VLC is an open source product developed by VideoLAN Project licensed under GNU GPL v2. The VLC Media Player source code is also available for download from Download.com. This logo or a modified version may be used or modified by anyone to refer to the VideoLAN project or any product developed by the VideoLAN team, but does not indicate endorsement by the project.
VLC media player is a free app for watching videos and listening to music, podcasts, and other audio. You can play files that are on your PC or another computer on your local network, or you can stream from a website. VLC is available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.
Free, no strings attached: Free apps frequently fund their development through ads or collecting user data. VLC, however, is supported by donations from corporations and individuals, and its developers have been hired in the past by third parties to work full time on maintaining and improving the app.
Highly customizable: When you go full-screen, VLC reduces the number of control buttons you can see. But you can change that in the Toolbars Editor, as well as adjust transparency and move all controls to the top of the screen. Or you can take away all the onscreen buttons and just use keyboard shortcuts to navigate. You can also adjust technical aspects of decoding a media file, tweak how subtitles are displayed, and change all your keyboard shortcuts. And if your settings get messed up, you can reset them at any time.
It just works: In the past, Windows users had to download codec packs, which gave media software additional instructions for playing more exotic file types. The websites that provided downloads of these packs became increasingly sketchy. VLC eliminates the need for these packs by integrating all of their instructions, so you no longer need to go off the beaten path of the Internet to play your videos.
Does not play Blu-ray movies: VLC does not say that it can play Blu-rays, so this is not a mark against it, just something to be aware of. Unfortunately, the Blu-ray license remains expensive and largely in the hands of mediocre software. Since movie streaming is now displacing physical purchases, and there’s no sign of that trend changing, the absence of Blu-ray playback will become less important over time. For what it’s worth, VLC plays DVDs just fine.
VLC isn’t the only free media player out there that’s worth checking out, but it does its job so well that there isn’t much reason to experiment with alternatives.
What’s new in this version:
- Fix crash in G.711 wav files
- Fix mp3 crash in libmad
- Fix out-of-bound write in adpcm QT IMA codec
- Fix overlay creation on Windows XP for DirectDraw video output
- Improve compilation support for GNU/HURD
- Minor UI improvements for the Qt interface on Windows, Linux, BSD