Here’s a question for you: why wrestle with several multimedia players - Windows Media Player, QuickTime, a DivX player, an FLV player and whatever DVD player came preinstalled on your computer when you bought it - when you can use one powerful, free bit of software that can do it all?
Doesn't that make more sense?
Enter the 64-bit VLC Media Player (download it here) - the universal remote of video and audio playback. It plays most video and audio formats with a smug ease (and without downloading any extra codecs). Name a format and VLC Media Player can decode it - DVDs and video CDs, MP3, MOV and FLV files or DivX.
If you think it might not be able to handle modern H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC video, think again. Ditto Cinepak, Theora and Real Video.
The superbly capable VLC Media Player also embraces MPEG and DivX streaming and it can even play videos during the download. In fact, the only format that VLC Media Player doesn’t seem to handle is Indeo Video 4/5 (IV41, IV51). And that’s hardly a deal breaker. Intel developed the Indeo format way back in 1992 and few (if any) content sources still use it.
The list of platforms that this 64-bit VLC Media Player download supports is almost as broad as its audio and video support. In addition to this Windows x64 variant, there is a 32-bit Windows version, plus versions for Mac OS X and mobile - specifically Apple iOS and Android. It also runs on a range of Linux distros, including Ubuntu, openSUSE and Mandriva.
True, VLC Media Player might not be the most attractive multimedia software you've laid eyes on. But the rough-around-the-edges design and command line input rails against the idea that good looks make a good product.
And, as the software is open source, it's constantly being improved. Version 2.1.3 of the VLC Media Player for Windows includes support for Blu-ray unprotected discs, scalable subtitles and improved caching settings.
Verdict: The newest version of VLC makes the world's best audio/video tool even better and it should ensure that the popularity of VLC Media Player continues to go up. Download 64-bit VLC Media Player, take it for a test-drive and see for yourself.