After a long and troubled development, finally VideoLAN has released the one of the best-known and open source media player for Windows 8. One of the most successful Kickstarter funded project now sees the light of the day and available on Windows Store for both x86 and x64 based machines.
VLC for Windows 8 is currently in beta, but includes the core functionality that users have known for over the 13 years. It can play almost any audio and video file formats, including FLAC, MKV and Ogg. It also supports subtitles, multiple audio tracks, removable storage as well as DLNA servers.
The player seems to be same as old VLC for desktop, but in a new package and fresh look. The home screen has five categories consisting home, video, music, external storage, and media servers. Along with these categories, it gives quick access to the recently played videos and music albums.
The Videos section is sorted out alphabetically. However, Audio section is beautifully organized under Artists, Tracks and Favorite Albums. On the Home Screen, there is search option which provides the ability to search from different fields as Artists, Tracks, and Videos.
However, users may encounter bugs or random behavior due to lack of stability. Even there’s note on the home screen from the developer team which states, “The app is currently under development so not all features have been included, and many existing features have bugs.”
You may also find the player slower than the desktop version due to lack of support for hardware acceleration. In addition, some users have reported on Twitter about their bad experience and crashes against their expectations. Although, Jean-Baptiste Kempf president of VideoLAN, has promised frequent updates to solve all these problems.
Here’s the list of other supported features:
- Works on Windows 8.0 and 8.1: too many people are still on 8.0, so we had to use that. This decreases the stability of the application, though…
- Is compiled for Intel x86 CPUs: Windows RT version will follow as soon as we are able to compile it. ARM version will also apply to Windows Phone.
- Plays all video and audio formats of VLC, including MKV, Ogg and Mov files or FLAC and MPC;
- Supports the same codecs as the VLC application for desktop, from MPEG-1 to H.265, through WMV3 and VC-1;
- Supports multiple-audio tracks selection;
- Supports embedded subtitles;
- Supports Background Audio playback;
- Features an easy-to-navigate but complete UI, notably for audio browsing;
- Supports Live Tiles!
- Supports removable storage and DLNA servers.
Unfortunately, VLC isn’t available for ARM-based Windows RT and Windows Phone yet. The developers are reportedly hard at work and hopefully we would see Windows RT version as well as Windows Phone version soon, however, VideoLAN skips to comment on the availability.