VLC receives major Windows 8.1 update, ARM support still in the works

The VLC team have finally released the Windows 8.1 update for their app, which should now be available through the Windows Store. Version 0.1.0 marks the second major release of the popular media suite, but remains in active beta. While the team behind the app are very much still working on new features and squashing known bugs, it's a far more stable experience compared to previous versions.

Here's a list of changes bundled in the 0.1.0 release:

  • Now using libVLC 2.2.0 core
  • Redesigned interface
  • Substantial performance improvements
  • Use of Winsock for networking instead of WinRTsock
  • Implemented Windows 8.1 widgets support
  • moved interface code to Universal to prepare Windows Phone 8.1 port

The team notes that while this release remains x86-only, they have made notable advances on the ARM port, which will please those with Windows RT tablets. There's still no release date for the Windows Phone port.

Source: VLC

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Beautiful
  • Any release date for the wp port?
  • I'm guessing, at this rate, 2016  (if we're lucky) :\   VLC has been a real letdown lately in some regards, and this is one of them.
  • Maybe we could help them write a part of the code?
  • As they said in previous article about vlc, they have to write a C99 compiler for windows phone theirselves. If you can help them, I think they would be happy to accept.
  • They shouldn't have to write a compiler themselves, though. I'm pretty sure Microsoft has a great compiler for Windows Phone devices.
  • The VLC core is written in C99. They can't port the whole core into another language. (and if they do so, they need to do it over and over after core updates. not to mention that it also needs a LOT OF time and will provide countless bugs) There is .Net and Microsoft C++ compilers available on windows phone, but not c99. so they have to create it.
  • @Mahdi ... Why would they need a custom c99 compiler? Will it compile the code to .net IL or directly to binary?
  • Because the VLC core is written on C99. Not sure about how will it work, though.
  • Because the vlc core is written in c99 C (whose syntax is different from syntax that's supported in visual studio).Even though there might be other arm compiler out there for compiling c99 C code into binaries , they don't support windows phone binary format !! So Got to do it on der own !!!
  • At least they didn't write it in Cobol.
  • No, no, they say it's their compiler that is the problem. They're apparently ignoring that VS has an amazing compiler that doesn't mess up on ARM and they're using their own thing for some reason.
  • VS has amazing C++ and .Net (C#+VB) compilers. not C99. But VLC is written in C99, so they need a C99 compiler, which doesn't exist yet.
  • C99? Could you tell me more about the benefits of using C99 as opposed to a .NET based solution? Is it for cross-platforn-ness?
  • There's no benefit. If someone wants to create a new video player from scratch, then he should use something like c++, which is cross-platform and new. But the point is, the vlc core has lots of legacy parts, which was written in c99. If they want to switch language, they'll have to rewrite the whole core, which doesn't make sense.
  • That could be a long-term goal, maybe. I'm not saying it should be done even within a year or two, but moving to something that isn't going to give them this much hassle shold be an eventual move.
  • To be fair, we're kinda lucky they're even willing to put up with the hassle of doing it all when you figure how very few Windows RT and Windows phone users there are compared to Android and Apple users. I happen to have both a Windows RT tablet and a Windows Phone, so I'm just grateful they haven't decided to throw in the towel.
  • Lucky? They put that as a stretch goal on kickstarter (RT at least). So them making one is simply them complying with the reason why they got the extra money in the first place. It'd be like me saying my workplace is lucky I wash windows. No they're not, it's part of my job.
  • Ahh ok. I didn't realize it was born from a kickstarter. Well then thanks to everyone that contributed to the kickstarter, and for their sake, I hope it gets completed soon.
  • Mahdi thx for clearing it up, seems like you're a developer yourself, right?
  • Yes, I am a .Net developer. :)
  • Visual C++ 2013 implements support for most of C99 by utilizing libraries from Dinkumware. As a programmer... It's easier to write a compiler than it is to refactor their code? Really? Ummmm.... OK.  
