Developed by the VideoLAN project, VLC is one of the most well-known media players and has been around for a while. It originally stood for Video LAN Client, where LAN stands for Local Area Network and was developed for media streaming. Rich in features, VLC is everything you expect from a media player. Thus, it has been downloaded over 3.5 billion times since its release. Another quality that draws users immediately is that it’s completely free and doesn’t require any kind of subscription fee.
Being open-source software i.e. designed to be publicly accessible is a big concern in its security but no flaws have been reported yet and new versions are being released frequently with fixed bugs and liabilities.
VLC is a cross-platform and portable software with the ability to play audio and video files in real-time and streaming modes. It provides support for various file formats regardless of how common they are and whether they require downloading or purchasing additional components. The few formats it doesn’t support are converted easily to ones supported using the same interface.
It is a versatile platform and can encode out of bound streams, in addition to playing television and internet radio, and podcasts. It can play DVDs, VCD, audio CDs, and can support DivX streaming and MPEG. It also has the capability to play videos for the duration of file download and can adjust audio and video playback. Having flexible features and great compatibility, VLC stands tall against all its competitors.
The interface is simple and straightforward with a modular design, which makes it easy to include plugins for different formats. Its ability to create bookmarks for playlists is one of its best features. It grants access to fast forward function, video scrubber, zooming, rotation, mirroring, and other professional features. Still images can be extracted from videos at the original resolution and can be directly saved in documents through MPG extension. It can play ZIP files without unpacking them separately, can search for album covers, and has a playlist function to play files consecutively.
This software is not heavy to install and doesn’t occupy much space due to its small size. It has very easy-to-use controls which are displayed at the bottom of its main screen in small icons. These controls are for brightness, volume, screen resolution, display lock, and subtitles. VLC allows external audio and subtitles of various formats and ensures that they are in sync. Volume can also be increased by up to 200% manually. Some of these settings can be customized and set according to preferences.
VLC is available on desktop and mobile platforms, including Android and iOS, and as stated, free on both. Additionally, it can be accessed on major digital distributing platforms, such as Apple’s App Store, Google Play, and Microsoft Store. Plus, it has many encoding and decoding libraries. It has great hotkeys i.e. keyboard shortcuts which are very convenient.
The basic version of the program covers all the ground that beginners expect or professionals demand. It is a complete package of all the best tools and due to this has consistently been one of the most common and capable media players.
If you want to play any media file on your Mac, or even a DVD, VLC media player is probably the most reliable and best free program available. It plays all types of media files, from .avi to .flv and from .mp3 to .mkv. We highly recommend downloading it today for both your Mac desktop and iPhone or iPad!