With the VLC media player from the manufacturer Videolan, you can play audio and video files in many formats as well as DVDs, VCDs and streams from the Internet. This is partly due to the FFmpeg library, which comes with many codecs. Streaming protocols for webcams, web TV and Internet radio are also supported by the VLC Player, which is not only available for installation on the computer. Alternatively available are apps for mobile devices as well as a portable version of the VLC media player, which can be started from a USB stick without installation.
With support for MPEG and DivX streaming, the VLC media player can play videos while the download is in progress. Even damaged AVI files can be opened and played back within the readable range. It is no coincidence that the VLC media player is a popular alternative to Windows Media Player or Winamp and in our opinion is one of the best open source programs.
VLC 3.0.0 playing 8k60 on Windows 10 using i7 GPU
A short video of how the VLC media player 8K plays content at 60 fps on a Windows 10 PC.
The VLC media player brings codecs with it
To play media in the formats MPEG-2, DivX, H.264, MKV, WebM, WMV, MOV, AVI, FLV or MP3 you don’t need any additional codecs, because the VLC media player comes with them itself. However, the VLC Player supports even more formats, media and protocols that are listed on the manufacturer’s website.
Like the portable version of the VLC media player, the installation version has all the important functions to watch videos, listen to music and stream media from the Internet. The freeware menu offers equalizers, compressors and reverb effects for a better sound. Sharpness, light and color filters improve movie playback and the playlist lets you play multiple video files in a row. Subtitles are also no problem for the VideoLan.org player. By default, many formats are supported that can be flexibly adjusted in position and display. If these are no longer synchronized during a video, the VLC media player makes a correction possible.
In addition, videos can be rotated steplessly, which helps against the upright video syndrome that often occurs when filming with a smartphone. Since version 2.2.0, the VLC media player detects this problem automatically and rotates it automatically. In addition to rotating videos, other tools such as zoom in, zoom out, mirror or distort are available in the menu. The zoom function enlarges a certain image section in the video and the player continues playing from the point where the freeware was last closed with the help of the resume function Media. Playback of zipped media files is directly possible with the VLC media player, so that the ZIP folder does not have to be unpacked beforehand.
Converter and recording function
A practical function of the VLC media player is also the conversion of media files into other formats. In addition, the VideoLan.org player offers a recording function that can be used to record live streams from the Internet or videos from CDs and DVDs. However, copyrighted videos may block the recording of the VLC media player. Further functions can be added via extensions. The administration for “Plug-ins and Extensions” is located under “Tools” and offers an integrated search. Additional information can be found in the blog post The best features of the VLC media player.
Chromecast support from version 3
The manufacturer Videolan released version 3.0 with the name “Vetenari” in February 2018. Among other things, it offers hardware support for playback of 8K videos. Due to the integration of hardware decoders, the CPU is only slightly loaded even with such requirements. 360-degree videos as well as 3D and HD audio playback are no problem with the latest version. It also supports 10-bit color depth and HEVC-encoded 4K video at 60 fps and High Dynamic Range (HDR). The latest version of the VLC media player also streams videos to Chromecast devices, even if a corresponding format is not natively supported. Thus videos on DVD can be transferred by Stream to the domestic television set. In addition, the VLC player version plays Blu-ray Java menus (BD-J) and plays videos in the home network via SMB, FTP or NFS.
Open source player not only for Windows
The free VLC Player can be installed on Windows, macOS, Linux and BSD systems. However, the Mac version does not support MIDI. Windows users who do not want to install the VLC media player can also access the portable version VLC media player portable and start it from the USB stick. The VLC media player app for smartphone and tablet with the Android or iOS operating system is available in the well-known app stores.