Who is going to use the VLC Media Player app for Windows 8?

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 25, 2014
Windows, Windows 8

vlc-media-player-windows-8 VLC Media Player is without doubt one of the most popular media players out there right now. It offers incredible out-of-the box support for the majority of audio and video formats that you will come across on the Internet or locally, and an impressive set of other features that let you tweak, change and modify how video or audio is played on your system.

You may have also heard that the VLC guys are working on a Windows 8 application port of VLC, which they decided to do after they ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for it.

The project was funded successfully on December 29, 2012, and VLC has been working on the implementation ever since.

A first partially-working version of the VLC Media Player app for Windows 8 was submitted by the team to Microsoft which got rejected because of audio related issue that crashed the app.

The team has been working on that bug ever since, while work continued on revamping the interface of the player.

While the team continues its work on fixing the audio bug, new screenshots of the user interface of the app have been published by it as well.

Who is going to use it?

Whenever I see a new project to bring desktop software to Windows 8's "Modern UI", I wonder who is this done for. Mozilla has been working on a Firefox port for Windows 8 for example for some time, and I cannot come up with reasons to use it when it is done.

The situation is slightly different in regards to VLC Media Player. VLC, unlike Mozilla, intends to bring the player to PCs running Intel or AMD chipsets first, and then in a second step, to Windows RT as well.

I can see the use of a new media player that is compatible with the Windows RT platform. Since you cannot install desktop programs on it, you are limited to apps offered in Windows Store, and the programs that Microsoft integrated into the system.

For desktop systems on the other hand, I cannot really see any use. The core reason here is that the desktop version of VLC Media Player is available as well, and judging from experience, will be way more powerful than the apps version.

I'm talking about functionality here mainly, but also usability unless you happen to use a touch interface.

You can run videos in full screen using the desktop app, just like the app-version of VLC Media Player will run in full screen.

What you cannot do with the app right now is change the video player size. Sure, you can snap it to one side of the screen, and maybe it will come with presets to change the player size, but a window gives you way more control over it than an app can.

This may change in the future, if Microsoft allows Windows Store apps to be run on the desktop in windows. For now, it is a serious limitation.

I can see its uses in the future, once it got ported so that it runs on ARM devices as well. It may also be an option for touch-screen users, or users who prefer to run the Modern UI app for whatever reason.

Closing Words

Don't get me wrong. I think it is a good thing that VLC is porting the media player to Windows 8. I also think that Mozilla should do it. Giving users choice is always a good thing, and bringing something to the platform does not take away anything from users who do not like it or do not want to use it.

I'm pretty certain that I won't be using those apps though, apart from testing them for reviews. What about you? Are there situations where you prefer to run an app on Windows 8?


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  1. Maxime Savard said on February 9, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Who use it … everyone use it if they use VLC. For pass to RT version, VLC team have to update all third party and developp new tool. New audio, new video, better integration with video card, … Other video program can use it or add video in they application.

    With RT version, VLC team can convert for XBox application too.

  2. Shaun said on January 29, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    Thanks for this. Any release dates leaked?? I leave for an around the world trip in 9 days and would love to not have to convert a ton of movies etc… for both my iphone and tablet.

    Guessing it won’t be out in time since it has taken so long to get this far. Any alternative apps out there?



  3. Chimera Onscura said on January 26, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    I too have a Dell Venue 8 pro tablet. I got it for the desktop, not for the Metro apps… and it works great, including with the desktop VLC program. I looked at the Metro apps… and also what was free in the App store… ( I’ll never buy an App for it…). Basically that was an hour of my life wasted… nothing there that I didn’t already have a better version of on my windows 7 PC, or on my android tablets/phone.
    Basically, I think the Metro UI is doomed. It’s not getting the support, or the demand it needs to stay viable… programmers and developers are going to lose interest without enough people to generate revenue from apps… and like RT it will fade away…

    1. Scasc said on January 28, 2014 at 1:12 am

      Are you using an 8 inches tablet in desktop mode???
      My compliments, for your fingers and for your eyes!!!

      Regarding the blogger opinions on full screen/windowed mode, Windows 8.1 and RT 8.1 allow the Modern UI apps to be tiled vertically (up to 4), being the unique tablet OS to do so.

      I do not see any “limitation” in being the unique competitor to allow some features like these.

