ALTERNATIVE VIDEO application VLC Player has arrived for Windows 8.
The beta version of VLC Player landed in the Windows Store after developer VideoLAN ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for its development.
VLC Player for the Windows 8 Modern or Metro interface offers major features that are not included in Microsoft's standard Windows video application, including subtitle support and playback for .mkv Matroska files and the H.264 video format.
H.264 is just the tip of the iceberg for VLC codec support, as the player is famed for being able to play almost any video file you care to throw at it.
It's not all good news, however, as the beta supports only the x86 and x86_64 architectures, ruling out the ARM-based Surface 2, however VideoLAN has confirmed it is working to add support for ARM in a later release.
There's a lot of work to do. The beta is aimed largely at tablet users who run the touchscreen friendly Metro interface by default. Keyboard and mouse controls are, on the other hand, rather fiddly. In addition, although the player supports audio file formats, it doesn't have specific settings to use them.
The impending and much leaked update to Windows 8.1 will address many of the concerns about keyboard and mouse support, and VideoLAN has been keen to remind users that there are many improvements to come.
In the meantime, the beta version of VLC Player is out there for anyone who wants to view an H.264 or .mkv file with subtitles on their Intel processor-based Windows 8.x device. µ