I know that metro apps have always had issues with loading items from places that cannot be added to Windows Libraries (such as the SD card) however this seemed very illogical given that lower end surfaces (32, 64GB) will rely upon them.
When you say music and videos I take it there on the SD card too?
I guess it depends what you mean by "pull off the SD card". Do you mean in the context of a Photo Library. I've been able to import photos from an SD card and have them in a library. Though I must admit I haven't used that feature much since I find the "library" approach generally slow and cumbersome. For example I have an SD Card with 12,000 plus images. Only a portion of those are interesting to me at any given time. I would have to use the (slow) import facility and then I have to MANUALLY select which of those images are interesting for inclusion in that library. Give me a break. I'm not going to manually select thousands of images. I have the files organized in folders, but the "librarization" process discards all of the information. Not helpful.
The good news is that the 8.1 Photos app does seem to behave better when launched from the desktop file explorer. In this way I can at least go to a folder of interest and have the Photo app display the images with a touch interface to flick forward and back and to magnify/shrink. This also works for folders on my SD card. All things that the 8.0 version couldn't do. The feature set is VERY minimal as photo viewers go (IMHO), but at least it is better than before.