  • Well, that's a good point :) I don't know why they thought writing a compiler is easier or better, but I said to myself they are professional programmers (hopefully!) so there must be something which leaded them to think this way. About Dinkumware, Please talk to them. Maybe you can make the development faster :)  
  • Seriously man, I'm willing to volunteer!
  • Kaymd do you know anything about coding? I know some and i can tell you its hard. I can just write realy simple codes
  • well, it says here: www.wpcentral.com/vlc-windows-phone-81-wont-be-out-soon-windows-81-update-may-launch-today   "Ningo told us that if any of our readers is a "software engineer and wants to help, that he contact me."" , I just found this article now.
  • I'm not sure, but two weeks seems to be doable.
  • You are the.... Aren't you the.... You must be.... Is it you???
  • Just two weeks ? And then thanks for working on VLC WP :)
  • If it happens around that time, you'll have my gratiude. I just remember when it was going to be "three months after the x86 version" and then we waited and waited. I'm just a little worried that this is another deadline that might not be met.   Also, thanks for working on it at all.
  • You're talking about Windows RT version? Or the phone version?
  • RT version and WP version, hopefully. I'm assuming, according to later blogs, that RT is coming out around the time WP is. Or at least I thought I read that it was why RT was pushed back (again and again and again).
  • Using the Universal App method, you can write a WP and WinRT version at once.
  • Thomas Nigro wrote: "I'm not sure, but two weeks seems to be doable." This is brilliant news! I assume that we are talking about the RT version? Thanks Thomas!
  • For all of you expecting it in "two weeks" i really hope it actually is  (crossing fingers). Because that "two weeks" line is the standard response for people asking for ETA on custom rom forums, mostly when a project has been told to be very complicated to achieve...yet everyone's asking for an ETA, so devs and everyone else just say "two weeks"
  • But Thomas has come down from two months to two weeks now..... may be in next week he will come across a new hurdle that will indedinitely end the project.!!
  • The wait continues
  • Good...
    Waiting for WP8.1 copy..
  • Nice. Hope it actually works for me now.
  • Yawn.... Waiting like forever for wp version, though still hopeful... Thanks moliplayer is here which I bought ages ago.
  • I really like the new design :)
  • Not working on Windows Technical preview. 
  • No need to use this unless it's in an ARM device, please VLC team make it possible.
  • When the vlc is launching for windows phone ??????
  • We don't know, less than a year :/
  • I ain't no developer. But seeing the rate at which developers port apps to WP, it seems as if Coding For WP is horrendous..
    First they take 2 years to develop an app, take FlipBoard, and later they take 20 years to make the same app run for lower memory devices, and after few years, they release a small update for the app. Aaanndd its done..!! Adorable,,!!
  • Agreed.
  • Actually, Visual Studio is awesome and coding for WP is nice. The problems depend on each project. I doubt that FlipBoard really put any resources into the project, for example, which made it take more time. VLC was tied heavily to the desktop, which had some things the WinRT version can't have. Also, they're making their own compiler for the ARM version.
  • Okay. Agreed. But 2 years is a long time. Real long. Why the hell do they announce that they are making an app for WP, that too 2 years in advance..!!
  • Who? VLC? I have no idea. Aside from the compiler thing, it likely wasn't high on their priority list. Heck, I seem to remember a certain VLC member bashing Windows RT in 2013 when it came out.
  • Don't forget that these VLC developers do it in their spare time (correct me if I'm wrong though). They have college and/or other work to attend to outside their VLC development activities.
  • I think it's difficult if you approach it with a port mindset, rather than building from scratch. That's why most apps that were originally developed for WP are usually excellent, but most ports are just average
  • Seriously, why are they building an app for W8.?
    The VLC for desktop already is very stable.. Why again a Metro App for that.
    Rather they would have focussed only on WP8/8.1 version..
