How to Play 360° Videos and Photos using VLC Media Player

VLC Media Player becomes the first mainstream media player to support 360-degree videos and photos out of the box. The latest announcement from the newsroom of the people who dedicated their time to create the most amazing video player app says that. So, from now on you will be able to play the spherical video formats in your Windows and Mac computers. The feature will soon be available for other platforms like Android, iOS and Xbox One.

But the feature will not be available in the older version i.e. the app with the 2.x.x version numbers. You will have to download a separate installer—currently available for Windows 7 onwards and macOS 10.10 and later for the Apple users.

Play 360° Videos and Photos using VLC Media Player

To start watching 360 content in your desktop or laptop, from the download page (linked above) download VLC 360 Windows or VLC 360 MacOS. An installer file will download to your machine. Locate it and install the program like you would install any other app. Since it is highly likely that you already have an older version, the installer will ask you to upgrade it. Please note that this is a technical preview version and more upgrades are soon to come. Once you upgrade your player, you will get VLC Media Player with the version number 3.0.0-git Vetinari [Help > About].

Using this upgraded player, open up your 360 video files. It also supports 360 photos and panoramas. You can rotate the video using your mouse or the arrow keys on your keyboard. There are different display modes as well—Zoom, Little planet, and Reverse little planet. Those of you who have been taking 360 photos in Android devices might be familiar with these modes.

We can’t wait till this interesting feature is merged with VLC 3.0 final release. The possibilities are infinite with VR support and 3D audio playback to look forward to.

15 thoughts to “How to Play 360° Videos and Photos using VLC Media Player”

  1. Quality of VLC Player playback of 360 Videos or Photos is really bad in comparison to Go Pro VR Player or Insta 360 Player.
    Please do something about it as VLC Player is most popular player and because of this people can try for the first time this great new tech and instantly hate 360 Videos/Photos as quality of VLC Player is below standards..

  2. I Just updated to version number 3.0.0-git Vetinari so I could preview my high resolution .jpg panoramas. When I try to open the files the traffic cone jumps around for a while and then nothing. In the previous version the pano would load but just display the complete image file in it’s distorted format and then go black.

    What formats are supported as both of my pano generating softwares produce .jpg ?

  3. Hi can somebody tell me how you can listen to 2nd order ambisonic files. I made mixes in pro tools and want people to look at in VLC. Or can somebody tell me if there is a manual online where I can find more information?

  4. VLC 3.x works well (on Mac) if I have a 360 Video local file but if I try and stream the same file (using UNReal Media server) all I get is equirectangualar video – I am guessing meta data is missing? It would nice if VLC had a options to force to treat video as a 360.

  5. For People importing from 360-camera be sure to convert your Videos to equirectangualar (from the round image to a distorted lanscape projection). Fly360 and Rocoh have this export function in their software.

  6. Hi, great news about the 360 Viewer. I’m testing with spherical 4k mp4 content but its displaying the full equirectangular frame, not navigable. Does the mp4 need special metadata..?

    1. from their website – “Playback of 360 Videos following the Spatial Video spec” -looks like special meta data needed

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