VLC Media Player
VLC Media Player is the most popular and robust multi format, free media player available. The open source media player was publically released in 2001 by non-profit organization VideoLAN Project. VLC Media Player quickly became very popular thanks to its versatile multi-format playback capabilities. It was aided by compatibility and codec issues which rendered competitor media players like QuickTime, Windows and Real Media Player useless to many popular video and music file formats. The easy, basic UI and huge array of customization options have enforced VLC Media Player’s position at the top of the free media players. Flexibility VLC plays almost any video or music file format you can find. At its launch this was a revolution compared to the default media players most people were using that often crashed or displayed “codecs missing” error messages when trying to play media files. VLC can play MPEG, AVI, RMBV, FLV, QuickTime, WMV, MP4 and a shed load of other media file formats. For a full list of compatible file formats please click here. Not only can VLC Media Player handle loads of different formats, VLC can also playback partial or incomplete media files so you can preview downloads before they finish. Easy to Use VLC’s UI is definitely a case of function over beauty. The basic look does however make the player extremely easy to use. Simply drag and drop files to play or open them using files and folders then use the classic media navigation buttons to play, pause, stop, skip, edit playback speed, change the volume, brightness, etc. A huge variety of skins and customization options mean the standard appearance shouldn’t be enough to prevent you choosing VLC as your default media player. Advanced Options Don’t let VLC Media Player’s simple interface fool you, within the playback, audio, video, tools and view tabs are a huge variety of player options. You can play with synchronization settings including a graphic equalizer with multiple pre-sets, overlays, special effects, AtmoLight video effects, audio spatializer and customizable range compression settings. You can even add subtitles to videos by adding the SRT file to the video’s folder. Summary VLC Media Player is quite simply the most versatile, stable and high quality free media player available. It has rightly dominated the free media player market for over 10 years now and looks like it may for another 10 years thanks to the constant development and improvement by VideoLAN Org.