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VLC Running Kickstarter Campaign To Fund Native Windows 8 App

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the spreading-the-good-word dept.

Media 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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Win 8 (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250294)

I'm not going to contribute. Not because I don't like VLC, I do. But because I don't support windows 8.

Re:Win 8 (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Win 8 (5, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#42250631)

Let's organise a kickstarter to pay VLC to NOT develop for Windows 8.

I wonder if there's been anything like that before? Crowdsourced compensation for dropping an opportunity?

Windows 8 is OK (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#42250657)

Nice and fast. But those full-screen, pastel-colored apps? No thanks. Don't bother, VLC. "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.

Re:Windows 8 is OK (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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."

I agree (2)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#42251091)

Just don't click on the "native" apps. But I don't see why VLC would want to go that direction.

Re:Windows 8 is OK (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#42251075)

What do you offer up when they ask that?

Re:Win 8 (1, Redundant)

Seumas (6865) | about 2 years ago | (#42251009)

I wasn't always opposed to Windows 8 and I generally look forward to new operating systems of all flavors with excitement. The same way I look toward new game consoles and new video cards. It wasn't until I was able to try it for myself that I soured on it. True, you can (more or less) have a (primarily) Windows 7 experience. However, it's still too Frankenstein-ish. I don't like the bland look, the focus on single-application interfaces, the Live-tie-in, and the touch-focus.

That said, even if they refused to change most of these things in Windows 9, simply getting rid of the stitched-together stuff would be an improvement so it was all one thing or all another and even with a touch-focus, it would ideally more properly wrap the new style around more traditional input methods for people not looking to have an iPad "one thing at a time" experience.

This is the image that popped into my head [goo.gl] , when I tried Windows 8.

I don't expect Windows 9 to take an entirely new direction and shrug off all these changes that they seem to be pivoting the entire company around, but I believe it will be more refined, more targeted, and less schizophrenic. I want to see a change to that as quickly as possible and I think that a lack of community and developer support of Windows 7 would only drive the urgency of that focus and production to Microsoft.

There are a lot of things VLC could work on that I'd chip in $10 or $20 for, but Windows 8 isn't one of them (even though I'm sure they would justify it as a necessary thing, to maintain the continued relevance of VLC through Windows 8 and into the next iteration of the OS beyond it).

Re:Win 8 (0, Troll)

game kid (805301) | about 2 years ago | (#42250653)

All VLC donators should withhold their money until VLC's devs can prove they no longer wish to legitimize Windows 8's closed "ecosystem" and radically wrong "Modern" UI. They should wait until the devs can agree to skip this version (and instead improve support and integration with earlier Windowses as needed until 9 arrives). Even one dollar will convince MS that people think 8 is some "necessary evil" and keep them from immediately apologizing for that dreck.

It's one thing to, say, force programs (by default UAC settings) to save docs and settings away from the Program Files folders (which should've been the norm anyway), as Vista and 7 do; it's another to drop the Start button to make people want to buy a whole new computer with an inherently less-precise touch interface, or ban freely-developed programs outright (on Windows RT, at least) to force programmers to pay for admission to the API and app store. There are other (larger?) problems, but those alone require us to send a friendly reminder that developers (developers developers...) within and without MS made prior Windowses usable in the first place, and that we have not authorized career marketers [youtube.com] to fuck up what could've been a decent OS [msdn.com] .

Re:Win 8 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42251085)

Yes, because Microsoft will automatically drop Windows 8 because VLC doesn't have a stable app for it.

Sad thing is, lots of people will use Windows 8 because that's what's installed on their shiny new PC. They don't want to learn a new OS, they don't want to learn how to revert to Windows 7 and they don't want to put their shiny new computer in the closet until Windows 9 comes out. They just want their fucking videos to play properly, today.

The VideoLAN crew are pragmatic folks, they want their open-source player to run on as many platforms as possible. It's more accessible and they'll increase their player's usage. They don't care that Microsoft execs like to kill puppies in the spare time, or the ghost of Steve Jobs is trying to pour concrete over developers who aren't plugged into the app store. They want to release an open source player that plays your videos properly, today.

The day they give in to principal over practicality will be a sad day indeed.

Re:Win 8 (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | about 2 years ago | (#42251181)

They don't want to learn a new OS

Wouldn't that apply to Windows 8?

Re:Win 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42251211)

Depends if you're talking metro-only or integrated with the desktop. You can combine both, either the user will have a Windows tablet that predominantly uses Metro, or a classic desktop with a Metro dashboard.

