VLC Media Player 2.0.3 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

VLC Media Player

CNET Editors' note: The VLC Media Player source code is also available.

CNET Editors' review

What's the top media player? Opinions differ, but if you mean one that's open-source freeware, plays more files than the others, can be totally customized and configured to suit, and is not only updated frequently but also regularly offers new features and options created by a huge community of programmers and users, the answer is VLC Media Player.

Our default media player for years, VLC has managed to stay ahead of the competition in features and performance, if not always looks, though that's easy enough to fix if you want to. VLC and its source code are maintained by the all-volunteer VideoLAN Organization.

VLC is quick and easy to install. You can make VLC your default media player for various (or all) file types, but if you just want to try VLC without giving up your current player, you can skip the file associations. We clicked the familiar orange-and-white traffic cone icon to open VLC's famously plain interface, which is also a model of efficient layout design (and completely customizable, in any case: clicking the skinned player option in VideoLAN's Start Menu folder opens VLC in a sleek new view).

Effects? VLC has 'em: Audio, Video, and Synchronization effects, including a graphic equalizer with many presets; totally customizable dynamic range compression; an audio spatializer tool; AtmoLight video effects; interactive zoom; logos and overlays; and even special effects like blur, wave, water, and mirror effects. VLC's minimized interface hides the player's controls until you need them, and a raft of hot keys make it easy to toggle between views and to quickly access any of VLC's features. Playback quality is as good as it gets. We've used VLC to play MP3s, WAVs, CDs, DVDs, Flash video, and other formats. As for support, few programs of any sort can match VLC's Help files and wikis, and its dedicated community of users, forums and other online resources.

From myriad file types to playlists to codecs and video capture, if it's useful to have in a media player, VLC has probably got it or soon will. VLC plays everything: if there's a media file it can't play but should, just ask!

VLC Media Player:

Publisher's Description

More Products to Consider

  • VLC Media Player
    Play audio and video files in real-time and streaming modes.
    Download Or, Learn More About VLC Media Player

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • GOM Media Player
    Play video files of multiple video formats.
    Download Or, Learn More About GOM Media Player

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • UMPlayer
    Play virtually any media file in open-source cross-platform mul...
    Download Or, Learn More About UMPlayer

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Media Player Codec ...
    Play various types of video, audio, movie, music files in Media...
    Download Or, Learn More About Media Player Codec Pack

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • KMPlayer
    Play digital media of various formats including incomplete, par...
    Download Or, Learn More About KMPlayer

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Any Video Converter...
    Convert video and YouTube to AVI, WMV, MP4, FLV, MP3, burn vide...
    Download Or, Learn More About Any Video Converter Freeware

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • VLC Media Player Po...
    Play audio and video files on the go.
    Download Or, Learn More About VLC Media Player Portable

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Windows 7 Codec Pac...
    Play 99.9 percent of files with a collection of codecs for Wind...
    Download Or, Learn More About Windows 7 Codec Pack

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • RealPlayer Cloud
    Discover and play online videos, download, save, organize, and ...
    Download Or, Learn More About RealPlayer Cloud

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • SMPlayer
    Play any video and audio file including Youtube clips without t...
    Download Or, Learn More About SMPlayer

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • FormatFactory
    Convert your videos, audios, and pictures to preferable file fo...
    Download Or, Learn More About FormatFactory

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Windows Media Playe...
    Get fast and flexible digital-media playback with access to sma...
    Download Or, Learn More About Windows Media Player

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • GOM Audio
    Listen to audio files with light and simple audio player from t...
    Download Or, Learn More About GOM Audio

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Total Video Convert...
    Convert any formats video to iPad, iPhone, AVCHD, Blu-Ray, DVD.
    Download Or, Learn More About Total Video Converter

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • FLVPlayer
    Open FLV encoded video files.
    Download Or, Learn More About FLVPlayer

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Windows Media Playe...
    Get flexible audio and video playback with access to smart orga...
    Download Or, Learn More About Windows Media Player (Windows XP)

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Total Video Player
    Play video and audio files in various popular formats.
    Download Or, Learn More About Total Video Player

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Screencast-O-Matic
    Record video on your screen or with a webcam.
    Download Or, Learn More About Screencast-O-Matic

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Apple QuickTime
    Play MPEG-4 movies with AAC sound with latest version of Apple'...

