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Media Open Source Software Windows Technology

VLC Running Kickstarter Campaign To Fund Native Windows 8 App 252

New submitter aaron44126 writes "Some VLC developers have launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the development of a native port of VLC as a Windows 8 app. The goal is to create an app with a UI that fits into the rest of the Windows 8 ecosystem that supports the playback of all of the types of files that VLC already supports. Playback of optical media (DVD/VCD/BD) is also on the list. They hope to use as much existing code as possible while doing whatever necessary to get VLC running in the 'Metro' environment and meet Microsoft's requirements for distribution through the Windows Store. Porting to ARM so that it can run on Windows RT devices will happen after the Windows 8 app is complete. The campaign has actually been going on for almost two weeks but they published their first update yesterday, in which they announced their intent to produce a Windows Phone 8 port as well."
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VLC Running Kickstarter Campaign To Fund Native Windows 8 App

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  • Re:Win 8 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @10:55AM (#42250441)

    My thought, exactly. I saw it almost immediately after it went life. I've backed more than 400 crowd-funded projects [goo.gl]. I dig VLC. I use VLC all the time. I understand the desire to spread VLC to everyone, everywhere. However, I can't bring myself to chip in even a few bucks to a project that just encourages Windows 8 and the Windows 8-style environment and presentation, which I'd like to see die as soon as possible, so they'll have more reason to get their sanity back for Windows 9, sooner.

    Maybe I'm being petulant, but at least I'm not contributing to Windows 8.

  • No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ledow ( 319597 ) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @11:13AM (#42250579) Homepage

    1) Fix VLC first. There are still a lot of outstanding issues and I encounter DVD's every day that PowerDVD will play but VLC will just crash on. Usually, literally, in the first moments. We're not talking obscure movies, either, but current new DVD releases.

    I remember an almighty-long wait for VLC to put back in functionality to ignore keyboard hotkeys after committing code that made pressing the volume button on your computer adjust both system volume and VLC volume and it was possible to get to a state where it was impossible to unmute both. The unofficial patch that circulated took forever to make its way into the client stables.

    I also get a lot of random crashes and hangs when viewing content that, after killing the process, will work fine. I also have found it almost impossible to stream things properly without having to know a myriad technical details about what I'm streaming from / to, a large part of which VLC could automate for me. I spent an hour yesterday figuring out the command-line (yep, I gave up on the GUI quite quickly after several tests resulted in nothing) to stream my desktop (via VLC's built-in "screen" source) and local Stereo Mix audio to a network-accessible stream to a VLC player on a remote machine. I gave up in the end and did things another way.

    Don't get me started on things like DVD navigation (easy to "go in circles" on a lot of DVD menus), obscure formats that still error, playlist management, etc. Do I hate VLC? No, it's the only media player I install and one of the first things I do on any fresh machine, and I often give people Portable VLC for when they just want to play an obscure video file once (e.g. CCTV recordings, etc.). Which makes it even MORE annoying that these things are still present.

    2) VLC works on Windows 8. What you mean is "Metro", and nobody cares about that.

    3) The delivery promises are rubbish. I wouldn't touch it even if it was something I wanted - they don't even know if the license is compatible, the toolchain can exist, the app would ever be accepted, the API's exposed are enough, or whether the performance wouldn't suffer atrociously - but the kickstarter doesn't mean you'll get your money back if they can't.

    You could pay a fortune, still not see any app, and not see any money back. (Some would say that's par-for-the-course on Kickstarter, but if you use your brain and support only those people who make particular promises and are likely to deliver on them, it's no worse than doing the same anywhere else).

    Sorry, I'd rather donate GBP20 to VLC itself and get some of my bugbears fixed, thanks. Still can't quite believe that I can pretty reliably crash the client just by turning on certain visualisations when I get *ZERO* problems in any other program, media-player, game or anything else.

  • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @11:17AM (#42250615)

    Because they like tablet apps that aren't horrible desktop ports?

    Metro is fine ON A TABLET. Sucks on the desktop.

    Stop using Metro apps on the desktop and you won't give a shit.

    This is a case of where you're bitching about having options, which is just retarded.

  • Re:No. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blueg3 ( 192743 ) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @11:33AM (#42250757)

    2) VLC works on Windows 8. What you mean is "Metro", and nobody cares about that.

