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VLC media player

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One of the most popular media players on the internet: highly compatible, multi-platform, and easy to use

Pros

  • Multi-platform compatibility
  • Play back dozens of different media formats sourced from files, streams, codecs, discs, webcams, devices, etc.
  • Simple user interface
  • Great settings for playback support (subtitles, editing, filters, synchronization, etc.)
  • Customizable interface
  • Regular updates for all platforms
  • Highly secure
  • Use iSight to stream TV directly to your VLC player

Cons

  • Incompatible with DCCP/ RTP Unicast

VLC Media Player is a free open source multimedia player for Macintosh, developed by VideoLAN, which allows users to play back all of their media files in multiple formats with no cross-platform issues.

One Media Player for All 

VLC Media Player has become the go-to media player for a lot of internet users, for a variety of reasons. As an open source program, users can freely download the source code for the player and make it their own, adding on or taking away features as they please. While this is not always an advantage, in the long term it tends to create a much more refined media player for everyone. What users look for in a multimedia player is one which is compatible, adaptable and easy to use. VLC Media Player is all of these things. Unlike most media players, it will work on multiple platforms including Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. This makes it one of the most versatile media players out there, fit for any type of user. The software also has regular updates available for all platforms, so you can be sure it will be up to date. 

Installing VLC Media Player is an easy process. On your Mac it will open in a small window with a set of menus attached. Functions are delineated quite nicely here. Other than a basic set of buttons for managing playback, the user interface is rather basic, but this is what we want. It's the menus and other features that are interesting. 

Key Features

One of the most important features of the program is its astonishing scope of playback. In addition to being multi-platform, VLC is the quintessential multi-format player. With little modification, the player will play all of your input media from Files, Discs, Webcams, Devices and Streams, as well as most codecs. Supported formats include MPEG-2, DivX, WMV, MP3, MP4, WAV, AVI, MOV, FLV Flash, Video CD/ VCD, Audio CD, DVB and much more. Any codecs that are required can be downloaded easily.

When playing back media, VLC has lots of options, including management of audio tracks, subtitles, setting a snapshot as your wallpaper, taking and saving a snapshot, cropping, zooming and much more. This is the only media player with such a disparate set of options, allowing you to tailor your playback experience to your needs. When viewing a video you can also use the 'Tools' section to apply some effects and filters, synchronize audio and video tracks that are out of sync, and fetch media or codec information about a piece of media (a movie, for instance) as needed. One feature unique to the Mac version is the ability to stream and record video from any location, including your webcam, using the iSight feature. If you have Eye TV installed on your Mac, you can effectively decode TV programs for streaming on your VLC player, an incredibly useful feature much like Google's Chromecast. VLC is also highly secure, ensuring that no malware or spyware will be downloaded accidentally when you are streaming. Your privacy is similarly assured due to the lack of user tracking in the application. 

VLC Media Player is also highly customizable, letting you use a wide range of plugins and extensions including skins and internet channels as well as customize the appearance of your user interface. The 'Preferences' will also let you customize your interface, playback settings, volume, privacy and network interaction, updates, and hotkeys for quick access to program menus. 

The Verdict

If you are looking for an easy to use and multi-functional media player, VLC is the best choice. It's compact, versatile, plays virtually every input media you can think of, and does so with little or no updates, even for codecs. Its user interface and playback features are highly customizable, with plenty of plugins and extensions to try out. All in all, it's a wonderful media player and the number one choice for millions of users. Download it now for free and check it out by yourself. 

VLC media player icon

Type Free (GPL)

Version 2.2.4

Size 35.62 MB

Other versions

2.2.4 2.2.2 2.2.0

Rating