In April, VideoLan announced its plans to launch its hugely popular VLC media player as a Universal Windows Platform app, capable of running across a wide range of Windows 10 devices. Today, the first version of VLC for Windows 10 is now available as a beta, with version number 2.0.0.
According to Jean-Baptiste Kempf, president of VideoLAN, the new app includes “all the features available on iOS and Android and a few more”.
Along with support for a wide variety of media formats, it includes a media library for managing content, network sharing features, subtitle support, audio/video synchronization, and a mini-player for audio playback.
In addition to thoughtful touches like picture-in-picture mode while playing a video and browsing the library, it also includes support for native Windows 10 features, such as Live Tiles, Cortana integration (currently supported only in English and French), Start menu pins for artists and albums, and the PC-like Continuum experience on high-end Windows 10 Mobile devices.
“Under the hood,” Kempf added, “we use some technologies exclusive to Windows 10, like some DirectX 11.1 features for video and low-latency audio. This should give you enhanced battery life and allow smooth 4K playback.”
However, the UWP app doesn’t include all of the features available in the ‘classic’ VLC desktop application, as Kempf explained; “The only important missing feature is DVD/Bluray playback and TV tuners that are not yet possible through the UWP APIs.”
He added that the UWP app isn’t replacing the desktop application, which will remain available.
As is the fashion these days, the UWP also offers a dark mode.
The app is available to download now from the Windows Store, and is currently supported on Windows 10 PCs and tablets, and Windows 10 Mobile devices.
But as previously promised – and, Kempf says, “when a few remaining issues are fixed” – VLC will also be available for other devices running Windows 10, including the Surface Hub and HoloLens (shown above).
A version for the Xbox One (above) “should be out this summer, when the store is open to 3rd party UWP applications” (although it’s not clear if Microsoft still intends to bring UWP support to the Xbox One this summer, as it made no mention of those plans at all when it announced details of the console’s summer update earlier this month).
An update for VLC is also on the way for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1, and is expected to arrive sometime in July.