improvements to performance and efficiency could be notable.
As noted by 9to5Mac, the new VLC isn’t a universal binary, which is to say that the Arm-optimized code isn’t yet included by default. The regular VLC app has to be updated to 3.0.12, then again to 18.104.22.168 on an Apple silicon Mac in order to get the optimized version.
Version 3.0.12 also has some minor features and tweaks for VLC on other platforms, including better Blu-ray tracks support and fixing some crashes when using Direct3D 11 on Windows.