Rumors are flying that all work on the Mac version of the open-source VLC media player is grinding to a halt due to a lack of volunteer developers.
VLC is a cross-platform, open-source multimedia framework, player and server available for Mac OS X, Windows, Linux and others. The software is capable of reading most any audio or video format thrown at it, as well as DVDs, audio CDs or VCDs, not to mention streaming and even media conversion. For instance, the popular Handbrake software relies on libraries included with VLC to circumvent CSS encryption on your personal DVDs while converting them to iPhone or Apple TV format.
But VideoLAN, the developers of VLC, are now saying that all work on a Mac version may soon come to an end, according to MacNN. The software is developed on a volunteer basis and the number of Mac developers has dwindled to zero.
VideoLAN released a 64-bit version of VLC for Mac to coincide with Snow Leopard 10.6, but a number of bugs caused that version to be withdrawn. The outfit is now warning that without more volunteer developers, the pending 1.1.0 version of VLC may be the last. (The current Mac version is 1.0.3, and only 32-bit capable.)
VLC has the reputation of being a kind of “Swiss army knife” of audio & video playback, particularly because it’s capable of playing back just about anything you can throw at it. If formats are missing from Apple or Microsoft’s official playback tools, you can bet that VLC will probably tackle the task with a smile.
Volunteer developers with knowledge of C, Cocoa and Xcode are needed to update various components of the software, including the interface and the video output architecture. If you can help, be sure to hit the VideoLAN wiki for more details -- and know that you’ll always be our hero, too.