Development on the 64-bit version of VLC Player for Mac has hit the pause button. The Videolan team is looking for Mac development talent to help move the project forward, and revamp the program's interface to be more Mac-like. While the team says that reports of VLC Mac's death are 'greatly exaggerated,' they could definitely use some help.
As we've mentioned before, VLC is a free, open source media player that supports various audio and video formats (MPEG, DivX/Xvid, Ogg, and many more) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and streaming protocols. While the 32-bit version still works fine on Snow Leopard, the 64- bit version (which briefly appeared as 1.0.3, only to disappear again with 1.0.4) is intended to be higher-performance; it also would work more seamlessly with the 64-bit version of Handbrake.
The news of VLC for Mac's 64-bit freezeout started today with this post on videolan.org:
This is going to sound like a PBS sponsorship drive, but it needs to be said:
While VLC is an open source project provided to you free of charge, as with other open source projects, its existence depends on everyone who provides support to the project. This support can come in many forms, such as:
- joining the team and contributing code
- spending time in the forum helping out other VLC users
- making a donation
Every bit helps, since without it the community dies and the project with it.
As mentioned [earlier] we are in desperate need of Mac developers who can help maintain the Mac side of VLC. If you or someone you know is in position to join the team then please let us know. Until we have more Mac developers then the 64-bit version of VLC for MacOS X will be on hold!
Though the new QuickTime X Player has much room for improvement, I've gotten quite used to it and watch all my movie files in it save WMV (which QuickTime plays via the Flip4Mac plugin). For some reason, QTX requires WMV files to go through a loading process before you can skim through the video. On VLC there is no loading process for WMV files before you can skim. This is only one of the many benefits of using VLC, as I'm sure many of our readers can attest.
There are still some alternatives to VLC, including 3ivX, FFmpeg and Perian. There's also this little preference pane to make QTX more enjoyable. But these are all alternatives, not replacements for this great app. Here's hoping that the holiday spirit will inspire a few Mac devs to step up and keep VLC moving forward.