VLC Media Player
For my first posts I’m going to blog about some of the applications I use everyday. One of them is VLC, a media player that supports almost every video format. There are so many video players, supported by good libraries like Xine or Gstreamer that it’s almost a matter of taste.
I like VLC for two reasons: first, it’s fast and the interface is uncluttered (if you feel the interface is too simple, you can choose another skin).
Second and more important, it supports many, many video formats. More than once I came across with video files that I couldn’t read with the media player I was using. In my experience, switching to VLC solved that problem every time. I don’t know if the reason for that is that VLC has support for more formats than other players or if other players work in a more modularized way.
In other words, most of the other players bundle the required codecs to display the videos in different packages. Sometimes, the Linux distribution installs all the necessary packages, sometimes it doesn’t. VLC on the other hand doesn’t need any additional codecs. VLC is already packaged with all required codecs and thus everything immediately works out-of-the-box, independently of the distribution’s package configuration. Whatever the reason, it’s true that VLC has built the reputation of being able to display the media files that others had problems with.
However VLC is best used for quick watching some videos. I don’t think is good for saving playlists of movies or anything like it. Also, the interface for watching remote video is a little cumbersome. On the other hand it easily allows saving of internet streams, which is good.
In conclusion, I think VLC is definitely in the top media players for Linux that you would use for quick viewing some video.