VideoLan Client 1.0
VideoLAN Client is free, open-source video- and audio-playing software.
- Free, open source
- Hard to complain about much given that it's free
VideoLAN Client is an essential download for anyone that watches video or plays music on their PC. It’s a powerful tool that is now less intimidating to use, thanks to its steady refinement over several years, resulting in a less ‘techy’ preferences setup, for example.
Some of the finest software available is free and can offer facilities simply not available elsewhere. One of the best examples of the creed is VideoLAN Client, an open-source video and audio player, in development for over ten years now and, at time of press, still not even branded as far as Version 1. But it's getting extraordinarily close now, and more than worthy of investigation.
Don't be fooled by the sub-1.0 release candidate name. Where many commercial software producers routinely sell you software that is riddled with bugs, adding on new version numbers to give the verisimilitude of completeness, VideoLAN Client has been stable and fully featured for more than five years of its 10-year life.
VideoLAN Client started life as a French academic project to enable schools and colleges to play DVD films over a college network. Given the restrictions mandated by the controlling DVD Forum, which tries to dictate where and how you can watch a DVD film you owned, it was perhaps little surprise that there would appear a way to work around these binds.
Indeed, there is a theory that the rise in the popularity of the DVD discs was helped not simply by the improved picture quality and versatility of a CD-sized disc when compared to a VHS cassette, but by the capability of software like VideoLAN Client, who ensured that we could enjoy on our own terms the media ‘locked' into the discs. VLC is still one of the best ways to play DVD films on any computer without recourse to changing Region Code settings on the DVD drive itself.
The term Swiss Army knife may be over-used but it's entirely applicable to VideoLAN Client, able as it is to open and play just about any music or video file you throw at it. For music, it will play MP3, WMA and WAV of course, and also lossless FLAC, Dolby Digital (AC3), AAC, even high-grade DTS audio from DVD films. For video, it understands container formats such as VOB (for DVD films), QuickTime, AVI and more recent developments such as MTS (Matroshka).
Subtitles are recognised and available for overlaying when the necessary text file is in the same folder as the video, and font size colour and type can be readily adjusted to taste. If a video file has been rendered with the wrong aspect ratio, this can be easily adjusted between a number of common preset ratios. And for interlaced video it's possible to add on-the-fly deinterlacing using one of seven signal processors.
Post processing is another selectable option to clean up poor quality footage.
Recent additions to the software included overlaid graphics for video control when in full-screen mode (easily activated by double-clicking anywhere in the picture frame).
It's also very straightforward to create playlists, for both video and audio files, with random play as an option.
Another asset is VLC's streaming media capabilities, ideal for receiving internet radio and television stations.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Drupal fixes critical access bypass vulnerability
- Hackers use old Stuxnet-related bug to carry out attacks
- Microsoft will cut services to standalone Office users so they’ll subscribe to Office 365
- Microsoft commits to a permament schedule for new Windows 10, Office updates
- OK Google, let's get personal
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPEnterprise ArchitectQLD
- TPProgram Manager - 12 month contractQLD
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTPayroll Systems AnalystQLD
- FTNetwork EngineerSA
- FTDrupal Developer - Senior or Mid levelQLD
- CCJava Developer / System Designer - Aus Citizens OnlyWA
- FTSolution Architect - SecurityVIC
- FTOSS Developer - BPM (Business Process Manager) SMEVIC
- CCSenior Project OfficerNSW
- TPRegional Level 2/3 Desktop Support AnalystVIC
- CCSenior Network Architect l CCNP/CCIE R&S l Cisco ACINSW
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTWindows Server Engineer MCSE, SCCM, SCOM, PowershellNSW
- FTHR Business Analyst / Performance Management SMENSW
- TPBusiness Analyst | HealthcareQLD
- FTSenior Software Engineer - JavaACT
- CCSAP CRM Functional AnalystVIC
- FTSalesforce Project LeadQLD
- FTICT Program Manager- Transformation - Gov backgroundNSW
- TPSQL Server DeveloperNSW
- CCPlatform Engineer - DevOpsVIC
- CCSolution Architect - Network Operations/Design - TelcoVIC
- CCCitrix SpecialistACT
- TPService Desk OperatorQLD