VLC Media Player is popular despite its rather plain default interface because of its many features. Dubbed the best media player thus far, VLC Media Player has given all other players a run for their money.
Don’t be fooled by the boxy default interface of VLC Media Player. Its plain appearance reveals its focus on substance rather than superficial features. For instance, it can play just about any kind of media file, from simple MPG4s to an ISO file.
Aside from its capacity to play just about any file, it also needs no additional codec uploads. While other media players need codec updates for some media files, VLC already comes complete with its own codec packs.
VLC Media Player is also available for use with different operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and Linux. It can even be downloaded on Android gadgets and is currently in its Beta testing stage. It is also completely free; all you need to do to use VLC Media Player is download it. Despite being free, it does not come with any form of spyware, virus, advertisement, or tracking cookie. It is safe to use; you don’t need to worry about cookies tracking your every move online when you use VLC as your media player.
VLC is not only a media player; it is also a conversion and an outbound streaming tool. You can convert files from one format to another. For instance, if you need files to have a specific file extension for you to use them via a different program, VLC can do the conversion for free. This can be useful if you’re using programs, such as the Windows Movie Maker, that allow you to edit only specific movie file types. Its outbound streaming feature also allows you to host podcasts.
If you want to view videos on your TV screen, you can hook up your computer to your television. If your movie file wasn’t filmed using a widescreen format, you can use the zoom and aspect ratio features of the VLC Media Player. For instance, if people on the screen look stretched out, a simple tweak via the aspect ratio feature of VLC Media Player can fix the problem.
If your television is widescreen but your movie is letter-boxed, you can get rid of the black bars above and below your screen by using the aspect ratio option. You can also get rid of any black bars you see on either side of the screen through VLC Media Player’s crop feature. After cropping, you have the option of actually recording the video without the bars.
Once in a while, you get a movie file or song which you can barely hear on your computer speakers. VLC Media Player provides a simple solution that your default media player can’t: It increases the volume by up to 200 percent.
VLC has many other features that you can take advantage of if you’re looking for a simple tool to edit videos. As you tweak your video, crop out black borders, add subtitles, or adjust its volume, you always have the option of saving that video as the new version you are creating.
If you want subtitles for your movie, VLC Media Player supports both the external and embedded types.
Experimental hardware decoding is also allowed – this means that if you have an external player, it can permit you to play a CD or DVD using the decoder of your hardware. This is useful if your hardware has acceleration features. Otherwise, VLC can use its own decoder to read media files.
Compared to Windows Media Player, VLC is far better. VLC Media Player’s codec profile alone proves to be the best thus far. Aside from its versatility with different audio and video file formats, it has other features that go beyond simple viewing and listening needs. For instance, VLC has a dynamic range compression feature that can be completely customized. It can also add visual effects to any movie you are watching. These effects include blurring, wave effects, and water effects. Unlike RealPlayer, QuickTime, and Windows Media Player, VLC Media Player can actually act as your server when you want to hold a podcast. You can stream your videos using VLC, something you can’t do with just about other famous media players.
In terms of customer support, VLC arguable has the best as many volunteers continue to provide users with the best experience. If you have a file type currently not recognized by VLC Media Player, you can contact customer support and soon enough, they will find a way to get a codec added to cater to your needs! Different guides and added information on how to tweak video and audio files using VLC are also widely available, mostly on Wiki pages and on VLC’s own website.
Considering the versatility, codec support, enhancement features, and customer assistance of VLC Media Player, it is still the best player out there. The fact that it can be downloaded absolutely free is a pleasant surprise. Even as QuickTime continues to be the default player for Mac users and Windows Media Player continues to be the player for Windows OS, VLC can run in both and is actually preferred by many Apple and Windows users.
Because of the many features and added functions of VLC Media Player, it can take more than one day to master its entirety. However, that’s not a liability of VLC. If anything, it shows how all-encompassing it is, compared to the limited features (which also explains the idiot-proof navigation) of both QuickTime and Windows Media Player. As the VLC developers continue to add new features and strive to make their media player compatible for more operating systems, it will remain the most useful media player in any situation.
VLC Media Player was developed – and is still being continuously debugged and maintained – by a group of volunteers called the VideoLan Organization. Its source code can be downloaded by anyone who wants to use it for further software development.
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