"A portable app of VLC media player."
VLC Media Player 1.1.9 nicknamed "The Luggage" is the latest version of the popular media player open source freeware developed and released by the VideoLAN team.
The program has versions running on three of the most popular OSs – Windows, Mac, and Linux.
What makes VLC so popular is its ability to run virtually all video formats. Many users of this media player love the fact that they do not have to download codecs in order to run any media.
The installer’s file size is small. At less than 20mb, it takes little time to download it from your favorite software shareware site. It also takes less than a minute to install the program.
During the installation process, you will be presented with installation options such as the file type associations, the installation of an ActiveX plugin, the installation of a Mozilla plugin, among others. You can also choose which directory you would like to install the program in.
The program does not require any prerequisites and is does not install any associated programs or adware which is pretty common in many freeware applications.
The default GUI of VLC is simple. It is actually no different than the usual Linux-based windows programs because of its simplicity. But you can download skins from the VLC website free of charge if you feel the look of the GUI to be too bland.
As a media player, VLC has all necessary buttons, features, and sections such as a media browser, media player buttons, volume and speed controls, equalizers and presets, and visualizations to name a few.
Aside from being user friendly and lightweight, VLC has more features that make it so popular with computer users.
Unlike most other media players, VLC plays virtually all types of audio and video media files regardless of file size. You do not have to install a codec pack because the file association of VLC covers most of the popular media types.
As a freeware, it has all the necessary and advanced features of the major commercial media players. One of its major uses is its streaming capability which allows it to stream media from internet channels.
Aside from the dull GUI, what I do not particularly enjoy about VLC is the memory it consumes. Playing a single MP3 file uses more than 40,000 kb while an ordinary movie uses twice as much. Audio files use up slightly more resources compared to Windows media player while video files consumes a more significant amount. With this in mind, think twice about using VLC while running another resource-hog program especially with a simple laptop or desktop setup.
GOM Player is a popular alternative media player to VLC. Like VLC, it is integrated with the major mediacodecs. However, it has fewer features compared to the latter and installs a Google toolbar to your browser by default during installation. You can, however, choose to uncheck the installation of this toolbar should you find it unnecessary.
Realplayer is another stiff competition to VLC. What makes it better than VLC is its ability to be integrated with mobile media devices and social networking websites. It also has a built in converter. However, streaming in Realplayer is slow and it is studded with loads of ads.
It is obvious why VLC is the most popular open source media player in the industry not to mention it has been downloaded millions of times across all major OS platforms. Suffice to say, all computer owners should have VLC installed in their systems if they want a seamless program that can run their media files.
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