Despite all the hilarious videos of idiots not being able to navigate Windows 8, the standard 'users' I've known haven't had much of an issue using Win8 over XP or 7. Not that they like it or think it's an improvement, though.

Re:Win 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42251125)

Petulant comes to mind, yes. VLC wants to have their player on as many platforms as possible. They've released it for both iOS and Android already, why is anyone surprised they'd like to have it on Windows 8 as well?

You think people will stop using Windows 8 if there's no VideoLAN player? If that's the case, those people were not likely to use Windows 8 to begin with. Though, I guess it's better not to introduce open source apps to Windows users, we should keep them for ourselves and pretend they're going to install Linux because they want to watch TV shows.

Re:Win 8 (2)

bondsbw (888959) | about 2 years ago | (#42251135)

so they'll have more reason to get their sanity back for Windows 9, sooner.

Metro-style apps won't be going away. They will almost surely work better and integrate better over time. But Microsoft has committed its future to supporting tablets, phones, and PCs using the same operating system.

If you are hoping Windows 9 will be Windows 7 with more polish, you are dreaming of something that will never happen.

Win 9? Seriously? (0)

mdm42 (244204) | about 2 years ago | (#42251203)

You really think there's ever going to be a Win 9? I think we're witnessing the early signs of MS nerve death. And it can't come soon enough!

Re:Win 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250445)

If I want VLC fullscreen, I doubleclick on the window.

Re:Win 8 (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 2 years ago | (#42250469)

that was the first thing I was thinking as well - this isn't even a benefit for anyone other than those in windows 8. Also, GPL (even V2) in windows for things that go in the actual windows store seems pretty much impossible.

Re:Win 8 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42251003)

Windows 8 is the flagship product of the 4th largest corporation in the world. What are you guys trying to do, stop the economy?

Re:Win 8 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42251071)

Yes?

Source... (4, Interesting)

Niedi (1335165) | about 2 years ago | (#42250304)

What is the situation with the source/GPL?
"Any code touching the user interface created within this endeavor will be licensed under the GNU General Public License Version 2 or later (GPLv2+), possibly with an exception for the Windows Store if needed."
I remember vaguely that there once was a VLC for iOS around before some internal debate about whether or not this sort of port was acceptable with the GPL caused apple to remove it. Exception for Windows Store? How should that work out then?

Re:Source... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250377)

I imagine the same issue will apply. The issue was that the Terms of Service imposed by the Apple store, applied restrictions to distribution that were contrary to the terms of the GPL

Re:Source... (4, Interesting)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 2 years ago | (#42250513)

Yes and no. Rémi Denis-Courmont one of the lead VLC developers objected when someone else ported VLC to iOS and put it on the App store. Denis-Courmont did not want DRM on VLC code. So Apple removed it.

Re:Source... (2)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 years ago | (#42250569)

I don't get that.... in what way did the person who ported VLC to iOS not comply with the GPL? Was the source code for the iOS app unavailable?

Re:Source... (5, Informative)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#42250707)

Apples DRM restricts a single purchase of an application to 5 devices, so while the source was available, Rémi Denis-Courmont felt that the distribution restrictions were not compatible with GPL, and Apple did not feel like fighting him on it.

I am a little skeptical of the claim since, at it's heart, the GPL is about releasing source back to the community, not about how the final binary is distributed. There was also an argument (not sure if it was in the copyright complaint) that iOS did not allow users to change the version they had installed, so they couldn't grab the source, recompile, and update their version.. but that is an old battle line with GPL and embedded devices.... which is probably beyond the scope of this discussion (and would probably result in a flame war between consumers and developers)

Re:Source... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 years ago | (#42251069)

There was also an argument (not sure if it was in the copyright complaint) that iOS did not allow users to change the version they had installed, so they couldn't grab the source, recompile, and update their version.

Uh, no... if the source is available, and you have an app developer's license for iOS, then you can compile any iOS source code you want and install it in your own devices. Redistributing the binary requires going through the iOS store, but if it's GPL, you can redistribute your modified the source code however you want.

Or is the objection that it requires a (paid) developer's license to compile for the platform? How is that any different than, say, requiring a particular commercial compiler?

I get why Apple didn't feel like fighting him on it... it's not their fight, nor should it be. But the VLC developer who decided to go after Apple for that was an idiot... completely defeating the entire point of having his software be GPL in the first place, and in the process, probably scaring quite a few people away from using GPL software entirely legitimately.

Re:Source... (1)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#42251217)

completely defeating the entire point of having his software be GPL in the first place, and in the process, probably scaring quite a few people away from using GPL software entirely legitimately.

