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Open Source Windows

Media Player Classic Home Cinema (MPC-HC) for Windows Pushes What Could Be Its Last Update (mpc-hc.org) 139

Popular open-source media player for Windows, Media Player Classic Home Cinema -- or MPC-HC, has issued what it says could be the last update the app ever receives. The team writes: v1.7.13, the latest, and probably the last release of our project... For quite a few months now, or even years, the number of active developers has been decreasing and has inevitably reached zero. This, unfortunately, means that the project is officially dead and this release would be the last one. ... Unless some people step up that is. So, if someone's willing to really contribute and has C/C++ experience, let me know on IRC or via e-mail. Otherwise, all things come to an end and life goes on. It's been a nice journey and I'm personally pretty overwhelmed having to write this post.
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Media Player Classic Home Cinema (MPC-HC) for Windows Pushes What Could Be Its Last Update

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  • VLC Killed it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZiakII ( 829432 ) on Monday July 17, 2017 @11:32AM (#54825817)
    I'm guessing VLC killed it? I used to use it all the time but now I just use VLC.
    • Killed it how? It said nothing about users and everything about developers. Whether you use VLC or MPC-HC is irrelevant to the developers working on the project.

      It is a feature complete media player which by all accounts has changed very little in the last 4 years. Maybe the fact that it works well killed it.

      Side note: Some parts of VLC infuriate me so I still use MPC-HC though I have both installed. I think maybe once ever 3-5 months I come across and old poorly encoded WMV that plays in VLC but not in MPC

      • by Junta ( 36770 )

        I used to develop a little-known software project, and then another project really took off and I switched to using that, because it just made sense.

        MPC-HC did a good job of continuing to use the Windows Media framework as best it could, fixing the breakage of the progress of windows media player. However, it was still based on a pretty crappy framework not of their choosing. At the time to be fair the alternatives weren't sufficiently feature capable, and in certain cases still has benefit (iirc, smooth

        • by Anonymous Coward

          ffdshow is (or used to be) the only "codec pack" you really need. Maybe WMV9 codec if you ran Windows 98.

          ffdshow was ffmpeg on ffdshow i.e. what's behind vlc and mplayer, but made available to most Windows applications just by being installed.

      • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

        Whether you use VLC or MPC-HC is irrelevant to the developers working on the project.

        Users need developers, and developers need users, and that's true even if one of those two groups doesn't acknowledge the importance of the other.

        Without developers, other projects will suck away the users as those projects improve.
        Without developers, developers have little reason to stick around. "I want to scratch this itch I have" only works for the most minor and trivial of projects. Major projects don't come around because one guy makes this big thing that no one else cares about.

        • Is should have been more clear: The userbase itself is quite healthy. There's been 33000 downloads this month to date. While the general trend is declining, so are the rates of Windows 10 adoptions and OS installs. It doesn't seem like a jump the sinking ship kind of response.

    • I have both MPC and VLC. I primarily use VLC, but some files for some reason it chokes on, and MPC doesn't have that problem with them.
    • For me, VLC is my backup player for the occasional rare file type and also a handy media converter under Media > Convert / Save.

      For everything else, it's the last version of Winamp for audio and MPC-HC for video which I like because it looks and works like the last good version of WMP that came with Windows 98 with a subtle difference on the surface: an extra button for frame advance!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, 2017 @11:33AM (#54825831)

    So, if someone's willing to really contribute and has C/C++ experience

    That's probably why "the number of active developers has been decreasing and has inevitably reached zero".

    People who know C and C++ well are becoming rarer and rarer. The ones who are good are too busy making big bucks in industry, even if they're working on open source software like the Linux kernel (which is heavily corporate-developed these days).

    If this project really wants to attract the next generation of developers to work on their project, they'll need to rewrite it in a fad language like Ruby, Go, or especially Rust.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, 2017 @11:34AM (#54825835)

    I can't believe I'm typing this, but... There is literally no alternative. I have never found ANY other media player that supports what should be the most basic possible feature: BOOKMARKS! How is this possible? I have no idea, but VLC certainly does NOT support it. They have some sort of "fake" bookmarks which disappear once you close it, which makes them completely pointless.

    Since MPC-HC is the only program that does the most basic imaginable feature, I will have to keep running it even if they kill it. On the other hand, even "MPC-HC" is a "resurrection" from the original "MPC"...

    • by aliquis ( 678370 )

      https://wiki.videolan.org/VLC_... [videolan.org] ?
      I was really seeing if it had support for "plugins" though.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I have no idea what your point is. I'm not gonna perform a number of bizarre steps to do this.

    • How is this possible?

      Because the vast majority of users have little to no use case for such an incredibly niche concept?

    • What?

      There's mpc-be [sourceforge.net].

    • by MrWeelson ( 948337 ) on Monday July 17, 2017 @12:57PM (#54826493)

      I can't believe I'm typing this, but... There is literally no alternative. I have never found ANY other media player that supports what should be the most basic possible feature: BOOKMARKS! How is this possible? I have no idea, but VLC certainly does NOT support it. They have some sort of "fake" bookmarks which disappear once you close it, which makes them completely pointless.

      Since MPC-HC is the only program that does the most basic imaginable feature, I will have to keep running it even if they kill it. On the other hand, even "MPC-HC" is a "resurrection" from the original "MPC"...

      PotPlayer supports bookmarks and plays pretty much everything I throw at it.

  • by foxalopex ( 522681 ) on Monday July 17, 2017 @11:36AM (#54825863)

    I have to admit I've used MPC-HC for many many years now, in fact I'm using an old out of date version. I wonder if basically it's "good enough" that it doesn't need further development? There's products like "PuTTY" which essentially don't update for ages because the open source product fulfills it's function. Unless the product needs more fancy features which often risks breaking things. Time will tell I suppose.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I (total layman) have been under the impression that much of the development of the past several years surround integration of hardware acceleration APIs and fine-tuning the performance of newer codecs.

