VLC media player

VLC media player 2.0

Free
VLC is simply the best freeware multimedia player around
4.4  (155 votes)
3.0 (See all)

VLC is one of the best media players around. It is absolutely free and can be found on Windows, Mac, Linux, and even Android devices. It plays nearly anything you throw at it and if you have any problem, you will have the understanding and support of millions of regular users and developers who use this creation on a daily basis and know how to help you.

Right out of the box, the player was able to playback Flash video (.flv) and MP4 video. However, quite often before starting the playback of the file, it tries to rebuilt its font cache, which is quite annoying. On the other hand, the video playback is flawless and the player provides a few options to control it - take a snapshot, increase or decrease its speed, or switch to the Fullscreen mode. There are a lot of other options for playback and codecs that can be found in its preferences. There you can control anything from buffering to filters to proxy settings.

As far as audio playback - I am yet to find a file that it wouldn't play. I know I've had some wma in my collection but they are not DRM protected and I'd expect their playback without any hassles. I would expect VLC to play anything that is not DRM protected.

The media player's interface is very simplistic and you will master it within a couple of first minutes. The playlist shows you the name of the track, author, and its duration - very simple and void of useless information. Tracks media information can be viewed through its options. This is for those who need to know everything about the played track.

The preferences tab includes many options to tweak your media player's behavior and was designed with an average user in mind - you won't find limitless lists of things you can change, just what matters the most: a few interfaces tweaks, codecs, network settings and so on.

Overall, this is a really great alternative to iTunes. VLC opens up in seconds and plays everything. There aren't any additional stores and pages to load, like it is happening in iTunes. I've been using it for 2 months and I really have no need to be looking for something new and I am not planning on switching to something else - I've found the one.

Joshua Wrightwood
Editor rating:

Review summary

Pros

  • Plays nearly anything I threw at it
  • Simple and cute interface
  • Cross-platform
  • Build-in radio stations list and podcasts

Cons

  • It often rebuilds font caches, which takes a minute, but annoying
Info updated on:

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