I actually really worry about GPL getting divisive. I know a lot of embedded developers soured after GPLv3 which targeted embedded systems while leaving web ones alone, so many felt it represented the needs of people who consumed embedded but worked in the web/server world,... which in OSS the server centric developers vastly outnumber the embedded ones.. so you end up with a rather skewed voice.

Thus there was some bad blood there that moved some people away from GPL.. I worry that stunts like this might push people further away, which could potentially diminish the role of OSS in these new environments... which of course pits the purist against the pragmatist... people who want the pure abstract freedom at all levels and people who want rich tools/applications widly distributed and building off each other with source available to everyone.

Re:Source... (1)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#42251147)

(to add)

Having gone back over the argument of the person who filed the claim, I think that within the US at least it was probably baseless. The AppStore restrictions apply to the distribution mechanism and the wrapper the binary comes in. The person claimed they were fighting for the 'rights of the user' to modify the binary and run it however they like.

However, since jailbreaking is legally protected in the US, the user always has the freedom to grab the original source and install the application outside the restrictions of the app store, thus VLC appearing in the app store under its restrictions does not bar the user from exersizing their rights under the GPL

Thus I return to my earlier take on it.. that the person didn't like Apple and wanted people to use other products, so he used a legal threat to bump VLC off the Appstore..a childish 'I am gonna take my toys and go home, and make sure no one else can use them unless they use them where I want them to be used' tantrum.

Add in the extra sleeze of using the VLC feed to make his announcement (making it look like the VLC team in general was announcing the claim) and then ranting about censorship and restricting his freedom when they removed it from the official feed.

One of the ironies here is he used one of the very behaviors that 'freedom centric' people often complain about to his own advantage... most places when provided with a copyright infringement complaint simply take it a face value and remove the offending material. So he probably banked on the assumption that Apple, when receiving the complaint, would simply act on it in good faith and remove VLC.

Re:Source... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250881)

Trying to use logic with the hardcore GPL guys is usually a waste of time. Trying to use logic with Apple as well. Not saying it`s the case here, but they could've removed it simply because a blog post bothered them.

Re:Source... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250973)

How is it "hardcore" to follow the license? It's not all that ambiguous. If you distribute a binary, you have to provide source on request.

It seems like there are two options for compliance:

  1. Apple and all the other store vendors can add some mechanism for GPL compliance, or
  2. People should stop submitting GPL to the store and Apple should reject GPL code

I don't understand where the option where Apple gets to violate a license because ... the device is just that cool? Can I start applying that with other things in my life? Maybe I'll just start ignoring contracts and stuff?

Re:Source... (1)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#42250507)

I had forgotten about that drama.... yeah, I imagine some of the same issues could come into play with the Win8 version unless they got with LGPL instead.. though it sounds like they are going with a 'behaves like LGPL in places where GPL compatibility issues stop us from posting to the store.'... which.. can they even do?

Re:Source... (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 2 years ago | (#42250673)

'behaves like LGPL in places where GPL compatibility issues stop us from posting to the store.'... which.. can they even do?

They can do that for new code, or for code they hold the copyright to. They'd have to make up a new license. Whether LGPL is sufficient might be questionable.

They would not be able to distribute GPL code linked or embedded in their software for which they do not own copyright.

Re:Source... (1)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#42250791)

The more that I think about it, the less likely I find that they can actually do this. Even with new code, they are linking to existing GPL code. Looking at their updates it appears they are trying to move over to LGPL but are not there yet, so the whole package is still GPL... thus I do not believe they can actually make a 'Windows Store' exception any more then they could have made an 'Apple Store' exception.. and looking at how the FSF treated the GNU Go port, even if the VLC team wants to do so, other parties might file a complaint anyway.

Re:Source... (2)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#42250957)

Hrm. Reread some of the drama... multiple developers (the ones who were pissed at being in the iOS store) have explicitly said they would not allow the project to re-lisence under LGPL anyway. So unless their code is being ripped out and replaced....

Re:Source... (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#42250559)

VLC was removed from the Apple store because Apple's TOS are incompatible with the GPL. Whether it's appropriate on the Windows store depends on Microsoft.

Re:Source... (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 years ago | (#42250573)

There is absolutely nothing that prevents a GPLv2 application from showing up on the Apple iOS store other than 'I don't want my app there!!@#!@%#!@#%'

GPLv3 code wouldnt' be able to be posted at all as it would required Apple/MS to give away their encryption/signing keys, which isn't going to happen.

VLC came off the app store because one of the developers raised a stink and Apple didn't want to deal with him being a douche.

You can publish VLC on the App store yourself as long as you also distribute the source as it is GPLv2 which doesnt' do any silly things that prevent it from being put there.

