VLC Media Player is an open-source and cross-platform media player which is by now in its 0.9.9 version and brings a new interface for Windows and Linux, several enhancements in performance and stability, as well as enhanced support for new formats, and a better support for those which it already supported. It is extremely useful, from playing any media files to watching our favorite DVDs and it doesn't matter if files are stored on a removable device or in our hard drive,VLC Media Player plays almost any format of audio and video. Surely this ability is the reason why over 50 million user downloaded it. Anyway, with VLC our satisfaction is guaranteed. In this article I'm going to review its main features and capabilities.
Much More Than Basic
Throughout its development, the program has been specializing in video playback more and more. This is clearly shown by the possibilities for adding subtitles and handle multiple audio tracks attached to a movie. This feature is indispensable when it comes to DVD playing. It can also handle DVD menus and chapters.
VLC Media Player offers an endless list of features, including support for different audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, XviD, WMV, mp3, ogg, etc.). Its compatibility with all types of media files is based on the fact that VLC Media Player brings its own set of codecs. This way, VLC does not depend on which we have installed in our OS.
Moreover, its capabilities list is really extensive, this versatile media player can also play ripped DVDs, stream media from the web or network, amazingly it is also able to help us fix our files if video and audio are desynchronized.
The renewed interface of VLC Media Player has no secrets at all, even for novice users. Despite this, it also has advanced options like the ability to send a video signal over the Internet thanks to its streaming service. As a matter of fact VLC can stream any media it is able to read.
Another interesting thing about VLC is that it is highly customizable, there are uncountable skins for download in its official skins web-page, and there is also the option to generate our own skins with the VLC Skin Editor. In the next screenshots you can see two examples of what they look like.
Not less easy it is to download and install it, as we are talking about a 16MB setup file and occupies as little as 62 MB in our HDD. Getting VLC to run for the first time takes only a few minutes.
Besides being free, VideoLAN VLC Media Player has multilingual support, including more than 40 languages. And as you can see in the next screen capture we can change the interface language any time we want even if we have selected a determinate one during setup.
One of the improvements we will not notice at first, but which will make us immensely grateful to the development team is the simplification of the preferences window. In earlier versions, when we wanted to make a change to some features, it was really overwhelming to see the large number of functions among which we had to navigate. Now, by means of the basic mode, which we enable by selecting the “Simple” option in the lower section of the left panel, we have the possibility to reach what we want to modify quickly and without much searching.
Moreover, in this version we can see an attempt to create a music library (though a bit simple at the moment), a more robust playlist, and what I found most interesting is the extensive list of Shoutcast Radios you can find arranged by categories.
In short, with the new interface, VLC has become more "usable", and improvements in performance are notable. Maybe VLC Media Player is not the only nor the best free media player, but one thing I can tell for sure, when it comes to performance issues with some heavy videos, you might want to give it a try.
Are you a fan of VLC Media Player? Tell us what makes of it such an incredible piece of freeware.
Author: Lucas Artigas Review on: VLC Media Player 0.9.9