VLC is a very popular open-source media player that first arrived in the Amazon Fire TV appstore back in 2015. The app disappeared from the Amazon Appstore entirely last week because the team behind the app took it down, according to a Hacker News discussion thread. VLC’s developers pulled the app entirely because they haven’t been able to come to a consensus with Amazon regarding an issue with the new version of VLC. Instead of keeping an outdated and buggy version of VLC in the Amazon Appstore, the VLC team decided it would be best to remove the app entirely.
The version of VLC that was previously available in the Amazon Appstore was a buggy beta version of the app. Despite its beta status and known issues, the app was released to Amazon because it solved a major playback issue that existed in the stable version at the time. It seems the VLC team intended to leave the buggy 2.1.1 beta version in the Amazon Appstore as a temporary solution to the playback issue until the improved 3.0 version of VLC was ready for release.
When VLC submitted the new 3.0 version of their app to Amazon, it was not approved by Amazon because it introduced a new bug that caused user-created playlists in the app to be deleted when updating from the 2.1.1 version. VLC was aware of the bug but decided that it wasn’t worth the effort to fix because so few of their users take advantage of the app’s playlist capabilities.
VLC’s team removed playlist functionality all together in the app in hopes of getting the new version approved by Amazon. The slightly crippled version of VLC was also rejected by Amazon because it removed existing functionality that was present in the old version.
It seems that it was at this point that VLC decided to remove their app entirely from Amazon’s Appstore. They would rather not have an app in the appstore at all than to have a buggy beta version as the only available option.