VLC Media Player can handle anything, and we mean anything.
VLC Media Player can deal with most video and audio formats without any problems (and without downloading extra codecs). It can, for example, play DVDs as well as video CDs, MP3, MOV and FLV files or DivX. It supports modern H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC video, Cinepak, Theora and Real Video. The VLC Media Player also embraces MPEG and DivX streaming and can play videos during the download.
In fact, it might be easier to tell you what the VLC Media Player can’t play, rather than listing every audio and video format that it does support. In case you’re interested, the only format that it can’t seem to decode is Indeo Video 4/5 (IV41, IV51).
It might not look like one of the most advanced media players you can get your hands on, but VLC Media Player’s talents don’t end with comprehensive video playback and 7.1 surround sound.
It can also play zipped files without having to unzip them first. Once a video clip is downloaded, you can increase the volume by up to 200 per cent if the video is too quiet.
If there’s a criticism of VLC Media Player it’s that the software isn’t as user-friendly as some other media players, and that some of the options are over-complicated, especially for novice users.
But you need to trade this off against the software’s other talents - its ability to search for album covers, and a useful playlist feature that enables you to play several films one after another. This is useful if you have downloaded a video clip in several parts or you want to watch lots of smaller videos back-to-back like a night in with a DVD box set.
VLC Media Player decodes anything and runs on anything - there are versions for Windows, Linux and Mac and version 2.x updates include support for Blu-ray, unprotected discs, scalable subtitles and improved caching settings.
If you’re running Windows 7, VLC also integrates into the Windows 7 Superbar. From there you can direct the player, without having to bring the window to the foreground. It’s the Swiss Army knife of media players.
Verdict: VLC is the ultimate media player. It might be difficult to use at first, but it can deal with pretty much every video file you throw at it. Even files with missing data parts don't stop it. The range of features is so big that we couldn't cover everything here. Just try it out yourself!