Being a top media player is a competitive game, and gone are the days where users were forced to decide according to their unique operating system, often at the expense of certain preferred features. Now, with the likes of QuickTime Player now supporting Windows and vice versa, users have a wide range of high performing choices when it comes to choosing how to watch your favorite movies or videos or play music. Here, we’ve summarized down our Top 3 in the hope of making that choice a little bit easier.
VLC is a popular and widely used media player that has, over the years, supported the most number of both audio and video file formats of many of the mainstream media players. Initially a university project, it is now a free and open-source cross-platform media player that plays various file formats and has streaming capabilities. Since it’s initial launch in 2001, VLC is available for all Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux supported devices. Considered to be quite a minimalist media player, VLC is a leading framework renowned for doing the basics really well.
VLC is most popular and renowned for its capability in working with an enormous amount of video and audio file formats, and now even has streaming capacities. It cannot play M4V movies directly, however. VLC is also popular for its capabilities in using compressed formats wherever, without the need for file conversion.
VLC is also compatible with another enormous number of plugins that allow you to expand the media players’ functionality beyond the basics, however, this is mostly unnecessary.
VLC does leave users wanting when it comes to organizing your media on the platform. So despite calling itself a general media player, it’s lack of filing functions certainly highlights that it is more geared towards video functionality.
Other features of VLC include the function to stream audio across your home network using sftp/ssh protocols. Generally, VLC doesn’t have a huge range of functions – it does fewer things, but it does them well.
As for user experience and functionality, keyboard shortcuts exist for almost every action that can prove handy and flexible and often add to the product’s overall enjoyment for some users. Design-wise, the VLC interface is bland and old-fashioned; however, it can be forgiven because, overall, the tool is widely used and loved. The colorless and dated interface is almost nostalgic, in a cute kind of way, yet is functional and straightforward.