Re:Source... (1)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#42250623)

While the person was legally entitled to do what they did.... yeah, they were a douche. As far a I can tell they did it specifically because they wanted users off iOS and onto Android.. so utilizing a legal technicality to try to force people onto a platform they liked better.

Re:Source... (4, Informative)

hweimer (709734) | about 2 years ago | (#42250695)

You can publish VLC on the App store yourself as long as you also distribute the source as it is GPLv2 which doesnt' do any silly things that prevent it from being put there.

Wrong [fsf.org] .

Re:Source... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 2 years ago | (#42250839)

Apple removed it because legally the developer has the right whatever his intentions. This is one problem with code from multiple contributors like open source in a gardened wall ecosystem.

Re:Source... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42251223)

To but it in perspective it was one developer that and I quote "didn't care for iUsers" so it has a lot more to do with the idiotic personal feelings regarding apple users, then incompatibility with the GPL or the wallet garden. Not all VLC developers where happy about the situation.

I'm an Apple & Android (even a W8) user and as a user I don't want to be used in some persons political views.

Re:Source... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250743)

Simple: they coded it, they can tag on any license they like.
They can even have 2 versions, one with one kind of license and the other with another. That's the beauty of something being yours: you get to call the shots, and even get to second-guess yourself.

No thanks.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250316)

I'll confess to having two Windows 8 systems now. The metro apps are a PITA to use. If via mouse, it keeps making me move the cursor across larger distances. With touch it frequently demads I hit small scrollbars to move the viewport (I usually just touch and drag the pane in android apps). In general, app launch from another app seems to work, but you can't get back to previous app without either alt-tab or via start menu (sounds trivial, but consider an xbmc or mythfrontend scenario where the goal if for the launched apps to almost appear as another function of the launcher rather than an entirely different application).

Re:No thanks.. (3, Informative)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 years ago | (#42250581)

You shouldn't be using the scroll bars in touch, you should be two finger dragging.

You change apps (alt-tab) by two finger (or three?) swiping from the left edge of the screen towards the center.

I personally don't care for Windows 8, but you really need to learn its gestures if you want it to suck a whole lot less.

Have Microsoft Pay (4, Interesting)

tvlinux (867035) | about 2 years ago | (#42250367)

Why would any sane person donate to have VLC ported to Windows8? If MS wants windows8 to succeed have them pay for the development.

Re:Have Microsoft Pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250415)

Here is an idea... Someone wants to use win8? If MS pays for all the dev work then no one will bother to make anything for the platform. Nice idea but I seriously doubt MS would care at all. They infact went out of their way to yank out DVD support so they could lower the cost...

Like it or hate it, win8 is what we are going to use in the future. Sure there are alternatives. But most people buy a 'windows computer'. They will be getting win8 for at least the next 2 years.

Re:Have Microsoft Pay (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250547)

Here is an idea... Someone wants to use win8?

Unlikely. But I wouldn't be surprised if plenty of people are provided a win8 limited laptop through work and would like to be able to use it to watch movies. Once you get the movie started and you can step away from the computer it can't be that bad.

Re:Have Microsoft Pay (2)

Joshua Fan (1733100) | about 2 years ago | (#42250607)

If Microsoft paid them, wouldn't other major software brands want funding to port to Windows 8 too? And after that, what if other OSes wanted popular software ported to their platform? Sets a terrible precedent IMO.

However, they could either A) make a substantial anonymous donation to the Kickstarter fund or B) outright buy VLC and internalize the development team.

yeah right (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250373)

Like I would give money to improve that POS OS.

I'd rather see.. (2)

mumblestheclown (569987) | about 2 years ago | (#42250391)

a VLC streamer app that lets me stream videos to my iOS devices from my home PCs. I'm sure it's possible through some technical hacks, but the VLC server that I have right now by default works or is said to work that I can only stream on my local network.

Re:I'd rather see.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250585)

Check out AirVideo http://www.inmethod.com/air-video/index.html / http://appshopper.com/utilities/air-video

Been using it since it came out in spring '09, only gotten better since. Works over local network and amazingly well over WAN (3g and wifi) with my modest 1mbps upstream.

Porting VLC to Windows 8... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250427)

Why?

Oh I see. The kickstarter money is compensation for the people that try to use VLC on Windows 8.

Why? (1)

assertation (1255714) | about 2 years ago | (#42250433)

I am a big fan of VLC. I've been using Linux for about 10 years and when other things fail to play videos, VLC succeeds.

When I am on a Windows box, there is plenty of software to play anything.

What benefit is there, for end users, for porting VLC to Windows?

