VLC is an open source video player that’s available for free. The program doesn’t require heavy amounts of hardware and is very user friendly. VLC is also available for nearly every operating system that is currently out on the market. However, there are a few things that you should know about VLC before using it for all of your media.
You can download VLC in its many forms here; http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html
Most of us watch movies from a DVD or the internet, but a fewer amount of us watch movies from torrented and burned DVD’s. These burned DVD’s may be legitimate back-ups of the original but VLC may still have a problem with the format it was burned in. A common format that movie burners love is the .iso format.
This format is popular because you can simply convert a DVD disk to an .iso disk without having to bother trying to get past a DRM, which disable’s most extracting methods of DVD’s. VLC will not play .iso or some Blue-ray formats. It only plays up to the newest codec of DVD and not Blue-ray.
VLC is very light program with a lot of useful features for people who play music but there is one particular nuisance this program can cause. Unless you label VLC as the main media player for all content on the computer, whatever else media program you use will revert the default to itself and there won’t be a warning. This is because since VLC is an open source program, the other media program is simply registering the format again as being on your computer and not being a part of another program.
When looking for codec’s that you can add to the VLC program, you will want to look for plugins. The reason for this is because, even though VLC is an open source program, the developers do not make it easy to get to the VLC libraries. There are very few codec programs specifically meant to update the libraries of your VLC and even fewer plugins since VLC updates every few months to add in those codecs anyway.
What doesn’t it support?
The only video format that VLC doesn’t support right now is Indeo Video IV 41 and 51. The only audio that VLC does not support is WMA 1/2, Real Audio, MIDI, and QCELP. It also does not support closed captions for Windows along with ncurses and Infrared interfaces. Otherwise, VLC is the most robust program that supports nearly every video, audio, and operating system on the market for free.