“Overall, VLC Media Player is a must-have application for its ability to open just about any type of video file you throw at it.”
“An underground favorite that can play just about any media type you throw at it […]. What's finally been released after years of techie love is a marvel of compatibility and capabilities. It's a great piece of software if you need so mething that just works, or if you want a seriously worktastic media player that lets you do all kinds of arcane things.”
VLC is our all-time favorite media player for the sole reason that it can do just about anything you could ever want a media player to do. In the old days, media players could only play one (or a few) kind of file. With Windows Media Player or Apple's Quicktime, it was pretty common to find that after you went through the trouble of finding your video (legally of course!), you would pop your popcorn, sit down to relax on your couch, and fire up your media player just to have an error message pop up in your face saying that the media player can't handle it. If you were lucky, your media player would tell you what codec you need (as if we're supposed to know what codecs are), and then you would have to go out and search the internet far and wide so that you could install these codecs. Half the time these didn't work, and who knows what these codec packs even did to your computer.
The alternative to codec hunting was to find another media player that could play your specific file. But these media players were just like the rest…although they could play one type of file, like DivX or XviD or Mpeg or Flash, they couldn't play the others. Who wants to clutter up a computer with a different media player for every different kind of video file? Not us. That's where VLC Media Player comes in.
VLC Media Player can play pretty much any media file (that's video and audio). In fact, it's hard to find a media file that VLC cannot play! Sick of looking for codecs? VLC comes with pretty much every video and audio codec known to man built in. That means no more searching for and installing shady "codec packs". VLC Media Player allows you to get rid of all of your other media players (if you want to), so you can free up some space on your computer and give it room to breathe and function better with less clutter.
Unlike other media players, VLC will even play broken, corrupted, or unfinished video or audio files. Thought your baby videos were lost because Windows Media Player or Quicktime couldn't play it? Give VLC a try and chances are high that those videos aren't lost to you after all. You can even watch videos before they're done downloading!
Ok, VLC is not the most appealing or eye-pleasing media player right out of the (metaphorical) box. The base skin is purely functional and leaves a lot to be desired. But all the normal buttons are there, and its simple and easy to use (which we think is more important anyways). If you are a visual connoisseur and just can't stand the bleak look of the default VLC skin, there is a huge catalogue of good-looking and easily found VLC skins to choose from. While these look great, we find that they are often buggy, so that in the end, we prefer to use the default skin and deal with the eyesore.
What more can we say? This is really must-have software for any computer, with more features than can be named, including ability to play DVDs, Flash (FLV) files, DivX, XviD, Mpeg, mov, broken files, incomplete files, corrupted files, music files, and pretty much any other media file you can imagine. It can play online video and online audio, convert from one filetype to another, it has advanced video playback features, ability to add/play subtitles, and many more features.
And the best part of all is that VLC Media Player and all updates are 100% Free, and will be free forever.
So overall, it might not be the prettiest media player out there, but it gets the job done like no other. This is our most highly recommended software, and none of us would do without it, will you?