Sunday, March 2, 2008

VLC Media Player: Portable freeware playing all formats

VLC media player (VideoLAN VLC Player) is a free cross-platform media player for various audio and video formats available today. It can support streaming protocols and also can be a streaming sever with IPv6 support. As VLC comes with built-in support for most of the video and audio codec, it is able to play any format, play any codec, play any media and stream any protocol from any platform (Windows, MAC, and Linux). It is not a figure of speech; I did not have a media file that the player could not handle so far. And, you are not required to download any additional codecs on your PC. If you ever struggled with new file format, when your player refused to support, you know, what I mean.

VideoLAN started as a student project at the École Centrale Paris, with the goal of developing a general-purpose media player that could handle audio, video and streamed content. And now, its driver is accepted and one of the most successful on the market and being used by many online and offline software projects. For example, Google’s Video search uses browser plug-in based on VLC player.

Main Advantages:

  • Play Anything - As said this is the main feature of this player. You can play any format or any codec. In might even read disk images (iso) and play directly.
  • Simple and user-friendly GUI.
  • Default interface is basic and not very appealing, but you cam choose any of the available skins to enhance its view.
  • Equalizer -VLC has an equalizer for both audio and image that can significantly improve the image and audio quality.
  • Filters -VLC comes in with dozens of audio and video filter that you can apply to alter the output.

A brief video tutorial on the player use:

VLC: Free DVD Player and Media Player

  • Network Streaming - It can stream internet video over HTTP, UTP protocol more over it support IPv6. Ability to watch for TV and audio streams I have discovered for myself for the first time, while preparing this review. A brief video tutorial as of how to use the player for streaming:

TV and Audio Streaming using VLC Player

  • You can rip DVD from inside the program. Find attached the brief tutorial on how to do with ease.

DVD Ripping with free VLC Player

  • Portability - Player works with all operating system, which include Windows (including Vista), MAC, Linux, BEOS, Win CE., etc. It has a high degree of portability, and can work from a USB drive without installing on your Hard Drive.
  • Ability to play partially downloaded files and even corrupted files. This way, you can test the part of the big media file before downloading it in full.
  • The software is frequently updated to cover more options and optimize its performance. The latest update was at the end of February 2008.

This player is part of my USB toolbox. Highly recommended! Choose downloading 7z or zip archives to get portable version of the software.

Link for downloading from manufacturer’s site:


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