VLC Takes to Kickstarter to Fund Windows 8 App Development

2012 is probably going to go down as the year crowd funding grew up. Kickstarter projects reached unprecedented levels of success as the crowd funding service gained steam. Elevation Dock for iPhone became the first project to cross the million dollar mark in February 2012. Soon after, Pebble watch shattered all records and went on to raise more than $10 million, which was over hundred times its initial goal. Since then, we have seen numerous projects like Ouya, and Project Eternity surge past the million dollar milestone with ease. While initially most Kickstarter projects belonged to the art and media segment, this year saw hardware and software projects take the lead. Now, even established projects like VLC are also taking to Kickstarter to meet their goals.


The VideoLan team has started a funding drive on Kickstarter to back the development of Windows 8 User Experience (Metro) app for VLC. The team already has already built a working prototype with minimal features and is looking to raise at least £40,000. VLC is aiming to release a Windows Store compliant Metro app that will run on both Intel and ARM chipsets. The new app will be completely rewritten with the WinRT APIs and feature a touch optimized user interface, while retaining most of the best features of VLC including full-fledged equalizer, video filters and superior support for subtitles. Unlike the built-in media player, out of the box support for CDs, DVDs, as well as unencrypted Blu-Rays is also planned. VLC is hoping that the fund-raiser will allow it to hire professional designers to build a beautiful and clean user interface, in addition to allowing many of its experienced developers to work full-time on the project.

VLCs fund-raising drive will continue for a month, and you have a chance to get your name in the application by pledging as little as £3. If the fund-raising goal is met, VLC app for Windows 8 is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2013.

VLC for Android (Finally) Released for Select Devices

The popular open source media player, VLC for Android by the VideoLAN team after several months of waiting. For what it is most known for, it supports almost all types of audio and video files a and brings a decent user interface. Different ports of Android by individual developers had been floating for Android a while, but they all were too buggy to use. This port has been made by the official team and is very stable, at least on supported devices.

Download from Play Store: VLC Beta (NEON version) (Amusingly, the app is not available to residents of USA and Canada. No problem, I’ve uploaded its APK, which you can find at the end.)

vlc music vlc

Unlike most of the media players, VLC can play both videos as well as songs. The UI is fully made up of orange & black colors and has some decent audio/video control options. It features support for headphones control, like automatic resuming of songs, etc., and supports subtitles too.

vlc video playback (1) vlc video playback (2)

It literally plays almost any video format you throw at it like MKV, FLV, MP4, etc. Volume can be changed by swiping up or down on the screen while a video is playing, something, which we have been seeing in almost every video players. One drawback of VLC is that it sometimes lags while trying to render full HD (1080p) videos smoothly.

Apart from the normal functions, it can also stream videos from a URL. VLC is currently in its initial stage of development and doesn’t sport any advanced capabilities such as an equalizer, automatic fetching of album art or lyrics, sleep timer, etc.

Overall, VLC is just a decent media player at this stage. On the desktop, the biggest reasons for VLC  being a popular media (especially video) player are — Simple UI, small size and support for nearly any file format. But the case is different on Android and I’m very skeptical whether these features are going to prove advantageous for VLC as they have already been available on several media player. That said, I’m really looking forward to its future builds hoping for some cool new features when it sheds its ‘beta’ tag.

VLC is currently in beta, contains a few bugs and might lag on some devices. At present, it only supports a small bunch of smartphones that have ARMv7 processors with NEON architecture and won’t work on phones with ARMv6 or non-NEON processors. However, the team does plan to support more devices very soon. The VLC team currently recommends the following phones for smooth playback:

  • Galaxy Nexus
  • HTC One X
  • Samsung Galaxy S3
  • Motorola Defy
  • HTC Desire
  • Nexus one

If your phone is not officially supported by the app, you might still want to download its APK and test it on your phone. You can download the VLC APK here.

How to Install VLC 2.0 in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

The VideoLAN Project released version 2 of their popular media player, VLC,  couple of days ago. And for most operating systems, the updated version is already available. The Ubuntu Store, however, is yet to feature the updated package. If you can’t wait for VLC to be updated, you can get the latest version easily by following the below steps.

