I’m a big fan of VLC media player. It’s a great application that plays just about every video format and audio format that you can think of; it even has some other functions beyond that. The media player has been around for quite some time and works outstandingly, it even tells you when there’s updates to the software, but the updates that you receive are just notifications. VLC media player doesn’t automatically download and apply the updates to the software for you.
VLC media player requires you to manually download the newest version of their software and then apply it manually. Most people, nowadays, expect to have applications automatically update themselves or at least have an option to apply the updates after a confirmation; VLC doesn’t have either of these.
While I love the VLC application, I hate having to take the time to manually download the latest version of their software and install it. I realize that this shows how impatient I really am with dealing with system updates, but if updates to software can be automated, having to apply updates manually is a complete waste of time.
Finding out about application updates when you start the application, and then the application asking you if you want to update the application right then, while you’re trying to do something, is kind of an irritant. Again, if updates can be automated, why not.
If you visit my blog from time to time, you know that I enjoy writing small scripts/applications with autohotkey that can simplify various processes. Fortunately, this is one of those situations. I don’t really know how many people this might benefit, but I have found that it benefits me, and therefore, perhaps someone else.
In the VLC software there’s an option to check for updates to the software periodically, roughly every 2 weeks.
Again, it doesn’t download the latest version and it doesn’t automatically apply it.
I decided to write a script to connect with the VLC website, look to see what the latest version is and if that version is newer than the one I downloaded previously, the script downloads that version and automatically applies it.
The update program is actually intended to be ran on a scheduled basis. It’s not an application that runs all the time on your system taking up resources. If you’re reading this article, you probably already know how to create scheduled tasks with Windows.
I’ve created a video to show how the update process works. That they program is very simple; it’s a singular executable. I would recommend putting the update program in the same directory as VLC, but essentially, you can put it anywhere.
As you can see, from the video above, the update process for VLC actually goes pretty quick. The update script installs the current version of VLC over any pre-existing versions; it does not uninstall the current version. All the prompts during the installation process are answered automatically based on the installation wizards default settings. There are no options to adjust the automatic update application to select individual components; if you do this, you need to apply the updates manually. Once the installation of VLC is completed, the confirmation is presented that the upgrade process is complete and the upgrade program exits.
During the upgrade process, the update program will tell you which options it’s choosing.
This helps me and I hope this helps you… Enjoy.
Larry Henry Jr.
…via Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12.5
How to automatically download and apply updates for VLC Media Player for Windows
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