  • 8" tablets and the desktop don't mix, for example. Another reason is because some people just like using Modern Apps. And that is what the kickstarter was for, after all. ;)
  • From what I've read coding for WP isn't that bad. The bigger issue is the time and money it requires to have someone build an app. Companies aren't terribly interested in coding a WP app unless they think it'll bring in enough money, people, whatever to make it worthwhile. iOS and Android have more potential for that sort of thing so they get most of the focus. 
  • Don't know what are they making... they could have made a rocket by now... The way they tell the progress, feels so much work. Don't know how the guys at Moliplayer made their app.
  • They wud have made a rocket by now..!!
    Lol, watta comment..
    Seriously.. :P
  • MOM was made in short time.
  • The same with WhatsApp, more than 2 months to test the beta version!!!
  • r u registered in watsapp private beta programme?
  • Good work Nigro. Waiting for the phone version. :)
  • Go and fight with Naruto, what r u doing here?
  • I don't even remember when Windows 8 came out. When VLC went on Kickstarter for Windows 8 and WP, I wanted to donate but I couldn't. I now an really glad I didn't. So much time has passed and we're still left with nothing.
  • I think windows desktop apps are more stable than metro apps..
  • Did you hurt yourself when you came up with that thought?
  • Why this app is so special??
    Music and video apps are good, I guess
  • Not special. Its a player many people use. See the condition of WP Store. Even the official Music and Video apps suck. So, this is one of the most 'hyped' player that is to be released now.
    Expect it within the next two years or so..
  • Arm support is all I care about!!!!! Normal 8.1 can get the desktop player anyway
  • i gave up on VLC a long time ago
  • Nice, but a WP app would have been more logical since the "orignal" vlc software works on x86 pc since a while now.
  • I'd pay for it lol
  • and the WP users shall wait... till...     eternity...
  • Why are they even putting in so much efforts for the Windows 8.1 version I don't get it. People aren't really bothered as there is already a stable version for desktop. A majority are eagerly waiting since over a year for the WP8.1 app. I think they should place all focus on this and keep their users happy.
  • Agreed! I use desktop VLC on my laptop, which is much stable than the so-called "Metro" VLC. What I really miss is VLC for Windows Phone.
  • Win8 doesn't just run on desktops. Many people use tablets these days. You need to keep up with the times, mate.
  • Good reporting Rich. Thank you
  • Crashes constantly on my SP3.
  • Jesus just download the stable desktop VLC.
  • They should have started from scratch.
  • Definitely looking forward to the RT port.  There are NO apps on the store that can play my mkv files.  The best I get is audio, but no video.
  • We do not need VLC. Moliplayer is The better. Moliplayer can play MKV files
  • The more the better.
  • Moliplayer runs on Silverlight so it won't work on WindowsRT tablets. It also very well may not work with Windows 10 Phones. 
  • Look, its Mr. Trololol
  • Im hoping/waiting for WP + RT and supporting MKV with H.264 Video & DTS/AC3 Audio. I am unwilling to convert everything i have to MP4, will be another year of my life.
  • Just pay for MoliPlayer and use your .mkv files?
  • Pay? Use MoliPlayer for a month. Uninstall, then Reinstall. Use for a month. Repeat.
  • Are they ever going to release the WP version at this point this is such bullsh*t worse than the time period we've waited for flipboard
  • They have to create their own C6 compiler.  They could use Silverlight, but they don't see Silverlight being around much longer.  It is taking a really long time, but hopefully once the compiler is done we won't have to wait much longer.
  • It don't support subtitle like SMI and miss volume control.
  • This app is useless until they release one for ARM based processor. RT and windows phone.
  • Oh wow I thought it was available for the RT....coz yea you're right whats the point when you can use the better featured desktop version!
  • Great work!  Can't wait for the ARM version to come out.
  • What is up with nobody being able to make a decent music app for Win8/WP8? Can't anybody make something that just works and has at least basic functions? Programming for this environment must be either very difficult or very limiting. I really like the win8 platform - desktop (W10), tablet & phone, but at this rate I am getting more and more discouraged.
  • Not difficult Ray but definitely limiting. Devs are restricted to the functionality exposed to them and its kinda bad because fir example to access tge phones music library you need to use the old XNA API stuff, and the old XNA mediaplayer class doesn't allow for selecting a section of a song for example. Be interesting to see what they do music library wise with Windows 10 on the phone but basically now even in 8.1 it is legacy stuff and that is why the Xbox Music app sucks so much!
  • Y do they need to develop an app!!!! When their software is available n is pretty well!!;;
  • There wont be a WP version. Ms will push them to do a universal app longer term. Then only controls will be customized.
  • thats good news for my Surface 2 (RT)! cant wait!
  • Now it doesn't even open. Stuck in crash loop. Disappointing... 
  • Same here!
  • Still dont get why we keep hearing what a nightmare Windows RT is from the VLC team, yet Mobliplayer did the same thing in 1/15th the time and didn't take our money in advance to do it.
  • It's because the VLC team is building the app in the most ass backwards way possible.  They aren't using the standard Microsoft tools and have instead created many tools from scratch to keep VLC 'open source' as well as avoiding having to change a lot of legacy code from the VLC core.  Basicly their taking the staris instead of just using the damn elevator.
  • There is more to it than that, a lot of the codec stuff is not in the WinRT API so they need to make the old stuff compatible with the WinRT code. They kinda need to take the stairs as the elevator stops half way.
  • Release date of vlc for WP pls
  • WP35.1
  • Just crashes on my surface pro 3. Uninstalled, re installed, ran windows app repair, still just crashes.
  • Same for me bruhz, says scanning for music and dies :(
  • it looks like xbox apps, but now it's "beautiful"... I mean, just change the colors and you will see practically the same design... so again? nothing original by VLC, anyway, instead of changing the UI I hope they make it work this time because it was a sucky experience. it sucks Moliplayer would't be available for users until next year when windows and windows phone merge into windows 10. of course I never liked VLC and I don't use it, I use potplayer, so maybe I am too critical about VLC and how they do their stuff. anyway it loves to crash.. so it's not easy to use it that way :P
  • How come we doesn't have a best video player.. Moli player is incomplete.. Doesn't load videos other than camera roll... What a waste of app..vlc looks like gonna come after a decade.. And Microsoft is gonna give micro SD support for flagship devices after a century.. And there wont be Bluetooth received folder by Microsoft even if google buys Microsoft.. And candy crush will be a myth for windows phone users.. Worried even after bring flagship Lumia 1020.. Nokia belle is better than Lumia features wise... And its a fact
  • VLC is a mess
  • So, VLC now supports widgets on Win8? When did Win8 get widgets? Will other apps be getting widget support? What widgets are currently available? Why hasn't MS announced this?
  • Updated VLC on my Dell Venue 11 Pro. Tried to add a network folder. Met with "This location can't be included because it can't be indexed" error. Unable to add any network folder. The app is useless for me. For someone who has supported this project, I am really disappointed with the development after such a long time. Do they even QA it before releasing the app?
  • Same error as trying to do it with xbox music :(
  • That's why all my video files are in Plex a much better investment until 30 sept. Universal app development
  • I can't download the new one on my Surface Pro 3, but it automatically downloaded on my desktop that's running Windows 10. Windows 8.1 keeps giving me the Windows 8 version, anyone else having this problem?
  • Duck you VLC
  • When is it coming to WP?
  • Hmmm as soon as I open it, it starts to scan for music then crashes amd dissapears....
  • Maybe I misunderstood. Is this available for surface yet or no. It doesn't show up in the store when I search with my surface but I've had it on my kids dell venue 8 pro and Acer w3 for ages.
  • So, basically it is a legacy app, written to look like a Windows Store app. Why? Wasn't there already VLC for X86 and X64, that I couldn't install on my RT.
  • Except from a few design flaws this is great! And fluid... Works like a charm after the update!