VLC polishes up its act
Though it just came out in beta for Windows 8/8.1 VLC has been a staple of many a Windows user’s configurations. VLC’s ability to handle playback of just about any media format one could conjure up is, LEGEN…wait for it…DARY. Since it first came on the scene in 2001 the default look and feel of this application has been ported from OS to OS largely unchanged. It supported a method of skinning its UI to allow for freedom of expression, but this version of the application does away with that old school windowed appearance and slaps on a fresh coat of paint.
We took it for a quick spin on a tablet and found the support for our media server, a Western Digital NAS running the non-Twonky DLNA server, visible but inaccessible. That same NAS functions fine in Windows 8.1 through File Explorer, so we will have to see what updates to the beta bring. Similarly, files that play back perfectly in the traditional, 2.1.3 Rincewind version via the Windows Desktop, don’t behave quite as nicely in the newer version because some codecs are not yet working. On the bright side, it plays non-protected WTV files from Windows Media Center perfectly.
Before you rush out to install the VLC beta you should know that it only works on x86/x64 PCs. It won’t run on a Surface RT, Surface 2, or any other Windows RT device.
All-in-all though the application looks very promising, and it is a welcome addition to the Windows Application Store. We can’t wait for future updates and the chance to try out features as they grow.