      So while it's "good enough" for *my* current uses, I imagine there may come a day where I have a good codec yet bad performance on playback.

      And I am *not* a fan of the UX of VLC.

    • Pretty much, just update your codecs periodically. MPC in all of it flavours (MPC, MPC-HC, MPC-BE, etc) have been rock stable for over a decade of releases.

    • by Calydor ( 739835 )

      Much the same as WinAMP, really. There comes a point in the development of a software product where you are either DONE, or you get into feature bloat territory. MPC and its incarnations have all been about being lightweight, so feature bloat would be brand destruction.

    • I have to admit I've used MPC-HC for many many years now, in fact I'm using an old out of date version. I wonder if basically it's "good enough" that it doesn't need further development? There's products like "PuTTY" which essentially don't update for ages because the open source product fulfills it's function. Unless the product needs more fancy features which often risks breaking things. Time will tell I suppose.

      I certainly don't disagree. There's a lot of projects, some 5, 10, even 15 years since their last update that still do what they are supposed to, and do it well. You know the UNIX philosophy. While I get annoyed every time an Android app wants to update so it can change the icon, or replace menu key with a hamburger icon, or replace hamburger icon with three dots, or replace color icons with dark grey on light grey icons, or replace local access with required Facebook linked account, others get annoyed or c

  • I started with Media Player, and then I moved to Apple's AppleTV for a while. The last iteration of AppleTV was a bust for me, as it seemed to prefer Apple's store over my own media, and the touch remote was pretty useless. So I wound up with JRiver Media Center. I have it running on Debian Liunx. So far, JRiver Media Center is looking very good.
  • There hasn't been much in the way of software that just does what you want it to, in a small clean package. Much thanks to the developers that kept this going as an alternative to Microsoft's pointless stupidity.

  • The real question now is how this affects the offshoot MPC-BE.
  • If it works (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ArchieBunker ( 132337 ) on Monday July 17, 2017 @12:02PM (#54826095) Homepage

    Why keep working on something that works as intended?

    • by Guspaz ( 556486 )

      Because the software still has shortcomings and bugs. Crashes aren't all that uncommon.

      • At some point you reach the final evolution of something. Software people can't understand that. The design for a hammer hasn't changed in centuries.

  • Thank you! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hyades1 ( 1149581 ) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Monday July 17, 2017 @12:05PM (#54826113)

    The people who created and updated this software deserve a huge "Thank You" from people who used it for years, including me. I mostly use VideoLAN now, but still have MPC on my computers, where it has lived happily since Day 1 (and will continue). It has always done exactly what it promised without gobbling a lot of resources and without trying to make itself the star of the show. The best thing about it is that the developers never fell into the "bloatware" trap.

    So whatever happens, thank you Kacper Michajlow, XhmikosR, Goran Dzaferi and JellyFrog (still listed as "Active People"), and many now listed as inactive who contributed in the past.

    People forget that when Media Player Classic came along, it was at a time when Microsoft seemed determined to force non-tech users to use Media Player, which was becoming more bloated, invasive and greedy with every update. MPC was a breath of fresh air.

  • I'm not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Monday July 17, 2017 @12:44PM (#54826377)

    MPC-HC has been incredibly feature complete for a long time. I mean the list of fixes, changes, and features look impressive with each release but frankly I'm running a 3 year out of date version on my desktop and compared to my laptop running something very recent ... errr.... the buttons look a bit different...?

    For the longest time it has truly excelled at it's core feature: The ability to play videos via a small footprint media player.

    Oh behalf of the many users: Thanks for your hard efforts over the years, and thanks for not turning it into a steaming turd as much of the rest of the world seems to embrace change for changes sake. I see the abandoning of this project after its long stability in design and core purpose as part of its success story.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      MPC-HC has been incredibly feature complete for a long time. I mean the list of fixes, changes, and features look impressive with each release but frankly I'm running a 3 year out of date version on my desktop and compared to my laptop running something very recent ... errr.... the buttons look a bit different...?

      Same here, there's not a single feature that I miss. The only thing that concerns me is if there should be some kind of security-related parsing/codec bug, even though they're extremely rare these days. I was hoping it would stay supported-ish until Win7 is EOL'd in 2020, after that I'm actually not sure what the plan is. Probably Linux and a Wintendo for games, don't care if Microsoft spies on my Steam install.

    • by Falos ( 2905315 )

      It's lightweight and simple on first-glance, with a whole field of gears and levers under the hood, so while slim it's capable.

      I like quick yet swissarmyknife. Irfanview opens instantly, hotkeys easily, but has a pile of functionality if I want it. They're not always wieldly, but they were added by request of a geek user or outright authored by one. Same for old winamp. Same for... old firefox? Palemoon I guess. And same for MPC.

      Just yesterday, yesterday, I was playing a show episode with audio that was ~60

  • Sure, lots of us used MPC-HC for years and it was always, IMO, one of the best options for a Windows based media server but times have changed. Most folks have moved onto all-in-one packages like Plex or simple streaming devices like Apple TVs and Rokus. These days I use Plex and Rokus. I don't miss the days of having a full-blown Windows PC under my TV, fiddling with CODECs, etc.
  • I use both MPC-HC and VLC, and MPC-HC is pretty feature complete. In fact, I often times skip updates for it because it just works well as is.
    I think I encountered a few times where MPC-HC worked better because it was lighter, and I like the simpler interface I guess.
    So there you are, thanks for all the development, I hope it can keep going with this final release for a long time.

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