Have You Tried VLC Media Player?
Do you play music or videos on your PC, Mac or mobile device? Are you frustrated with the limitations of iTunes or Windows Media Player? Here comes VLC Media Player to the rescue! Read on...
VLC Media Player: A Better Way
VLC Media Player is one of the most popular programs on Earth, with over 2.3 BILLION downloads since 2005. Today, it’s available on more operating systems than any other media player, and it just keeps getting better.
Lots of people have had problems with Windows Media Player after upgrading to Windows 7, 8, or 10. Additionally, Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 don't come with DVD movie playback capability that was available in earlier Windows operating systems. Microsoft's suggested solution is to buy their Windows DVD Player app for $15. But why, when VLC Media Player is free, and arguably a better choice?
Version 2.2.4 of VLC Media Player is the current release, and includes desktop versions for Windows, Mac OS X, several flavors of Linux, mobile versions for Apple/iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. The VLC download page lists over two dozen options, depending on your device(s). You can even download the source code if you're curious.
Be careful to download the file only from the official site: Videolan.ORG. There may be rogue versions on other sites that contain malware. If you see a website offering VLC Version 3.0, it's definitely not legit, unless you see it on Videolan.ORG. As of this writing, there is no announced release date for Version 3.0.
The latest version includes features like the ability to detect vertically oriented video and rotate it automatically, and the ability to re-start a video at the point where you left off or closed it accidentally. With each release support is added for more codecs, further reducing the chance that you will ever encounter a multimedia file that VLC can’t play.
The Swiss Army Knife of Media Players
The iOS version’s user interface has been made more like iTunes and the Android version now conforms to Google’s new Material Design standards. "Moving VLC to the mobile world was difficult, but the difficult is done," VideoLAN President Jean-Baptiste Kempf said in a statement. "VLC runs everywhere, plays everything.”
That is the whole point of VLC Media Player, of course. The open-source project got its start in 2001, a time when numerous software developers were trying to establish dominance in multimedia by imposing their proprietary file formats on everyone. VLC set out to support Windows Media Video (WMV), Apple QuickTime (MOV), RealPlay’s RealAudio and RealVideo, and every other format. Today, it’s the Swiss Army Knife of media players. Just install VLC on every device you own and don’t worry about converting one file format to another.
It Slices, It Dices, It Even Streams!
VLC is also a streaming media server, so you can use it to play YouTube, Netflix, and other streaming media without a browser that supports streaming. In fact, you can even use VLC to save streamed files to your hard drive. Or if you like, use the red Record button to save a short clip from a video as it plays.
VLC even decrypts the weak CSS encryption used on DVDs, allowing them to be played outside of their regions or ripped to backup copies. This is a controversial feature that violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, but it furthers VLC’s mission of being able to “play everything.”
Version 3.0 of VLC is already in the works, according to Kempf. Due later this year, it will include hardware acceleration support for more platforms, better support for the MP4 format, and “partial” integration with Google Chromecast.
Do you use VLC Media Player? Something else? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 28 Apr 2017
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Have You Tried VLC Media Player? (Posted: 28 Apr 2017)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved