VLC Media Player review

4 Apr 2008

5

VLC Media Player is simply the swiss army knife of media playback software. Capable of playing back a huge assortment of audio and video formats, VLC is a hugely versatile player and best of all, it's completely free.

Audio playback may not be its speciality; if you've got a huge library of audio files on your hard disk, the likes of Foobar2000 or Winamp are better at handling extensive playlists. They look noticeably prettier too.

But, whether it's MP3, AAC or more esoteric formats such as FLAC or DTS, VLC remains unflustered. Even if you love your media player of choice, and wouldn't change it for the world, it's worth having VLC installed for those moments when, for some reason, a file just won't work in your existing player.

Video, however, is definitely VLC's forte. Unlike MPC or any of the other popular video playback packages, it doesn't support the use of external codecs. Instead, it focuses on supporting as many video file formats as possible without requiring you to resort to fiddly tinkering.

There's no support for playing back HD DVD or Blu-Ray media, unless its first been ripped and shoehorned into a Matroska (.mkv) container, but DVDs, SVCDs and virtually every other video format are supported, barring Intel and Real's own proprietary formats.

But perhaps the greatest endorsement we can give it is that practically every flash drive and hard disk used for testing in the PC Pro Labs has VLC on it.

Download VLC here.

Reviews:

Apple iTunes

RealPlayer Basic

Media Player Classic

Foobar2000

VLC Media Player