‘Building font cache’: VLC Media Player doesn’t like AppData on a UNC path

I’ve known for a long time that Adobe Reader doesn’t play nicely with redirected AppData folders, but I really thought VLC was better than this.

Annoyingly, since version 1.1.0, VLC Media Player doesn’t like the user’s AppData directory being on a UNC path (i.e. starting with a \\). It wants a drive letter. If you do redirect AppData to a UNC path, you may well end up seeing this sodding annoying screen every time you play a video:

If you’re lucky, it will take “less than a few minutes” and the video will start playing immediately afterwards. If your experience is similar to mine, it will take longer than a Windows Service Pack install, and be followed with another inexplicable delay before the video eventually plays (assuming you haven’t gotten bored and given up by then).

The VLC team have been made aware of this, but it’s not yet fixed. For now, if you redirect user AppData to a UNC path, stick to version 1.0.5. This does make the procedure for using SAP announcements with IPTV (scroll to about 2/3 of the way down) a bit more tedious, but it’s that or nothing right now.

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About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

6 responses to “‘Building font cache’: VLC Media Player doesn’t like AppData on a UNC path”

  1. Lukas Beeler says :

    I’ve never liked VLC. I’ve used mplayer in the past, mostly stemming from the fact that i’ve been using Linux on my desktop for quit some time, but recently switched over to using MPC-HC, which is both simple and easy to use.

  2. Killer_Bot says :

    Myself and my colleagues put a show on for lunch today and had to install VLC Player to play the file. Then this happened. My colleague said “Why does it do that!?” – and now we know :)

  3. Gerard Sweeney says :

    VLC also barfs if you have My Documents redirected to an inaccessible folder.

    We redirect My Documents to H:
    Run VLC on a laptop, and it errors out with a C++ Runtime error.

    The older versions didn’t do this – just the shiny new one.

  4. p858snake says :

    This also happens in the portable apps build as well =(