VLC media player icon.png
Vlc-0.9.4-big buck bunny.png
Screenshot of VLC 0.9.4 running under Windows Vista
Developer(s)VideoLAN Project
Initial release1 February 2001
Written inC, C++, Objective-C using Qt
Operating systemCross-platform (GNU, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, BeOS, Syllable, BSD, MorphOS, Solaris, Sharp Zaurus)
Available inMultilingual
TypeMedia player
LicenseGNU General Public License v2 or later
Websitewww.videolan.org

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VLC Media Player

VLC media player is a free and open source media player and multimedia framework written by the VideoLAN project.

VLC is a portable multimedia player, encoder, and streamer supporting many audio and video codecs and file formats as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It is able to stream over networks and to transcode multimedia files and save them into various formats. VLC used to stand for VideoLAN Client, but that initialism is now deprecated.

It is one of the most platform-independent players available, with versions for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, BeOS, Syllable, BSD, MorphOS, Solaris and Sharp Zaurus, and is widely used with over 400 million downloads as of March 2010.

The default distribution of VLC includes a large number of free decoding and encoding libraries; on the Windows platform, this greatly reduces the need for finding/calibrating proprietary plugins. Many of VLC's codecs are provided by the libavcodec library from the FFmpeg project, but it uses mainly its own muxer and demuxers. It also gained distinction as the first player to support playback of encrypted DVDs on Linux by using the libdvdcss DVD decryption library.

Features

  • VLC is popular for its ability to play the video content of incomplete, unfinished, or damaged video downloads before the files have been fully downloaded. (For example, files still downloading via BitTorrent, eMule, or Gnutella). It also plays m2t MPEG transport streams (.TS) files while they are still being digitized from an HDV camera via a FireWire cable, making it possible to monitor the video as it is being played. This is because it is a packet-based player.
  • The player also has the ability to use libcdio to access .iso files so that the user can play files on a disk image, even if the user's operating system does not have the capability of working directly with .iso images.
  • VLC supports all audio and video formats and all file formats supported by libavcodec and libavformat. This means that VLC can play back H.264 or MPEG-4 video as well as support FLV or MXF file formats "out of the box" using FFmpeg's libraries. Alternatively, VLC has modules for codecs that are not based on FFmpeg's libraries. This feature is not unique to VLC, as any player using the FFmpeg libraries, including MPlayer and xine-lib-based players, should be able to play those formats without the need for external codecs.
  • VLC is one of the free software and open source DVD players that ignores DVD region coding on RPC-1 firmware drives, making it a region-free player. However, it does not do the same on RPC-2 firmware drives.
  • VLC media player has some filters that can distort, rotate, split, deinterlace, mirror videos, create display walls, or add a logo overlay. It can also produce video output as ASCII art.
  • VLC media player can play high definition recordings of D-VHS tapes duplicated to a computer using CapDVHS.exe. This offers another way to archive all D-VHS tapes with the DRM copy freely tag.
  • Using a FireWire connection from cable boxes to computers, VLC can stream live, unencrypted content to a monitor or HDTV.
  • VLC media player can display the playing video as the desktop wallpaper, like Windows DreamScene, by using DirectX (only available on Windows Operating Systems)
  • VLC media player can do screencasts and record the desktop.
  • On Microsoft Windows, VLC also supports the Direct Media Object (DMO) framework and can therefore make use of some third-party DLLs.
  • On most platforms, VLC can tune in to and view DVB-C, DVB-T and DVB-S channels. On Mac OS X the separate EyeTV plugin is required, on Windows it requires the card's BDA Drivers.
  • VLC can be installed and run directly from a flash or other external drive.
  • VLC can be extended through scripting. It uses the Lua scripting language.
  • VLC can play videos in the AVCHD format, a highly compressed format used in recent HD camcorders.

Format support

Readable formats

VLC can read several formats, depending on the operating system VLC is running on.

Input 
UDP/RTP unicast or multicast, HTTP, FTP, MMS, RTSP, RTMP, DVDs, VCD, SVCD, CD Audio, DVB, Video acquisition (via V4l and DirectShow), RSS/Atom Feeds, and from files stored on the user's computer.
Container formats
3GP, ASF, AVI, FLV, Matroska, Musical Instrument Digital Interface (.mid/.midi), QuickTime, MP4, Ogg, OGM, WAV, MPEG-2 (ES, PS, TS, PVA, MP3), AIFF, Raw audio, Raw DV, MXF, VOB.
Video formats
Cinepak, Dirac, DV, H.263, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, HuffYUV, Indeo 3, MJPEG, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 Part 2, RealVideo 3&4, Sorenson (thus enabling direct playback of the modified Sorenson H.263 encoded videos downloaded from YouTube), Theora, VC-1, VP5, VP6, WMV.
Subtitles
DVD, SVCD, DVB, OGM, SubStation Alpha, SubRip, Advanced SubStation Alpha, MPEG-4 Timed Text,Text file, Vobsub, MPL2, Teletext.
Audio formats
AAC, AC3, ALAC, AMR, DTS, DV Audio, XM, FLAC, MACE, Mod, MP3, PLS, QDM2/QDMC, RealAudio, Speex, Screamtracker 3/S3M, TTA, Vorbis, WavPack, WMA (WMA 1/2, WMA 3 partially).

Output formats for streaming/encoding

VLC can transcode into several formats depending on the operating system.

Container formats
ASF, AVI, FLV, Fraps, MP4, Ogg, Wav, MPEG-2 (ES, PS, TS, PVA, MP3), MPJPEG, FLAC, QuickTime, Matroska
Video formats
H.263, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, MJPEG, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 Part 2, VP5, VP6, Theora, DV
Audio formats
AAC, AC3, DV Audio, FLAC, MP3, Speex, Vorbis
Streaming protocols
UDP, HTTP, RTP, RTSP, MMS, File

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