VLC is by far and away the most popular media player on Ubuntu, if not Linux as a whole.

But its interface has never been as slick as it could be.

Thankfully the VLC nightly builds, unstable snapshots of the next release, have brought with them a slightly improved look; sporting a thin blue progress bar, removal of a ‘scrubber’ button, and the hiding of the status bar by default (this can be re-enabled by clicking View > Status bar).

vlc nightly interface

Other improvements to VLC that are present in this build include: –

  • ‘Pause on last frame’ feature pauses video when minimised, resumes when maximised
  • Additional subtitles options, including ability to set text outline colour and .sbt format support
  • New ‘Playlist’ layout
  • Preference options are now searchable

new look vlc effects dialog

  • Initial BluRay disc support
  • Codec and demuxer improvements
  • Reworked effects dialog
vlc effects dialog
A detailed change-log of what has or is set to to change between VLC 1.1.x and 1.2.x can be read online @ videolan.org/developers/vlc/NEWS


The VLC nightly builds aren’t suited for anyone dependant on a fully stable video player, but do give the brave and curious a chance to test out the latest features ahead of its official release.

The VLC nightly PPA provides builds for Ubuntu 10.10, 11.04, 11.10 and 12.04.

Add ‘ppa:videolan/master-daily’ to your Software Sources, update, and then install or upgrade VLC.

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