Update An early look at VLC 4.0 - Hello darkness, my old friend


Level 50
Content Creator
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.


Level 9
Jun 26, 2020
Excellent program, one of the worst UI, not even dark mode. Really need a more actual UI, but for yesterday i no longer use VLC because it looks ancient. I think it stills maintain the look since my Windows XP. I change to potplayer.

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Level 50
Content Creator
Apr 24, 2016
(President of VideoLAN here)
Sorry to say, but the article is quite useless, and a bit misleading.
It's talking about a work-in-progress work, which is very far from being finished. None of those big issues are wanted.
Of course, the video being split from the UI is not wanted, and is just that the work is not finished on all the platforms. But this is per platform integration, because of composition APIs.
For example, this is what the player looks like on Windows: and of course, this is integrated.
As for the rest, everything is optional and will be made optional:
- you can have the menu by default, if you want it, including the File menu,
- you can disable the medialibrary, and have 0 indexation, if you don't like it,
- the player will be possible to look very closely to the 3.0 version,
- the player can be integrated in the main UI, or split,
- the overlay can be above the video, like the imgur above, or the controls can be under the video, like in 3.0.
Seriously, some of those things are even doable today, in the nightly builds. I don't think the Author saw those options.
As to why, there is a media library, it is quite simple: some people use VLC to play a video file, and they will go to the player directly, and not see the medialibrary; or for the other use cases, you launch VLC, and it has indexed your home NAS and so on.
The goal is for the UI to be the less visible, as you can see in the imgur link above. Only visible on mouse over, if need be.


Level 50
Content Creator
Apr 24, 2016
It is not misleading. It is showing the status as is - which I outlined. I said this was early work - it's even in the title. The options that are not shown are not shown.

For example: you can have the menu by default - yes, by going through advanced options etc - that's not default. Default is: open the app, it's there.

The fact techies can change stuff to their liking is beside the point - it's about the defaults and standard ergonomics, and by that stick, 4.0 offers far less than 3.0, in the current state. If a media player needs Linux distro like approach or skillset, it misses its point.



Level 27
Jul 2, 2014
Switched to KMPlayer on Android after being a long time user of VLC. Have been switching back and forth and finally found KMPlayer is better suited to my taste and has a much better GUI.

Why doesn't PotPlayer release a version for Android?


Level 75
Content Creator
Malware Hunter
Aug 17, 2014

Hands-on VLC Media Player 4.0 Modern Interface​

Videolan to replace the Classic Interface of open-source VLC Player with a new Interface in 2021. The highlight of VLC 4.0 is its modern UI with a slew of other new features and improvements. Here’s what VCL Player’s upcoming major release “Otto Cheek” is bringing to the table.

What’s changed from VLC 3.0.x to VLC 4.0.0

Key Highlights:
  • New Interface
  • Media Library
  • Mediatree and MediaSource
  • New Playlist
  • Support for the selection of Dual subtitles (via Player).
  • Supports experimental video AV1 video encoding.
  • Drops Windows XP and Vista Platforms support. Works on Windows 7 or later.
Unfortunately, Videolan not yet announced when VLC 4.0 is coming. Wait for it or test the Player’s new UI by downloading a Nightly build from here. These builds are unstable, not recommended for regular use.


Level 10
Dec 24, 2011
I just want them to fix the annoying bug that video recorded with a phone will show upside down or sideways, and you cant rotate it when you use VLC on Android TV:s to view the file.

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