    Ostensibly, almost 1200 people care about it so far.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @11:34AM (#42250769)

    I'm sorry, but I will not support this.

    VLC claims to be an open source and free software project. You volunteer your time/donate money to the project via a tip jar. VLC was going to be doing a windows 8 port regardless of if they had money or not.

    Kickstarter is for getting ideas or specific projects off the ground that are only hindered by the lack of funds.

    Shame on VLC for selling out their principles and leaving the RMS "free software environment"
    Shame on Kickstarter for acccepting a project that is an anethema to the the "We allow creative projects in the worlds of Art, Comics, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film, Food, Games, Music, Photography, Publishing, Technology, and Theater." philosophy they support.

  • Re:Windows 8 is OK (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @11:34AM (#42250771)

    I've been running Win8 for months now. I use classic shell and the most I see out of the tile interface is to click desktop.

    To me it looks like Win 7 with some improvements under the hood. I haven't had any trouble with it and I don't really get why people hate the built-in apps that they never have to see or use. After a while the complaints just start to look like "I don't like things that are different."

  • by JDG1980 ( 2438906 ) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @11:50AM (#42250939)

    I don't see how this helps average Windows users in any way. Most people who have a choice will be staying with Windows 7, and even those who are stuck with Windows 8 for whatever reason can still run VLC just fine on the Desktop. (Like all other x86 software it won't run on WinRT, but WinRT is dead on arrival.) Metro needs to be killed quickly, and it's baffling as to why an open source project would try to prop it up.

    If VLC wants to fund a Kickstarter, putting more resources into Blu-Ray menu support would be a much better choice. This is one thing that open-source software still can't do, and is one of the remaining barriers to a truly competitive open-source media player.

  • Re:Not for me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gparent ( 1242548 ) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @11:54AM (#42250983)

    I'm a long time user of VLC. I use it on windows 8 currently. I don't want to see a metro version because metro apps are full screen only, and that's not for me. The regular VLC works just fine in win8 so basically they're raising money to more or less create a VLC skin...

    There's obviously a market for Windows 8 apps, and over 1200 people currently want that app to be produced. I do agree with you that Win8 apps shouldn't -replace- regular apps, but they have their (limited) use. For instance, I hardly ever use my video player non-fullscreen, so I can see the idea here.

    This is a great example of Open Source working as intended. Some people want a feature, they realize people may not work for free for it, and funds are raised so those interested can be the ones giving the money to get it produced. Then, once it's done, the entire world benefits from the software and its source code.

    I don't even use VLC, but even if I hate Windows 8 as much as the next guy (yes, I tested it..), I can't see anything wrong with this.

  • Re:MPC-HC! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gman003 ( 1693318 ) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @12:19PM (#42251197)

    Both are indeed great.

    Normally, I prefer MPC. It's faster and lighter, or at least it feels like it. But VLC has a few features MPC doesn't:

    * Streaming. The main thing I used VLC for was streaming to an AirPort without installing iTunes, because iTunes is evil. A recent update unfortunately broke this, but I haven't checked if they fixed recently.
    * Blu-Ray. There's probably some way to do this in MPC, but I can't figure it out.

    Both of them are in my "immediate install" pack, along with other useful things like Notepad++ and 7zip. I wonder how hard it would be to get Microsoft to just bundle them in. It's not like Notepad makes them much money.

  • Re:Windows 8 is OK (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @02:51PM (#42252867)

    "How do I avoid these full-screen programs" is the first question I get when I'm helping someone with a new Windows 8 laptop.

    And how do I get this video to play full screen without all the controls and bars and menus is the first question I get when I'm helping someone playback movies with VLC.

    Personally I'd love a VLC app for windows 8, which I'm using on my HTPC right now, where the large pastel tiles etc are a good user interface.

    I find it odd that the pro-linux crowd here is all about user choice... a thousand distros with mix and match desktops so everyone can have exactly what they want... but god forbid VLC release a windows 8 app that they don't even have to use.

  • Re:Windows 8 is OK (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @03:48PM (#42253429)

    You modify windows 8 to behave and look more like windows 7 and then you wonder why people complain about windows 8?

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin