It's beginning to look like all of the various recent Google rumors may have been accurate. John Battelle says that Google is launching their own media player today, based on the open source VLC Media Player. That would explain the "iTunes-wannabe" rumors that were being spread a few weeks ago. On top of that, the media player will tie into the Google Video offering that allowed people to upload their videos to Google. Finally, it's expected that when Google gets around to launching their Google Wallet offering, it will again be tied into this system to let people pay for video content uploaded by others. Of course, what remains to be seen is whether or not anyone actually wants to pay for such content. Either way, it will be interesting to see what Google has done with the VLC client -- which has a loyal following, but always seemed a bit buggy and in serious need of a UI upgrade. It's also interesting to see that Google is supporting this open source project. There have been plenty of rumors about Google supporting their own browser based on Firefox, and building on top of VLC would show that they are serious about taking various open source projects and improving on them. Update: Now official, apparently. Though, the article indicates that the video player only works on Google Video files, which seems like a needless limitation.
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