      Al criticisms to the Modern UI currently come from people that, just expecting from MS Windows 8 some routinary UI adaptations to the touch screens, were surprised by the ideas behind the Modern UI itself in Windows 8 (that can be considered, starting from live tiles and going to the apps in tlled mode, far superior with respect to the competitors).

      These people, maybe thinking MS as unable to develop nothing more than a desktop with some windows inside, after the surprise went to the rejection without any try, making an unproven judgement of the Modern UI.

      What can be criticized to MS is the idea to impose the Modern UI to the devices that have no touch capabilities; and, to the HW builders, is to just produce notebooks with touch screen, thar results quite unuseful.

      In particular, after having used the Modern UI for more that one year with mouse and keyboard, I think that it is better than the desktop mode also in this scenario, at least for common home tasks.

      However, MS should have left the mouse and keyboard user to choose by their own, by automatically setting-up the UI, at first login, in “destop” UI mode (using the taskbar “exploration” setting introduced in Windows 8.1) if no touch capabilities are detected in the device.

      I’m convinced that any mouse and keyboard user would initially start in “desktop” mode but that he/she will switch in Modern UI mode in less than one year of usage.

      The supposed capability to use the Modern UI apps in “windowed” mode, as well as “the start menù is back”, will be introduced by MS, if any, only to follow users “features requests” and to make as much as money possible from them, as requested by a company in the business.

      The start menù itself can be easily substituted, also for the traditional users, by a slightly modified “all apps” screen.

      In conclusions, this app is very useful to be used in Windows 8 Modern UI, since it reliably carries to the Modern UI all useful features (e.g. mkv playback and so on) that are found in the current desktop app, without having to switch back in desktop mode.

  4. Dennis said on January 26, 2014 at 9:16 am

    “Who is going to use the VLC Media Player app for Windows 8?”
    “. . . unless you happen to use a touch interface.”
    You answered your own question. The Windows 8 versions of both Firefox and VLC will be used by those who run Windows 8 on a touch interface.

  5. MadridKing said on January 25, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    I have a Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet which is a non RT windows system. I use the modern UI apps 99% of the time because it just works for this device. It’s quite beautiful but that’s my opinion.
    I use the desktop environment when I need to use some legacy apps like VLC, steam, and JavaScript incentive websites. They work but they are not touch optimised, so its difficult.

    I personally don’t care about the advanced features of vlc, I just use it to watch videos of non native codec. If I can get a modern UI version with that basic function, then I’m happy.

    Yes, choice is good. Why not build a modern UI version of a desktop app, however “crippled” it is? There is a market out there and they need to be catered to as well.

    You use the desktop legacy apps, fine, just realize its a wide and varied world out there beyond your personal tastes.

    1. yootub3r said on January 26, 2014 at 1:00 am

      I agree. A bloggers opinion does not constitutes for the entire world. It is your blog and hence your opinion and should be treated as such. With that said, Windows 8/8.1 is a great system and it has been catching up fairly fast. With ModernUI VLC, Instagram, Vine, Flipbioard, Facebook, it will only be a matter if time before Googke gives in and releases native legacy apps for it. After all, they did it for ios after 3 years.

      1. sades said on January 26, 2014 at 3:52 am

        He’s asking question and never claimed that he represent the world, cut out the defensive remark bullshit and start using substantial argument backed with facts instead of your made up wish.

      2. MadridKing said on January 26, 2014 at 2:45 am

        Google can keep their apps, I’ve moved to similar apps in the Microsoft ecosystem and I haven’t looked back for 3 years. Only major service I use is 1 Gmail account and Youtube, both tied to each other unfortunately.

        Of course that’s just me. I know there are many invested in Google services since they own the internet now, so their apps will be useful in the store for those people. Choice in the end.

  6. Cookie said on January 25, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Come on, sades, stop trolling! if you like to say something then give a real statement!

    1. sades said on January 26, 2014 at 3:51 am

      Is it not clear enough? RT is dead.

      1. Drew said on February 3, 2014 at 8:17 pm

        If RT is dead why is Microsoft’s Surface 2 seeing record sales and Sales of the first Surface RT has tripled in ebay sales alone.

  7. theMike said on January 25, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    i picked up a windows rt tablet for dirt cheap out of curiosity. already knowing it doesn’t run desktop software. i found absolutely nothing wrong with it as a tablet. vlc would be a great app to add. besides, it’s up to the developer to decide where they want their software to work. not a blogger’s opinion

    1. sades said on January 25, 2014 at 4:08 pm

      Sadly (not really) there’s not enough people like you out there. RT is dead.

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