Re:Why? (2)

hideouspenguinboy (1342659) | about 2 years ago | (#42250557)

I'm using VLC on Windows 7 right now - because I'm at work. I use it at home on linux and mac boxes.

I prefer it to any other media player I've seen on windows. I'm not a fan of windows 8 by any means, but it's obvious why someone would want it there.

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250685)

I still prefer media player classic HC over VLC.
Mostly because skipping through video is actually accurate, and doesn't jump to some random place near where I clicked.
I also prefer the interface over that of VLC.
Although, I use VLC to play back broken and incomplete videos.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42251201)

Same here. VLC "just works" to a point, but there's still a glitch on older (maybe even newer?) nVidia cards to where it has tearing on some videos. Something about not being able to get vsync or other garbage. MPC HC doesn't have this issue.

I know I was overly technical above about the issue - but the facts are MPC works. VLC... well, doesn't.

Re:Why? (4, Informative)

leuk_he (194174) | about 2 years ago | (#42250609)

There are 100 media players on windows. 97 of them depend on the decoding drivers of mediaplayer to decode videos. So if some video is dong badly ( Bad image quality/ high cpu usage/ unsupported file type), then your options to play that file become limited. VLC has all the demuxers and video decoders build -in , so that is one of your options left then.

VLC sucks far less than Windows Media Player... (4, Informative)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | about 2 years ago | (#42250621)

It plays anything I have thrown at it, takes up less resources and disc space, and isn't constantly loading updates and security patches.

Not for me (5, Interesting)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#42250435)

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...

On the other hand it could end up being the first metro app that's worth a flip. Every one I've tried so far has serious technical problems (for example Netflix and Skype).

As an aside, it's worth noting that even MS doesn't take metro seriously when it comes to actually selling applications. Office 2013 apps are desktop mode. Visio 2013 is desktop mode. Visual Studio 2012 is desktop mode. See a pattern here?

Re:Not for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250635)

That software written before or built on software predating Metro might not be Metro? I know, I'm still waiting for Excel 2.0 to be a 32-bit Windows NT application.

Re:Not for me (3, Informative)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#42251179)

That software written before or built on software predating Metro might not be Metro? I know, I'm still waiting for Excel 2.0 to be a 32-bit Windows NT application.

Office 2013 was released 21 days before Win8. I believe they are intended to be run together.

Visual studio 2012 is what they want you to use to build metro apps with.

Re:Not for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250659)

Office 2013 apps are desktop mode. Visio 2013 is desktop mode. Visual Studio 2012 is desktop mode. See a pattern here?

That Microsoft decided not to limit the market on their bread and butter apps to an OS that enterprises won't upgrade to for years even if it was a resounding success?

Re:Not for me (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#42251191)

Office 2013 apps are desktop mode. Visio 2013 is desktop mode. Visual Studio 2012 is desktop mode. See a pattern here?

That Microsoft decided not to limit the market on their bread and butter apps to an OS that enterprises won't upgrade to for years even if it was a resounding success?

Exactly my point. So, if you were developing an application.. VLC for example.. you would be okay with taking a risk that the makers of win8 metro are not?

Re:Not for me (1)

Trintech (1137007) | about 2 years ago | (#42250749)

The regular VLC works just fine in win8 so basically they're raising money to more or less create a VLC skin...

If you read the kickstarter page, you will see it is much more than a skin for windows 8. They are planning a native ARM port for tablets as well and, as they note on the page, there is currently no toolchain available that supports all the feature they need for that port so it will be quite a bit of work. Plus, they also expect to run into problems with Windows RT's new sandboxing system.

Re:Not for me (3, Insightful)

gparent (1242548) | about 2 years ago | (#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:Not for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42251139)

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.

Yes, and then you alt-tab out and then when you want to alt-tab back, you can't. Actually you can, but it's a completely separate multitasking environment with separate hotkeys. You basically cannot use metro apps from Desktop at all without going crazy at the inconsistency in multi-tasking.

Re:Not for me (4, Interesting)

Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) | about 2 years ago | (#42251119)

I would really like to have a metro version that I can snap to the side while working on other things. So yeah, I'll kick in a few bucks.
Oh, and I'd also like to have the RT version to run on my Surface.

