VLC for Android Coming Soon

This is VLC for iOS, but an Android app is coming soon.

The team behind the popular open-source video player VLC is busy working on an Android (s GOOG) app, which could be released in early 2011. Lead VLC developer Jean-Baptiste Kempf told me on Thursday that it will be “a matter of weeks” until the release of the first VLC app for Android-based mobile devices.

VLC has been hugely popular amongst Windows, (s MSFT) Mac (s AAPL) and Linux users as a minimalist solution that’s capable of playing almost every thinkable file format. The open-source project took its first baby steps into the mobile space with the release of an iOS version for Apple’s (s AAPL) iPad in September.

The VLC team has been working on an Android version for months now, but progress was initially hamstrung by the fact that Android’s multimedia output libraries are in Java (s orcl) . However, Google released an updated version of its Android NDK earlier this month, which makes it easier to use native code for Android apps. Kempf told me the team has since developed two basic modules for audio and video output based on the new NDK. “They need work, but we are approaching,” he said.

Most VLC libraries have already been ported to Android. Still, Kempf cautioned that issues with specific devices could delay the release. Android’s device fragmentation has been a long-running issue for developers, especially in the multimedia space, and it’s one of the reasons that there still isn’t a Netflix (s NFLX) app available for Android devices.

The progress of VLC’s Android app can be tracked on the project’s Git page.

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