First, open the terminal by summoning Unity dash. You can do that by clicking on the Ubuntu icon on the top-left corner of your screen. For the keyboard inclined, pressing Super(aka the Windows key) should summon Unity dash.

Unity Dash

Now, type in Terminal and click on the Terminal to launch it

Unity terminal

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:videolan/stable-daily

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install vlc

The first command creates an apt repo pointing to VLC’s stable builds. The second commands instructs apt-get to fetch the latest set of packages. The last command will install VLC. If all goes well, you should be seeing VLC under Media Apps in Unity.

VLC Entry in Unity Dash

Do drop a comment if you need some help in installing VLC in Ubuntu.

VLC Gets Updated to 2.0

VideoLan Project’s very popular media player, VLC, just received a major release. The new version, VLC 2.0, comes with loads of new features, bug fixes and support for pretty much any OS – Windows, Mac OS X, Android & iOS. Heck, the 2.0 release even features a OS/2 video output renderer. VLC is known to play anything that you throw at it, kitchen sink included.

Codenamed “Twoflower”, some of the features of the 2.0 release include

  • Faster decoding on multi-core, GPU, and mobile hardware
  • Ability to open more formats, notably professional, HD and 10bits codecs
  • New rendering pipeline for video, with higher quality subtitles, and new video filters to enhance the videos.
  • Experimental BluRay Disc support
  • Completely reworked Mac and Web interfaces
  • Several hundreds of bug fixes spanning over 7000 commits from 160 volunteers.

The Windows version of VLC gets some subtle UI changes.

VLC Windows UI

And the Mac version has got a complete redesign as well. Some of the things that I don’t like about the new version:

  • VLC still cannot remember the last playback position.
  • VLC’s got support for Lua extensions. However, there isn’t a push for these extensions. With the 2.0 even the sample extensions have been removed
Having said that, VLC’s still a great player. You can download the latest version using the below links:
For Linux users, the package managers should have the updated versions in the respective repos soon.

Download Pre-Alpha Build Of VLC for Android

VLC is the most popular cross-platform, open-source media player until date. Chances are if you have not heard about VLC player, you are living under a rock.


Since VLC is an open-sourced media player, many developers started porting it to the popular open-sourced mobile OS, Android. Sadly, it’s been more than two years since Android became mainstream, but VLC for Android is still under development.

Now, one member from the CyanogenMod team, cvpcs, has compiled a version of VLC for Android and uploaded it for the general Android users to download and use. There are two versions available for download, one for NEON capable devices, and one for non-NEON based devices. Users can find the download link for VLC for Android here.

Android users should keep in mind that VLC for Android is still under development, and so there are quite a few issues with it. Consider this release from cvpcs, a pre-alpha release. Since this is more of a kang release from cvpcs, users should not expect any support either from the VLC team or from cvpcs himself.

Scammers Are Using VLC Media Player To Spread Malware

One of the greatest things about an open source project is sharing the source code with everyone, and fixing bugs and adding new features as a community. However some time it gets abused.

largeVLCIn a recent blog post, VLC developer Ludovic Fauvet said that scammers are taking advantage of the availability of the VLC source code to trick users. The scammers are adding malware and adware to VLC and releasing them as the original product.

This is how the scammers work:

  • They get the VLC code and add adware or malware.
  • They release their version of VLC as the original.
  • They buy advertisements using Google AdWords.
  • They earn more money through the malware and adware bundled with their version of VLC.
  • They buy more advertisements.

This is a direct violation of the GPL under which the VLC source code is being distributed. (Obviously the scammers do not care about license violation.) And more importantly, this tarnishes the VLC brand in the eyes of unsuspecting users.

This is what Ludovic Fauvet wrote:

What bothers us the most is that many of them are bundling VLC with various crapware to monetize it in ways that mislead our users by thinking they’re downloading an original version. This is not acceptable. The result is a poor product that doesn’t work as intended, that can’t be uninstalled and that clearly abuses its users and their privacy. Not to mention that it also discredits our work as volunteers and that it’s time-consuming, time that is not invested in the development.

Remember to download VLC only from the official repositories or the official website to be safe.

