VLC media player is a free cross-platform media player for various audio and video formats available today. VLC media player support streaming protocols and also can be a streaming sever with Ipv6 support. VLC comes with built-in support for most of the video and audio codec as well. In other terms, VLC media player can play any format, play any codec, play any media and stream any protocol from any platform (Windows, MAC, Linux)

VLC Media PlayerI discovered VLC media player few years back when I was researching for an alternative player to play my media file that refused to play in most popular players. VLC Media Player alone helped me that situation. I didn’t have to install any extra codec to play the media file. I believe everyone here might have already discovered VLC player. If not, make sure you give a try today. VLC Media player can be downloaded from VideoLAN VLC Homepage.

Another main feature I love with VLC player is the ability to play any broken media file (say partially downloaded file). I use this feature to preview the media before downloading the entire content and save my effort :)

Few Interesting Facts about VLC Media Player

Here are few interesting facts I found about VLC Media Player.

  • VLC (VideoLAN Client) was initially client for Video LAN project; Later they combined both server and client into VLC media player.
  • Google’s Video search uses browser plugin based on VLC player.
  • Democracy Player, an Internet player uses VLC media player as a back-end on Windows
  • The code name of VLC Media player is based on character name from the movie golden eye
  • There are bunch of project that uses VLC; see complete list here.
  • VideoLAN enhancement projects are featured in Google Code.

VLC Media Player Screenshot

Key Features

  • Play Anything – As said this is the main feature of this player you can play whatever you want. Be it any format or any codec no bar; they got to play in VLC. They have ability to read disk images (iso) and play directly.
  • Simple – It can be used by any novice without any hitch.
  • Network Streaming – It can stream internet video over HTTP, UTP protocol more over it support IPv6.
  • Steaming Server – you can broadcast video using unicast or mutlicast in high bandwidth network.
  • Equalizer -VLC has an equalizer for both audio and image.
  • Filters -VLC comes in with dozens of audio and video filter that you can apply to alter the output.
  • Skins – This is not much attractive, but yes you can change the default skins.
  • Portability – This works with all operating system, which include Windows, MAC, Linux, BEOS, Win CE. etc. The latest version is compatible with Windows VISTA as well.

Possible Improvements

I have couple of suggestions probably here for VLC Player. VLC also doesn’t have support for real format, which they can add in feature version.

1. Interface
Sadly, this needs some serious attention. They have easy to use interface though their interface and not that attractive. They have skin support but it is not effective too.

2. Playlist
VLC provides you the ability to manage your play list. I think that can be improved a bit to allow option to effectively manage and have some tagging and rating features. Also the play list is not integrated well with the main area.

3. Real Format support
Unfortunately, VLC player doesn’t have support to Real format till now. It would be great if they add support to them as well. Thanks to CyBer$|x for pointing this out.

Other than this I really don’t see much on improvement track. VLC almost rocks already!

Bottom line, VLC Media Player might not be my favorite media player but I use it really extensively.

Have you tried VLC? Share your experience with VLC.

Update : Haris has compiled a list of best skins for VLC player. Deepak has his own list of beautiful skins.