VLC – Best of the Free Media Players

We looked at Mozilla’s iTunes alternative SongBird last week. When I was writing about SongBird I realized I had never shared my views on one of my favorite free multimedia player for a long time – VLC Media Player.

VLC media player – Quick Features

  • Highly portable capable of playing multiple media formats
  • Plays audio and video formats including MPEG-1. MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, MP3, OGG, etc and a mind-boggling array of options.
  • Also plays DVDs, VCDs and supports various streaming protocols
  • Use it as a Server to stream in unicast or multicast on a high-bandwidth network
  • It is supported in multiple operating systems – Windows, Linux, OS X, BeOS, etc
  • Streams SHOUTcast internet radio stations
  • Recent 0.9 version added Last.fm support
  • Tag support
  • Supports a lot of subtitles
  • Mouse gestures
  • Supports metadata editing

VLC stands for Videolan and if you want to take a look under the hood, the chart in this VLC features page will give you the mind boggling amount of audio, video & strreaming formats it supports in different operating systems.

Things you can do with VLC

Lifehacker has a great article that shows different things you could do with this excellent media player. A few includes:

  • How to rip any DVD
  • Convert any video for your iPod or iPhone with a drag and drop batch script
  • How to stream media to other computers
  • Play ripped DVDs

Also, VLC is available in a portable format so you can carry it in your USB drive.

Download VLC

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28 Responses to “VLC – Best of the Free Media Players”

  1. carrotmadman6 December 15, 2008 at 9:19 am #

    The only place where VLC sucks is x264 playback. The built-in codecs are definitely not suited to the job. :)

  2. Chris December 15, 2008 at 6:22 pm #

    I love VLC, use it on Mac, Win and Linux alike.

    The only thing that is a little weird is the .wmv-support in the 0.9 branch, but i can live with that.

  3. Aaron@HR Software December 16, 2008 at 12:53 pm #

    Thanks for the post about VLC. I have used it in the past and while it worked well for some things, it did not for others. My preferred player of choice is now kmplayer with “media player classic home cinema” being second. I’ve actually never been able to find something that crashed or didn’t play in kmplayer. Just my 0.02 of rambling. Thanks for the post – maybe I’ll try to new version of VLC.

    Aarons last blog post..Final Rules – Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act

  4. Simon@Rugby Coaching December 16, 2008 at 11:03 pm #

    VLC really is the best media player, I carry the portable version around on my usb pen drive, and it’s amazing how many times I find my self using it! It plays just about anything! FireFox and VLC are my two must have apps! Once upon a time I would have said winamp but it’s too heavy these days.

  5. Sarika@Dandruff Treatment December 19, 2008 at 12:32 am #

    Oh I love VLC Media Player. Have been using it for more than two years now. I did not know that it was supported on so many systems or it could do so much more. I was happy with it playing all my media!

    Sarikas last blog post..Underarm Hair Growth Retardant?

  6. JR @ Cheap Laptop Computers December 19, 2008 at 3:36 am #

    Do you think this is better than Media Player?

  7. Wally December 19, 2008 at 6:28 am #

    xmms is still good enough for me

  8. aaron@baby stroller reviews December 20, 2008 at 2:34 pm #

    @JR – VLC in my opinion is much better than media player. There are many more things it can do, and is actually portable across other platforms; not just Windows.

    aarons last blog post..Sit and Stand Strollers are the Best Double Baby Strollers

  9. Computer Guides For Beginners December 22, 2008 at 11:05 am #

    In my personal opinion, media player classic is still the best for viewing movie experience, though there might be some problems opening some stubborn movie formats without the proper codecs.

    Computer Guides For Beginnerss last blog post..Cumulative Juicy Updates For December 2008

  10. Syahid A. December 22, 2008 at 9:12 pm #

    An app that is miles better than the one that comes with Windows. Another fav of mine is Gom Player.

    Syahid A.s last blog post..How to Delete Files with Long / Not Valid Filenames in Windows

  11. K December 23, 2008 at 7:49 am #

    Thanks everyone for chiming in. There are some worthy alternatives mentioned here for those looking for something other than VLC for any reason. :-)

  12. sample resignation letter December 23, 2008 at 6:11 pm #

    I have always used vlc, good player km too

  13. Colin@provillus reviews January 1, 2009 at 11:28 am #

    Yes VLC is one of the greatest players I’ve ever seen. It could even play files broken, partly downloaded files, or file downloading.
    The only shortcoming is it could not play with rm, that’s why I also use GOM player.
    Thanks for the review, I’ll keep using my VLC.

  14. diego@iphone 3g January 2, 2009 at 6:11 pm #

    yes, its a great player, but it doesnt look very professional, like itunes.

    diegos last blog post..Download Flash player for your iphone

  15. Alley@Alkaline Water January 13, 2009 at 10:15 am #

    Gom player is the best I’ve personally come across with. It plays everything I know of! Even those FLV files…take that windows media! ;)

  16. Zaldy@Baby Names January 14, 2009 at 12:59 am #

    I was unable to play .flv files with VLC player :-(

  17. Lily @ Types of Flowers January 14, 2009 at 9:21 am #

    I agree that that VLC Media Player is the best choice. I use it for a couple of years and can say nothing bad of it. One of its major advantages is that it is supported in many operating systems.

  18. CHRISCLAP July 17, 2009 at 6:28 am #

    I have read this review an the comments, an i must say i think that VLC is a great piece of software but i have to recomend Moovida as the best i have used.
    It does all the work for you, & i like that hahahah

    Free download for moovida – http://Www.moovida.com

  19. 624415672 May 28, 2012 at 7:59 am #

    commandant de la “Calypso” mort à 84 ans, et bien d’autres? sac louis vuittonsur la constitution d’un trésor de guerre pour essayer de? sac vuittonais, est détenu à 66,6% par STX Europe (filiale du sud-coréen STX Shipbuilding) et à 33,3% par l’Etat fran?        #CRISE Le président de la Banque centrale européenne, Mario Draghi,  dans l’UE pour lutter contre la crise.? sacs louis vuitton Mais cette question de l’abolition ou de l’altération du discernement est complexe et ce n’est pas étonnant que les experts psychiatres ne soient pas tous d’accord.? louis vuitton site officielQuelle est la spécificité de cette science ?? louis vuitton pas cher Dimanche, la présidente du FN a rassemblé 6,4 millions de voix.a m’enlève l’envie d’aller faire la fête le soir.a souligné le ministère.?Falco,?

  20. 624415672 May 28, 2012 at 7:59 am #

    commandant de la “Calypso” mort à 84 ans, et bien d’autres? sac louis vuittonsur la constitution d’un trésor de guerre pour essayer de? sac vuittonais, est détenu à 66,6% par STX Europe (filiale du sud-coréen STX Shipbuilding) et à 33,3% par l’Etat fran?        #CRISE Le président de la Banque centrale européenne, Mario Draghi,  dans l’UE pour lutter contre la crise.? sacs louis vuitton Mais cette question de l’abolition ou de l’altération du discernement est complexe et ce n’est pas étonnant que les experts psychiatres ne soient pas tous d’accord.? louis vuitton site officielQuelle est la spécificité de cette science ?? louis vuitton pas cher Dimanche, la présidente du FN a rassemblé 6,4 millions de voix.a m’enlève l’envie d’aller faire la fête le soir.a souligné le ministère.?Falco,?

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