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Want to get cut on the digital media bleeding edge? Try VLC Media Player Nightly

Can’t wait for the next major release of VLC Media Player? Desperate to squash an annoying bug? Not afraid of installing untested, pre-release software on your computer? Willing to become a guinea pig ? If the answer to all of these questions is “yes”, then VLC Media Player Nightly might be for you.

As its name suggests, this is the latest, untested version of VideoLAN’s popular cross-platform, opens-source audio and video player to roll off the presses. That means it’s untested, which makes it unstable, and as likely to throw up new bugs as old ones get squashed. If that doesn’t put you off, read on.

VLC Media Player Nightly will install over the top of your existing stable installation (currently version 1.1.12), so unlike the likes of Firefox  and Firefox Aurora, you won’t be running it side-by-side with your everyday, stable build. Thankfully it’s not a major deal: you can easily roll back simply by uninstalling this build and reinstalling the latest stable version.

Version 1.3.0 comes with no support at all — VideoLAN makes this clear on its Nightly builds page when it states, “WARNING: The nightly builds are UNSTABLE and may not work at all. There is absolutely NO SUPPORT for it from the VideoLAN Team”.

That said, you can still post your findings in the VideoLAN forums, which will help the developers spot bugs and hopefully produce fixes that appear within a short period of time. And you can quickly see if your glitch has been fixed by regularly checking for updates within the program itself via the Help > Check for Updates… menu.

At the present time, there’s not an awful lot to glean about version 1.3, codenamed “Rincewind” after the wizard of Discworld fame. That’s because VideoLAN is currently putting the finishing touches to version 1.2 (codenamed “Twoflower”) ahead of its official, stable release, so the focus is naturally on that. What you will get by installing the Nightly build is an early look at the much-documented features coming in version 1.2.

These include partial support for unencrypted Blu-ray discs and better support for newer DVDs, adaptive streaming, sharper subtitles rendering, support for video output to iOS, Direct2D and Android formats and much more besides. For a full description of what’s coming in version 1.2, courtesy of  one of the app’s lead developers (Jean-Baptise Kempf), see here and here.

If you want the latest, bleeding-edge (and unstable) version of VLC Media Player, download VLC Media Player Nightly 1.3.0 for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Photo Credit: Leigh Prather/<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/"

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