There are many different video formats out there these days. From AVI to MPEG-4 to OGM to DVD, and only one media player handles them all: the VLC player. This lovely piece of open source software from the VideoLAN project is the most awesome of all media players for the Mac. Believe me. I’ve tried them all.
The VLC player is truly versatile. It plays the largest number of media files of any of the media players I’ve found. And, unlike QuickTime, you don’t need to download any codecs for it to support these formats. The list of media formats that VLC supports is available here.
I know I have found the VLC player indispensable when it comes to playing OGM or MKV files. The VLC player not only supports both OGM and MKV, but also has subtitle and audio track preferences to make the whole process of playing them that much easier. Can QuickTime do that? I don’t think so.
Not only does it support various video files (like DVD and VCD), it also supports a large variety of audio files. However, it is not as convenient to play audio files on the VLC player as it is with another audio player like iTunes considering the short nature of most audio. If you are going to listen to something of any length, a VLC player would be a good idea. If you just want to listen to music, I suggest you find a different audio player.
Ease of Use
Not only does the VLC support almost any type of audio/video format you can think of, it is also easy to use. While some of the features are very Windows (it is cross platform software), it is simple enough to figure out. I find it easiest to open everything with Quick Open File over Open File since Open File is a little more advanced. The Mac version of the VLC player even looks very Mac OS X like.
The VLC player really is your Macs one stop shop for all things media. I no longer use any other media player at all (besides iTunes) on my Mac. Why switch between several different media players when VLC has everything you could want in one and more?
This post is part of the series: Freeware for Mac OSX
There are plenty of cool applications designed specifically for Mac OSX which are completely free. I will introduce you to the best of what’s free for Mac OSX, why it’s so cool and where to download it. Go ahead and keep your money for something more important.
- Freeware Word Processing Programs for Mac OS X
- Senuti Review: Copy Songs from iPod to Mac
- Pac the Man and Quinn Review: Classic Freeware Games for the Mac
- Audacity Review: Audio Freeware for the Mac
- MacJanitor Review: Clean Up Your Mac
- iPhoto Diet Review: Reorganize Your Photos and Save Space
- SizzlingKeys Review: Super iTunes Shortcuts
- Disk Inventory X Review
- Beautiful Dorena Review: A Cow-Filled Paint Program
- Armand and the Foppish Hat Review: Freeware Action Adventure Game
- Pixen Review: Free Graphic Editing Software
- GraphicConverter Demo Review: Convert Your Image Files
- VLC Player Review: All-Purpose Media Player