VLC Beta hits Windows 8 with a touch-friendly media player

VLC is a media player that’s earned a reputation as a Swiss Army Knife thanks to its ability to handle just about any audio or video file you can throw at it. There are versions of the app for Windows, Linux, OS X, Android and iOS — and now there’s a version optimized for Windows 8.

VLC for Windows 8 is available as a free download from the Windows Store.

vlc win8_02

The app is still in beta, and described as an “experimental port,” which probably explains why it closes a second after I try to launch it on a Dell Venue 11 Pro tablet with an Intel Atom Bay Trail processor. But it runs pretty smoothly on a Dell XPS 12 convertible featuring an Intel Core i5 Haswell CPU.

VLC for Windows 8 supports “most” audio and video formats including files that you might not be able to play with Microsoft’s official Video app. It can handle OGG, FLAC, and MKV files, among others.

I took the app for a spin, and it did a pretty great job of streaming videos from a shared network drive — although it can be a bit sluggish and crash-prone while indexing shared drives if you add them to your Windows Video library.

The app supports gesture-based navigation, runs in full-screen, and will continue playing audio in the background while you use other apps… as long as it doesn’t crash. This is an early release. Hopefully VLC for Windows 8 will get better over time.

via The Windows Blog

  • http://g33ky.de/ Dr. Azrael Tod

    meh’ crashes on start
    a working metro-mediaplayer on my t100 wouldn’t have been that bad…

    but then again, how many more tablet/netbook-combos have been bought? it’s not like this metro-stuff would be relevant at all.

    • CyberGusa

      It’s only a Beta, so it’s understandable if it doesn’t work on all systems yet…

      But don’t sell Modern UI apps short… neither iOS or Android was very relevant when they started either and it took many years before that changed!

      We’re only in the second year now with Windows 8 and models like the T100 have started changing the status quo… really, the T100 has sold so well it’s hard to find anymore in most places and those that do have it in stock often price gouge to take advantage of the limited stock and high demand…

      While companies like Delta Airlines got over 11,000 Surface 2’s for their pilots and Windows Phones for the rest of the crew…

      So there’s already some relevancy for Modern UI apps, it’s just going to take a few more years before it can compare to the already well developed alternatives… but all things have to start somewhere…

      • Charles222

        Third in sales on Amazon over Christmas isn’t exactly a horrid disaster.

    • juju

      Even if it wasn’t beta, I wouldn’t be surpised if it crashed. That’s normal for the desktop version.

  • Alan

    Every time I try out VLC again, it’s the same flaky player. It’s definitely the Swiss Army Knife of video players. It can do a lot of stuff but none of them well.

    CPU usage is usually higher than other players despite using the same libraries which results in less battery life for mobile devices. Occasional crashes if you’re jumping around through a video or pretty much doing anything while a video is playing. There are other general issues but I always try to check VLC out periodically and see if it ever improves on its flakiness.