Sunday, June 17, 2007

VLC Media Player 0.8.6

This is it, folks - VLC is the media player on steroids. Without the nasty side effect of steroids. Who needs DVD codecs? VLC plays virtually any media filetype, thanks to its comprehensive library of built-in codecs.

You heard me. No codecs. Don't worry about buying decoders (such as PowerDVD, etc.) to read your DVDs, VLC will play them (and pretty darn well) for free. Don't worry about downloading foreign codecs (possibly filled with malware) to watch ripped movies. VLC's got your back.

VLC also reads zipped/compressed media files, on the fly, with minimal performance impact. Yup, that means if you're too lazy to unzip your files, no biggie. Also, you can stream files that haven't finished downloading yet - instant gratification, no waiting required. This thing is a champion. In fact, VLC can even be made into a server to stream media on a network.

It's also skinnable, with lots of lookalike skins on the main site to emulate Windows Media Player 10, Mac OS X iTunes/Quicktime, and even WinAmp.

The only bad part is occasionally it crashes (albeit gracefully), usually when the computer is low on memory. But then again, we can say the same thing about Windows... Also, the user interface is a bit lacking; seeking through a video is difficult to do precisely.

Despite those shortcomings, it's still highly recommended.

VLC is like a Swiss Army knife, get it just in case.

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