VideoLAN looking into VLC Windows 8 Metro support

When Microsoft announced last week that regular versions of Windows 8 would no longer be able to play DVDs via Windows Media Player, it made a number of PC users very unhappy. At the time Microsoft said, ""For optical discs playback on new Windows 8 devices, we are going to rely on the many quality solutions on the market, which provide great experiences for both DVD and Blu-ray."

Windows 8 owners will be able to pay an extra fee to upgrade to Windows Media Center where DVD playback support will be available. So far, Microsoft has not revealed the pricing for this upgrade.

One of the most popular free third party DVD software products available to download is VLC. The open source media player is created by VideoLAN, a group composed of volunteers. We decided to contact VideoLAN to find out about their plans for releasing a version of VLC for Windows 8 and if they also plan to offer one that will work with its Metro interface.

We received a response from VideoLAN's Jean-Baptiste Kempf:

VideoLAN cannot plan anything about VLC project, since developers are volunteers :) However, we have given Win8 a quite serious look. So far, VLC runs on the Win8 desktop without any issue. However, for the Metro interface, it requires the usage of the WinRT sandbox. The WinRT seems too limited for VLC, so far. With a lot of work and resources, it should be doable, but we do not have those resources yet :) Any help is welcome! Note that the browsers are allowed on x86 to get an mixed application mode (used by Mozilla and Chrome) that is not available for other applications, so we cannot use it.

It's interesting that Microsoft won't allow an application like VLC to run in both desktop and Metro modes, meaning that if it does release a version of VLC for Metro it would have to be a separate app than the version it would release for Windows 8 desktop mode. We will of course keep an eye out for any word of VLC's future plans for a Windows 8 Metro version.

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27 Comments

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Much ado about nothing. Bottom line is that Win8 will be able to pay DVDs. I think the Metro VLC sounds appealing honestly. Full screen with a control overlay? Nice! Then again I'd SELDOM use it which takes me back to my first point.

I hope the metro version of VLC will looks decent and nice

the only reason why I will never use VLC for Windows because the interface is ugly...only VLC for Mac got the new interface but the PC version stuck with 90's interface

Doli said,

Ah, media player skins, where all the designers of gross, disgusting, hideous skins for Windows went after the windowblinds and xp theming scene died.

It's like there's this culture of "how crappy, clashing, and out of place can we make an app look" and they flock to two things: media player skins and 3rd party system management tools (I'm glaring at you: nvidia, symantec, and every 3rd party wifi tool ever).

If they can manage to get VLC to work on Android Phones and Tablets and apple devices then they could manage a Windows RT/Metro app.

The quicker we leave the old, archaic desktop behind, the better. Developers need to start focusing their efforts to Metro-style approaches. Die, desktop, DIE!

ScubaDog said,

The quicker we leave the old, archaic desktop behind, the better. Developers need
to start focusing their efforts to Metro-style approaches. Die, desktop, DIE!


And the award for "Idiotic Forum Post Of The Week" goes to ... (drum roll) ... ScubaDog!

ScubaDog said,
The quicker we leave the old, archaic desktop behind, the better. Developers need to start focusing their efforts to Metro-style approaches. Die, desktop, DIE!

You should relay that message to Microsoft, since not even they can be bothered bringing their major apps over to Metro. God forbid the company setting a good example for others to follow.

ScubaDog said,
The quicker we leave the old, archaic desktop behind, the better. Developers need to start focusing their efforts to Metro-style approaches. Die, desktop, DIE!

don't work in the enterprise market do you?..... if desktop dies, microsofts market dies

It's interesting that Microsoft won't allow an application like VLC to run in both desktop and Metro modes, meaning that if it does release a version of VLC for Metro it would have to be a separate app than the version it would release for Windows 8 desktop mode.

It makes sense. Windows RT doesn't support desktop apps, and desktop apps use completely different APIs, anyway. They're not compatible at all.

Seems to be a lot of problems with developers having to develop two versions of their products, one for the desktop and one for metro. granted the two are very different, but sounds like a bit of a faff!

Tk1917 said,
Seems to be a lot of problems with developers having to develop two versions of their products, one for the desktop and one for metro. granted the two are very different, but sounds like a bit of a faff!

its not like their main VLC build runs magically on OSX, linux and windows without being seperate projects.

Tk1917 said,
Seems to be a lot of problems with developers having to develop two versions of their products, one for the desktop and one for metro. granted the two are very different, but sounds like a bit of a faff!

This is why developers need to start thinking about separating the backend stuff from the UI. It makes things infinitely easier to accommodate things like this when you don't have to rewrite huge sections of code to drop in another UI on top of the core program.

Tk1917 said,
Seems to be a lot of problems with developers having to develop two versions of their products, one for the desktop and one for metro. granted the two are very different, but sounds like a bit of a faff!

I think that's a wrong way of looking at it, I don't think they need to develop for both. they can chose to go metro and be available on all windows 8 machines (x86/x64/RT) which also gives them the benefit of the app store.

Neobond said,
Good news, but a Metro version probably won't appeal to me anyway.
Agreed, plus they should revamp the windows version, Mac version looks much better.

The Laughing Man said,
Agreed, plus they should revamp the windows version, Mac version looks much better.

It's beyond me why so many developers produce amazing looking interfaces for OS X but their Windows counterparts look like they escaped from the mid-90s.

.Neo said,

It's beyond me why so many developers produce amazing looking interfaces for OS X but their Windows counterparts look like they escaped from the mid-90s.
This x1000

.Neo said,

It's beyond me why so many developers produce amazing looking interfaces for OS X but their Windows counterparts look like they escaped from the mid-90s.

When building cross-OS applications most devs choose toolkits which are not native to windows, hence the non-standard appearance.

deadonthefloor said,

When building cross-OS applications most devs choose toolkits which are not native to windows, hence the non-standard appearance.

I'm not talking about cross-platform applications, at least the Mac ones are native.

.Neo said,

It's beyond me why so many developers produce amazing looking interfaces for OS X but their Windows counterparts look like they escaped from the mid-90s.

OS X natively has a consistent UI to follow, I'm sorry to say that Windows 7 and 8 are all over place with Metro, Scenic Ribbon and menus present

thealexweb said,

OS X natively has a consistent UI to follow, I'm sorry to say that Windows 7 and 8 are all over place with Metro, Scenic Ribbon and menus present

Don't even get me started with the "ribbon" . lol

The Laughing Man said,

Don't even get me started with the "ribbon" . lol

Has anyone ever said that and genuinely not wanted to be started on something xD

deadonthefloor said,

When building cross-OS applications most devs choose toolkits which are not native to windows, hence the non-standard appearance.

Qt toolkit looks very native on Windows, Mac and Linux (well they don't have a specific theme)

thealexweb said,

OS X natively has a consistent UI to follow, I'm sorry to say that Windows 7 and 8 are all over place with Metro, Scenic Ribbon and menus present

I guess you haven't seen the UI abortion that is OSX Mountain Lion. What was once a beautifully thoughtout and consistent UI is now reverting back to real-world representations complete with glossy, wooden window frames.

Lets also not forget the developer base is vastly larger on Windows than it is on OSX. This translates to increased exposure to a larger amount of software for Windows and, statistics being what they are, means a larger percentage of "ugly looking" programs.

At the end of day, there's always going to be ugly programs regardless of platform. With the right design team, Metro is an absoutely beautiful design and, in my opinion, can match and exceed the design standards of OSX.