You FAiL it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250447)

and 3o3ers [goat.cx]

Useful Software (3, Informative)

AnotherAnonymousUser (972204) | about 2 years ago | (#42250465)

VLC is one of those must-haves on any newly reformatted system. They've done an excellent job of making a player that Just Works, for every single format I could encounter in the field. I use it as a simple video player, but in the many years that I've been using it, I've only encountered one format ever that even VLC threw up its hands and refused to play. They're constantly updating performance, threading capability, offering all kinds of new features and options well beyond what I use VLC for. Since Windows stopped bundling a lot of DVD software natively, they've been the go-to software of choice for close to a decade, and they deserve to have their efforts and their project rewarded with solid backing, since they've managed to navigate through the morass of codecs and incompatible formats, while remaining lightweight, intuitive, and universally functional. Good luck guys =)!

Re:Useful Software (1)

jader3rd (2222716) | about 2 years ago | (#42250961)

Since Windows stopped bundling a lot of DVD software natively, they've been the go-to software of choice for close to a decade

I'm having trouble following you here. Windows first put DVD codecs into Windows Vista (released Jan 2007). Windows stopped putting codecs in Windows 8 (released Oct 2012). Given that it isn't 2022, I find it hard to follow that the reason VLC has been the go-to choice for close to a decade is because Windows stopped bundling DVD software for about two months.

MPC-HC! (2)

antdude (79039) | about 2 years ago | (#42251107)

What about Media Player Classic Home Cinema [sourceforge.net] ? I use both. I use MPC-HC more than VLC. Both are great.

Re:MPC-HC! (3, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Restrictions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250481)

With API restrictions for Metro apps, is this even worth while?

Fashion disaster (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250497)

One of the prizes is a "VLC for Win8" T-shirt.

Who the hell would want to wear a T-shirt that was anything at all to do with Win8? Can you imagine going out in public wearing a T-shirt that said "I heart Windows Vista" or "Clippy is my co-pilot"?

Re:Fashion disaster (5, Funny)

neminem (561346) | about 2 years ago | (#42251001)

I would totally buy a "Clippy is my co-pilot" shirt to wear ironically. Preferably one that had a picture of Clippy piloting a plane into a cliff. ... Dang it, now I really want that shirt. I'm sad that it doesn't seem to actually exist.

response thus far (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250509)

Personally, I have no interest in funding that so they won't see a red cent from me to _that_ end. But it does have a market:
 

1,177 backers
£15,709 pledged of £40,000 goal
17 days to go

I can only hope that it doesn't take non-monetary resources (e.g. core developer hours and attention) away from mainline VLC development. Some features like DVD menus still need work.

Re:response thus far (2)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 years ago | (#42250597)

Perhaps then you should donate some money towards forwarding your goals for VLC rather than hoping that others goals don't get met.

Worst Kickstarter Ever? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250529)

Why would anybody in their right mind want to *support* the Metro UI? It's downright detrimental both to the desktop user experience and to the future of the PC as an open platform. If app makers continue to ignore it (like most have so far), it will probably go away like many of Microsofts other missteps.

I would pay good money for them to *not* support Metro UI.

Re:Worst Kickstarter Ever? (4, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

No. (5, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | about 2 years ago | (#42250579)

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.

Re:No. (3, Insightful)

blueg3 (192743) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250909)

Watch out; you'll get blackballed for violating Slashdot's established Metro hate. Don't think your 6-digit ID will save you.

Re:No. (1)

gravis777 (123605) | about 2 years ago | (#42251263)

I don't see many of the issues you are complaining about. I am not saying they don't exist, I've just never seen them. I have seen a couple of obscure codecs that VLC doesn't work, but they play just fine in Media Player with KLite installed. I've never seen the point of network streaming with VLC - I either share the folder or use Windows Media Center to share the folders, and pull up the files on my laptop or XBox. Seems to be much less trouble. Menu support for DVDs does suck, but I normally have VLC set to skip menus anyways.

Things I would like to see:
1) What is up with VLC wanting to rebuild the font cache? I haven't installed new fonts. Stop asking to rebuild the font cache every 10 or 20th start.
2) If the codec isn't bundled in with VLC, it should be able to read the codec off of Windows. This will stop me from having to resort to Media Player for the couple of obscure videos that VLC doesn't support (or having to convert the video)
3) I want to be able to setup some defaults on videos. If the audio stream has 5.1 channels, I want it to default to that, not to 2.0 channels. I understand that most people do not have 5.1 hooked up to their PCs, but I would like the option to have that set as a default.
4) Be able to setup defaults for certain types of videos based on resolution, framerate, aspect ratio, etc. For example, there are several software packages out there (mainly converters) that have the option to detect black bars (ie 4x3 letterboxed stuff). I would love an option to detect that in a video and auto-crop to 16x9. If the framerate is say 30 or 60fps, I would like to have an option to deinterlace by default.
5) Better support for 3D material. Mainly my issue is that I have 3D software that renders all files as full-SBS. I have looked and looked for options in the software to render HalfSBS, but I just can't find the option. The problem in VLC is that it scales the video on my 3DTV, to 1920x1080, meaning that my videos get pillarboxed and stretched when I switch the TV to SBS mode. i don't have this issue with HalfSBS material that I rip from Youtube and such. Basically, I want the option where, if the video is 3840x1080, it would scale it to 1920x1080. Right now, the only option I seem to have is to use Total Media Center and have it send a native 3D image to the TV instead of SBS. This works, but ITMC seems to be really bad about dropping frames, even on an 8 core system and high end video card.
6) Support for DVD and Blu-Ray disc structures. Like, I think they took this feature out of PowerDVD, but you used to be able to tell it to play disc structures on the harddrive. I author a lot of the materail I shoot to Blu-Ray, and would like to make sure it works before I write it to disc. Right now, I have to spend about an hour writing it to a BD-RW to see that it works right.

