We’ve said it many times before. Video on Mac or PC is a mess. Flash, Windows Video, QuickTime, and a dozen other video file formats duke it out without regard to users like your and me.
Is there a single video player that plays every type of video? If there is, it’s likely to be called VLC. It’s a free, open source, cross-platform multimedia player that plays what Flash, QuickTime, and Windows Video cannot.
The Crazy World Of Computer Videos
The default de facto standard for video on the web is Adobe’s cumbersome Flash. Nothing makes a Mac’s fan come on faster than running Flash videos. Flash is everywhere and not well liked.
Until mobile devices like the iPhone Flash was king.
Now the whole world has gone gaga over HTML5 video, mostly because it’s not Flash.
Still, there are a few dozen video file formats that can be downloaded and played on Macs—and some of them won’t play with Flash, or Apple’s QuickTime, or even with Flip4Mac’s free Windows Media Player.
What to do?
VideoLAN’s VLC Gives TLC
The VLC media player mostly plays everything else so it gets our nod as the best non-Apple, non-Flash, non-Windows media media player.
VLC is the end result of a product developed by volunteers, hence the low price tag (free, as in beer). VLC runs on nearly every major platform and plays nearly every major video format.
That includes MPEG 1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, H.264, MP3, Ogg, FLV, DV, WAV, AVI, WMV, WMA, .MOV SVCD, ON2, and many others.
The beauty of VLC player lies in simplicity.
There’s just not much it doesn’t play and not many platforms where it won’t play. Mac, Windows, Linux, iPhone.
VLC gets our nod as the best utility media players, audio or video, because it goes beyond expectations. It’ll even play many regular or encrypted DVDs as well as audio CDs. Not much to not like considering the price and capability.