VLC Media Player

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VLC playing a video.

The VLC Media Player is a free open source cross-platform media player developed by VideoLAN primarily in C and C++ and first released on 2001-02-01.


  • Supports dozens of video, audio, and playlist formats. Too many to list.
  • Handles various streaming audio and video protocols. You can even use it to play and download YouTube videos.
  • Supports media on optical discs like CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray, including their menus and special features.
  • Can read and write metadata for many formats.
  • Can play sections from corrupt or partial files.
  • Has a vast array of features, customizations, and skins.
  • Uees Lua scripting for automation.


In my 20s, I was trying to find a replacement for the awful Windows Media Player and a whole host of other media players that I had installed on my computer to support the various popular video formats. After wrestling with MPlayer for awhile, I finally settled on VLC because it not only had extensive video format support, but also a decent user interface and simple and frequent updates. It has been my favorite video player since, so much that I don't even bother installing other players.


  • You can advance a single frame by using the hotkey 'e'. VLC doesn't support going backward a frame and the developers have repeatedly said they will not implement this feature. There are other media players which support going back a frame, so, if you want this feature, use one of them.


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