- Apr 24, 2016
I first tried VLC around 2003 or so. It wasn't a good experience. The player's interface showed me a garbled view of the video file I was trying to play. Then, in 2006 or so, I tried it again. Since, it's become my staple media player on every single platform and operating system, including the mobile. The reasons are many: the king of codecs, tons of features, a simple no-frills interface.
Recently, the VLC team has started working on a visual revamp of the UI, which should come live in version 4.0. This marks a significant departure from the established look & feel of the player, which really hasn't seen any big visual updates throughout its history. So I thought, let's have a look at the early work and see what the future has in store for us. Early impressions, don't get too excited, things may rapidly evolve and change and whatnot. Follow me...
Does VLC have a perfect UI? No. Does it need a redesign? Perhaps. Is the new UI concept showcased in early builds of version 4.0 the answer to this need? No, absolutely not. Even without going into specifics, the fact it is touch-inspired tells you everything you need to know. There are ZERO cases where a desktop program was made better by using anything from the mobile world. ZERO.
I hope this UI does not become a thing. Because if it does, I really see no use for this magnificent program on my machines anymore. I'll stay with 3.X builds for as long as possible, maybe even compile it myself, and if things stop working after that, so be it. I have no use for touch nonsense on my desktop. Life is too precious for that. At this point, I might as well go live on a farm somewhere, growing Brussels sprouts. Thus endeth another depressing article.
Early review of VLC 4.0 Nightly build, focusing on the new and redesigned interface, including tons of problems like bad ergonomics, low font contrast, decreased workflow efficiency, reduced responsiveness, no quick access to local filesystems, video playback in a separate window, and more