For obvious reasons, we will not link to those scammers’ websites here. However, this is not the first time that a popular open source project has been abused by scammers. Last year, Blender reported that scammers are rebranding their application and selling them.

How To Install VLC 1.1.6 In Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

The VideoLAN Project has released a new version of its very popular media player – VLC. The new release, VLC 1.1.6, is an incremental update from the previous version and has a few new features.

Although mainly a bug fix update, VLC 1.1.6 has some improvements from the last realease. These improvements in VLC 1.1.6 include:

  • Improvements in KDE and PulseAudio integration
  • Faster WebM/VP8 decoding
  • Support for MPC SV7/SV8 on Windows and MacOS builds
  • Improvements in visualisations and interfaces

Beside these, there are also a few minor improvements such as updated codecs, security updates in demuxer and codecs, better subtitles and an updated language translation.

The VLC available in the main Ubuntu repository has not been updated to this new release yet. However, Ferramosca Roberto has already made the new version available in his PPA. The build is, however, available only for Ubuntu 10.10 at the time of writing this.

So, to install VLC 1.1.6 in Ubuntu 10.10, follow these steps:

1. Open the Terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal). If you are using Kubuntu, you will need Konsole. To open the Konsole in Kubuntu, press ALT+F2 to open KRunner and type “konsole“.

2. Now we need to add the PPA. To do this, execute the command given below in the Terminal/Konsole.

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ferramroberto/vlc

3. After the PPA has been added, update the software list with:

$ sudo apt-get update

4. Finally install VLC 1.1.6 with the command given below

$ sudo apt-get install vlc mozilla-plugin-vlc

After installation, you will find VLC under Applications > Video & Sound > VLC. In Kubuntu, you can use the KRunner again to launch it.

VLC for Android is Coming Soon

VLC is the most popular media player among Open Source enthusiasts and it plays almost all video formats seamlessly making it the first choice for many Windows users as well. Be it audio, video, streaming or any other playing habit, VLC does the job.

VLC lead developer Jean-Baptiste Kempf has announced in talks with Om Malik from GigaOM that VLC media player will be released for Android in a few weeks time. We can safely expect to see it in early 2011.  VLC has spread across a multitude of platforms including Windows; Linux on PC, Mac, an iOS device- the iPad and now, a version for Android is awaited.

Android already sports some slick video players like RockPlayer and YxPlayer. The porting of VLC to Android has been accelerated with Google’s latest NDK that better allows running of native code. However, one setback for Android development, fragmentation has affected them all the way in this development process. Given the revolution in hardware of Android devices, the VLC media player along with other applications now have the right to be resource intensive as well.

If you want to track the development of VLC, it can be found on this Git page.

Apple Store Gets Take Down Notice for VLC App

ipad-image2Tuesday, Rémi Denis-Courmont, the lead developer of the open source VLC media player, sent a legal notice to the Apple Store to force the VLC app’s removal. VLC can only be modified or distributed under Gnu GPL (General Public License), and Apple’s restrictive licensing violates that. It’s expected that Apple will do so, because this situation isn’t new. Apple was previously forced to remove other open source apps.

To users of iOS devices, this means you’d better grab VLC from the Apple Store while you can.


The VLC app was released in September. Even then, some people speculated that it would eventually be killed. Below is a little of the letter that Rémi sent out to the public.

Espoo, Finland – Today, a formal notification of copyright infringement
was sent to Apple Inc. regarding distribution of the VLC media player for
iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. VLC media player is free software licensed
solely under the terms of the open source GNU General Public License
(a.k.a. GPL). Those terms are contradicted by the products usage rules of
the AppStore through which Apple delivers applications to users of its
mobile devices.

Rémi is also angry that he’s being blamed for depriving users of the app. He states that he must defend VLC’s unrestricted use under GPL, and those who made this app available should be getting the blame.

VLC will always be available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

VLC Player For iPad Now Available

VLC, the open source and cross-platform media player has now been ported to work on the . The best part about VLC player is that it has almost every codec required to play videos built-in, allowing you to play almost any video file.

VLC Player for iPad

VLC Player is currently available for downloads for iPad, sadly and users will not be able to download and use this popular video player on their devices.

If you are using an iPad, head over to this iTunes link to download the app.

(h/t @tanmays)