Vision Pro VLC app in the works but may never actually launch

Mike Powers

VLC is one of the apps I install on my computers as soon as I boot them up for the first time. VLC is an open source media player that can play essentially any video or audio file you throw at it. I even have VLC installed on my iPhone, just in case I ever need it. 

Once the VLC app for Apple Vision Pro comes out, I’ll absolutely install it on my spatial computer. That is, as soon as I get a Vision Pro, as the headset is still unavailable in Europe. The good news is that developer VideoLAN is already developing a Vision Pro app.

The confirmation came straight from VideoLAN president Jean-Baptiste Kempf, who told Lowpass that they “already have a version of VLC running on the Vision Pro.” 

However, Kempf cautioned that a release isn’t certain. For starters, the user base is very small. We don’t have Vision Pro sales numbers, but reports estimate Apple sold around 200,000 units in the US, the only market where the spatial computer is available.

Furthermore, Kempf said that he’s not sure whether there are any use cases for VLC on Vision Pro. As much as I love VLC, I wouldn’t be surprised to see VideoLAN opt to skip out on the platform for now. The app is free to download, so there’s no immediate incentive for VideoLAN to release and then support a Vision Pro version of their app.

Again, it has been years since I used VLC on my iPhone. I might have little use for it on Vision Pro. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t look for it in the App Store once I got the Vision Pro. 

Vision Pro VLC app in the works but may never actually launch
Streaming content via Disney Plus on Vision Pro. Image source: Apple Inc.

Kempf also said that VideoLAN is open to making a version of the app for the Meta Quest but said it’s not a priority. According to him, “many good players” are available on that platform. 

The report shared other interesting tidbits about VLC as well. The app passed 5 billion downloads across desktop and mobile. The iPhone and Android versions have 318 million downloads combined. Again, this proves that the app’s desktop version is the more exciting one.

Aside from a potential Vision Pro app, VideoLAN is working on version 4.0 of VLC. The next-gen version will be more content-focused than the previous ones. Moreover, VLC might offer FAST channels and other ad-supported online media that would allow users to watch something immediately. If that happens, there might be a good reason to bring VLC to the Vision Pro.

The obvious elephant in the room is that VLC is one of the apps to go for watching illegally downloaded content. The Lowpass report notes that a “sizeable subset” of users rely on VLC to play pirated content. And piracy has increased in the past year, according to a recent report. Piracy visits totaled 141 billion last year, or a 12% increase since 2019. 

What happened last year? Among other things, Netflix introduced its ban on password-sharing that Disney Plus and Max will copy. Streamers have also been raising prices in recent years while also canceling shows, and removing some licensed content. That’s a good incentive to install VLC and look elsewhere for entertainment. 

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