if any of these features are already in VLC, someone please tell me how to use them!

Here is a paradox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250611)

Using free software on a platform where you are not free to run a modified version of that software, because Microsoft dictates that you are allowed to install only apps from the official store (and of course Microsoft has the final word of what gets included or not in the store).

No thanks, this is crazy and I'm not going to contribute.

Sorry but (-1, Troll)

JustNiz (692889) | about 2 years ago | (#42250619)

I'm actively avoiding donating any money to anything that helps make Windows 8 become relevant.

Apart from the fact that Windows 8 is a crap product to start with that also actively tramples on our privacy and forces unwanted ads on the user, Microsoft have insisted that profit-driven commercialism is the only good way to develop software. They have actively turned their back on the open source community (other than as strictly necessary to further their own agenda). Good. Let them live and die by their own philosophy.

I dont see why we now should now give charitable aid to even indirectly help them, a selfish and already rich megacorp keep their crap products making even more money that will just fund them staying alive longer and fighting opensource.

Wouldn't charitable contributing to their product also be in contradiction of Microsofts own chosen "survival of the fattest" mantra too?

Re:Sorry but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250891)

I'm actively avoiding donating any money to anything that helps make Windows become relevant.

FTFY

Reliable but ugly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250669)

As many others have said VLC is a very reliable piece of software and plays all kinds of formats and makes a good effort on even damaged or incomplete files.

Having said that it is an ugly beast of a program, it has gone through a version developed with WxWidgets and more recently Qt and it has many more skins and versions on top of that. The keybindings are not consistent with anything I've used before (for example I regularly hit Ctrl+W for close and instead the streaming Wizard pops up). So while I commend their technical achievements that last thing I want to see is the VLC team trying to write yet another user interface when even the primary user interface is an ugly mess. When others describe VLC as intuitive I can only wonder what they have been using that it seems intuitive by comparison?

If it gets going at all, maybe this project will fall out of use like so many other VLC side projects. They really should stick to what their good at, and not embark on yet another interface project.

test (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250671)

test

VLC already works on Windows8 (3, Informative)

Dunge (922521) | about 2 years ago | (#42250727)

Windows8 desktop is still the same old desktop and works just fine. Metro applications are useless.

Re:VLC already works on Windows8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42251183)

If you actually read the Kickstarter page, you'd know they're also developing a Windows RT version of VLC, which would be a massive improvement over the existing media player.

So no, their existing VLC for Windows wouldn't work just fine.

you Fail 1t! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250759)

volum3 of NetBSD [goat.cx]

Is it even possible? (2)

PCM2 (4486) | about 2 years ago | (#42250761)

I'm somewhat familiar with the terms and conditions involved w/Windows Store apps, and my first reaction was, "Is this even possible?"

Assuming you think having VLC run in TIFKAM (The Interface Formerly Known As Metro) is an important/necessary thing (I guess some people want that), they're talking about having people pledge thousands of dollars for what is essentially a shot in the dark. The Kickstarter page lists many of my own concerns:

A goal of this port is the inclusion in the Windows Store. While we think it is feasible, there is a significant number of forbidden API calls, so in theory, VLC for Windows 8 might not be applicable for the store. We will do our best to achieve a successful publication on the store, so side loading isn't needed.
VLC for Windows 8 will be licensed under both the GPLv2+ and the LGPL2.1+ depending on the respective code functionality. It is still subject to thorough checks whether these licenses are compatible with the Windows Store's terms of service. Publication on the store depends on the results of this investigation.

