This project’s goal is a fully featured port of VLC media player to the new Windows 8 User Experience. A second release will also add support for Microsoft’s Surface tablets.
VLC media player for Windows is currently installed on about 100,000,000 devices worldwide. The existing version runs on Windows 8’s desktop mode, and is available only for Intel-based PCs. This new port will be natively integrated within the new User Experience and will also support ARM-based tablets in a subsequent release
Similar to the desktop version of VLC media player, you will be able to play all files, all your discs and all your network streams. All of that in a native, beautiful and easy-to-use interface.
In contrast to the built-in media player, VLC for Windows 8 we intend to add support for DVDs and VCDs out-of-the box as well as unencrypted Blu-Rays. All the features known from our current releases will be retained like a full fledged equalizer, video filters and superior support for subtitles.
We will pursue a fully-compliant app for submission to the Windows Store in order to reach as many users as possible, and to provide a consistent installation and update experience.
This fundraiser is run to allow experienced core members of the VideoLAN team to work on this new port full-time. We expect an initial release within three months after finishing the fundraiser. This would not be possible to do with volunteers.
A successful fundraiser will also allow us to hire professional designers to build a beautiful and clean user interface.
Any code touching the user interface created within this endeavor will be licensed under the GNU General Public License Version 2 or later (GPLv2+), possibly with an exception for the Windows Store if needed.
Low level libraries and contributions to VLC's existing code base will be licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License Version 2.1 or later (LGPLv2.1+) following the recent developments in the VLC project.
VLC for Windows 8 will be brought to you by Geoffroy Couprie, Jean-Baptiste Kempf, Rafaël Carré, Ludovic Fauvet, Felix Paul Kühne, and Kellen Robert Sunderland with help from Kieran Kunhya. You can find details in the biography section.
Risks and challenges
VLC for Windows 8 will be developed by experienced core members of the VideoLAN team working full-time to achieve the best result in the shortest possible time.
Prior to starting this fundraiser, we created prototypes with working video and audio playback of local files to make sure that this project is actually feasible.
The biggest challenge of this endeavour is the integration of our current workflow based on GNU tools with Microsoft’s native development toolkit. Our prototypes were easier to interleave than we anticipated.
We expect minor issues with the sandbox included in the WinRT runtime, which might hinder the inclusion of our existing LUA scripts for YouTube, Vimeo, … integration. However, we are confident to solve these once we have actually started. While our optical media playback code should work as is, it may be prevented to do so by Windows RT's sandbox. It is yet to be found out whether it is permissive enough or not.
A goal of this port is the inclusion in the Windows Store. While we think it is feasible, there is a significant number of forbidden API calls, so in theory, VLC for Windows 8 might not be applicable for the store. We will do our best to achieve a successful publication on the store, so side loading isn't needed.
VLC for Windows 8 will be licensed under both the GPLv2+ and the LGPL2.1+ depending on the respective code functionality. It is still subject to thorough checks whether these licenses are compatible with the Windows Store's terms of service. Publication on the store depends on the results of this investigation.
For file system IO and network access, the development of a low level library might be needed due to the re-written APIs provided by Windows RT. This potential library will be shared with any interested party, so other open source applications will benefit from our work.
The initial release of VLC for Windows 8 will run on x86-based devices. Support for the ARM architecture will be added in a subsequent release, since this will involve further development work. The amount of work needed to tackle this subproject can hardly be estimated at this point. However, we are confident to get this done based upon our prior experience on competing ARM based platforms like Android and iOS.
A major hurdle for us is to take VLC for Windows 8 and get it to run on ARM based Windows RT devices. This is because there is currently no stable toolchain available that supports all the features we need in order to cross-compile the libVLC library for Windows RT. While Microsoft provides its default development environment, it is not of much help to us at the lower libVLC level, which uses advanced features of the C language as well as custom, hand written assembly code. Both of these are incompatible with Visual Studio, so we will be required to adapt a mingw-w64 derivative for this purpose. This is feasible, since this is what we used for the past 10 years to provide VLC on Windows, but it will take time.
A major benefit of this subproject will be a working mingw-w64 environment for all the other projects with their roots in the UNIX/Linux world.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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