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Windows 8 modern UI gets VLC player thanks to Kickstarter

by Mark Tyson on 24 December 2012, 12:00

Tags: Windows 8

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The popular multi-platform VLC media player is now definitely going to be made available for Windows 8 modern UI users. This includes people who have Windows RT and Windows Phone 8, both of which previously had no access to the VLC player because they lacked a desktop environment. The goal for successful funding of the “Metro” VLC player was £40,000 and it has been reached with five days to spare.

VLC player is extremely popular; the developers behind the media player say that it is installed on over 100 million Windows machines. The current Windows version is only for x86 based PCs and only for the desktop. “This new port will be natively integrated within the new User Experience and will also support ARM-based tablets in a subsequent release,” explains the VLC Kickstarter page.

What the funding is for

The money from the Kickstarter fundraising is said to be important for this project to allow core VLC devs to work full time in providing a VLC player for the Windows Modern UI. “We expect an initial release within three months after finishing the fundraiser. This would not be possible to do with volunteers,” clarifies the fundraising page.

As well as the accelerated development, one of the main reasons to implement the Kickstarter appeal was cited as the need to pay professional graphic designers to polish the user interface, to make a smooth, aesthetically appealing interface that fits into the Modern UI. Thus the new VLC player will benefit from a handsome touch interface, great for tablets and phones.

For Windows RT users, the ability to play the many formats supported by VLC media player is probably very enticing. “In contrast to the built-in media player, VLC for Windows 8 we intend to add support for DVDs and VCDs out-of-the box as well as unencrypted Blu-Rays. All the features known from our current releases will be retained like a full fledged equalizer, video filters and superior support for subtitles,” says the Kickstarter investor proposal. The team will try and get the VLC app accepted into the Windows Store so it can be used by as many users as possible and updated simply through the store.

Investing incentives

What can you personally gain from investing in this free, open-source app, as its erm... free to end users? The pledge incentives are basically getting your name displayed within the app (starting at £3) and greater contributions then get you various items of tat from Zazzle; like key-rings, mugs and T-shirts. Only pledging about £300 or more gets a significant carrot upgrade of meeting VideoLAN Devs and even higher sponsors are offered valuable but time-limited linkage/ads from the VLC home page.

Why is it worth investing even though the team has reached its goal? Well, the VLC team have decided that any extra money left over from the development will be used to expand the features of the VLC player for Windows 8 modern UI. Here is the update describing the potential benefits of more cash in the VLC funding pot;

  • Camera input support - This allows you to record anything your connected cameras can see and to stream it live where ever you like.
  • DLNA client and server integration - Play media stored on DLNA capable servers on your Windows RT tablet or Windows Phone - Stream everything VLC can play on your tablet or Windows 8 PC to your DLNA capable devices (Xbox, ...).
  • Integration with locally attached devices for media playback and synchronization
  • Smartglass support

The team will work full time on the above expanded features until the funding cash runs dry... It looks like it will be a nice app!

HEXUS Forums :: 7 Comments

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nice! :)
Yup, here's hoping that the UI improvements filter down to the other apps too!
Sounds great, just hope all the relevant codecs are in there and that multi-language support is implemented
Quite a contrast in the usefulness of Kickstarter. Gizmodo doesn't think crowdsourcing in general works (in an anti-buzzword article), but this particular case shows how funds like Kickstarter can be used to help provide visibility to existing developments and bring in new ways to achieve goals.

As always, results will tell the story in the end.
Not exactly related but does anyone know if VLC have started making a 64bit version of this player? I only seem to be able to find the 32bit version.