Note that the new "official" name for TIFKAM apps is "Windows Store Apps." You're meant to load them from the Windows Store. That's supposed to be part of what makes TIFKAM apps "so great." All of the apps in the Windows Store have been vetted by Microsoft, thus they're guaranteed to have met a lot of conditions. An app that doesn't meet these conditions doesn't get to be in the Store.

These conditions include UI and performance standards. From what I've seen of the VLC UI, there is no way that it will be accepted by Microsoft if it wants to include all of its current features and settings. Even apps that do comply seem to have a hard time [theregister.co.uk] getting approved. The VLC guys say they're using "forbidden API calls" -- forget about it. They will not get that app running on Windows RT, and I doubt there's a snowball's chance in hell of getting it approved for the Windows Store.

No approval, no Windows Store. No Windows Store, no Windows Store app. There are ways to sideload TIFKAM apps, but they're designed for enterprise customers. As I understand it, to make it possible to sideload apps on a Windows 8 machine, you need to install a special product key on each client machine to allow that. Regular customers can't sideload apps -- or, if there's a way to do it, it involves some elaborate hack.

So in a nutshell, if the VLC group can't get its TIFKAM app into the Windows Store, it's basically dead in the water. They can develop it, but the only people who will be able to deploy it will be the 5% of users who are willing to do whatever ugly, dangerous hacks are necessary to sideload apps onto their Windows 8 machines. Microsoft has cautioned that it might get even harder to sideload apps in future versions of Windows, too.

So remind me again what we're paying for, here? For a total blind gamble?

Improper use of Kickstarter (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Ports (1)

KenP40 (2759733) | about 2 years ago | (#42250773)

If it takes as long to port as it did/does for GTV, don't hold your breath. After saying the code was complete, there still isn't a release for those processors. Got some donations for that too. Obviously, no performance clause involved.

finally a reason to switch to mplayer (1)

someones (2687911) | about 2 years ago | (#42250857)

These guiys dont seem to care about winbloat and their walledgarden 2.0
Now i wont even need to think of, what to use: mplayer or vlc.
vlc just disqualified itself.

Cash grab to kickstart stuff they would do anyways (1)

oneiron (716313) | about 2 years ago | (#42250879)

They see a vulnerable market segment of enthusiastic users who are grasping at straws, and they know they can rake in a little cash from it. It's smart, and it will probably work out pretty well. Knowing VLC's cross-platform habit, I'm imagining the work that comes out of this will benefit other phone/tablet platforms that use metro-like mechanics more effectively than windows 8...ahem...android/ios.

Why pay to help out Microsoft? (3, Insightful)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

I applaud this (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#42250971)

...and I wish them the best, really, but as I won't be using Windows 8 either at home or at work, I don't see how this affects me.

DO NOT donate to this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42250995)

1- If you donate to this then you are donating to increase the use of windows 8. WIndows 8 should just die off and be replaced with a superior operating system. Kind of like how vista sucked, it wasnt supported and it wasnt long before windows 7 (the best windows yet) came along. So if you donate to this then you are donating to help keep windows 8 alive. So if I am against donating to this because I dont want to encourage people to use windows 8. I want microsoft to make a proper operating system.

2- VLC has always been free to download and use, they even have the source code free. Why all the sudden should we start paying/donating to get another free version?

3- Windows media player with a codec pack is far superior than VLC. There is nothing that I cant play in windows media player right now because I use the shark 007 codec pack for it (which there is a windows 8 version of it) and I suppliment it with .flv codec and divx codec downloaded seperately. WMP gives me very easy to use playback with a lot of options and since its a core part of windows I never have compatibility issues when running it. A lot of people dog it simply for being a microsoft product because they are contrary and have to automatically be against whatever is popular but for me it does exactly what I need a whole lot I dont. And those codecs I mentioned are 100% free.

Why? (4, Interesting)

michealPW (1294746) | about 2 years ago | (#42251025)

This has never made any sense to me whatsoever

Why do FOSS developers waste their time porting their hard work to Windows, of all platforms? Windows use have access to anything they want whereas Linux and UNIX-like users do not. Even if they wanted the proprietary crap offered to Windows users, in many cases it's not an option for us.

So... Lets make Windows even more appealing by porting the good FOSS applications to Windows? Brilliant...

Here's a crazy idea.. Why don't we just work on making VLC better for the Linux users? You know, it's firefox pluggin is a unkept POS... But yea, lets divert our attention to porting to Windows 8 (rolls eyes)

media library / playlists (1)

SkunkPussy (85271) | about 2 years ago | (#42251219)

They haven't got the media library and playlists working at all well in the normal app so its not a good advert for what they might achieve in windows 8...yes sure I could just fix the code instead of moaning...if I ever get any time...

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