March 5, 2024


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VLC 4.0 coming this year with new interface for the popular video player

Version 4.0 of VLC, the popular cross-platform media playing software, is planned for release in the coming months, Protocol reports. The big new feature is a redesigned interface, which VideoLAN foundation president Jean-Baptiste Kempf hopes will look “a bit more modern.” Protocol also reports that the team is working on integrating more online content into the software, as well as a new way of running VLC in a webpage. It also has an IMDb competitor in the works.

VLC’s developer VideoLAN gave the world a peek at what this new interface could look like way back in February 2019 at the FOSDEM conference. Screenshots released at the time show an interface that ditches the player’s dated light grey color scheme in favor of a design featuring transparent interface elements, and modern-looking icons. “Do not worry,” Kempf jokes when presenting the images, “You can still use a command line.”

It’s a much more modern design.
Image: VideoLAN / FOSDEM

The interface playing a music file.
Image: VideoLAN / FOSDEM

Alongside VLC 4.0, the VideoLAN team is also working to bring more online content into the software, with extensions to offer third-party videos. Offering free ad-supported videos in the future, similar to how Plex handles its own streaming service, is another possibility. As well as bringing online content into VLC, the team is developing a new version of the software that can more easily run inside a web page using Webassembly and JavaScript instead of the old browser plug-in. Kempf says that you’ll be able to play “any type of movie right inside your web browser” when it’s ready.

Perhaps most intriguing is the Moviepedia Project, as it’s known internally. It’s an attempt to build an IMDb-style database for films, which can be edited and maintained by users.

There’s no firm release date for when VLC 4.0 might arrive, but you can read more about VideoLAN’s planned features for the release in its 2019 presentation (or check out a recording here).