    This download is served from an external site

    close

    NOTICE: This link will open a connection to a third-party site. CNET cannot ensure the security of software that is hosted on external sites.

    Continue to download

    Sponsored Products

    Visit Site Or, Learn More About Apple QuickTime
  • CherryPlayer
    Stream millions of music files and play any files.
    Download Or, Learn More About CherryPlayer

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Windows Media Playe...
    Get fast and flexible digital-media playback with access to sma...
    Download Or, Learn More About Windows Media Player (64-bit)

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Windows Media Playe...
    Plays more music and video than ever, including Flip Video and ...

    This download is served from an external site

    close

    NOTICE: This link will open a connection to a third-party site. CNET cannot ensure the security of software that is hosted on external sites.

    Continue to download

    Sponsored Products

    Visit Site Or, Learn More About Windows Media Player 12
  • XBMC
    Play audio and video files with this cross-platform player.
    Download Or, Learn More About XBMC

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Elycs
    Back up media to Blu-ray discs and access your media via HTTP p...
    Download Or, Learn More About Elycs

    Installed

    Smart Install
All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    4.2 stars

    out of 3,582 votes

    • 5 star: 1925
    • 4 star: 1109
    • 3 star: 241
    • 2 star: 117
    • 1 star: 190
  • Current version:

    4.2 stars

    out of 41 votes

    • 5 star: 23
    • 4 star: 10
    • 3 star: 4
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 4
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 41

  • 1.0 stars

    "Horrible at what I need it to do."

    October 15, 2012  |   By Blither

    Version: VLC Media Player 2.0.3

    Pros

    I won't argue with what CNET and the rest of the reviewers say about VLC; for all I know, they're right and it plays more file formats than any other player out there and has less problems doing so.

    Cons

    The BIG issue I have is that I have over 50,000 mp3's and I NEED a good media library database and player all in one. I was extremely disappointed with VLC in this regard - the media player ONLY allows me to sort by folders for songs. With Winamp I can sort by artist, title, track number, album, year, and about a hundred other criteria if I wish, as well as change mp3 tags easily.

    Summary

    I wanted VLC to replace Winamp (and looking back now, I'm not even sure why); unfortunately, it doesn't come close as a media library. I thought Itunes was bad, but this program is basically unusable for that. Hopefully some developer will take the ball and run with it. Provide support across every platform and every filetype AND provide a serious media library like Winamp, and you've got a winner.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (1)

  • 5.0 stars

    "The Best You Can Get."

    October 15, 2012  |   By Sdcl

    Version: VLC Media Player 2.0.3

    Pros

    - plays almost all files
    - you can easily speed up or slow down. (ideal if you are a guitar player and want to learn that awesome riff or lick)
    - you can loop (also great to learn that awesome solo)
    - easily use subtitles and you can sync them through software if they appear to slow or to fast
    - no heavy cpu-usage

    Cons

    not one I can think of.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 5.0 stars

    "One of the best"

    October 12, 2012  |   By redondo5000

    Version: VLC Media Player 2.0.3

    Pros

    Works with almost all media types (can't think of any that it doesn't work with!) Simple, doesn't add baggage to your computer.

    Cons

    nothing here

    Summary

    Extremely worthwhile addition!

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 5.0 stars

    "Best media player ever!"

    October 10, 2012  |   By msreanon

    Version: VLC Media Player 2.0.3

    Pros

    -Stable, never crashes (not even once)
    -Plays almost all formats (lets just say this is the only media player that was able to play my childhood videos from the early 90's)
    -User friendly and simple
    - Free and no annoying popups with offers or asking for donations etc.
    -Doesn't have a million useless upgrades
    -Subtitles supported

    Cons

    None so far, its been perfect.

    Summary

    Seriously....its the best.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 5.0 stars

    "Great, uncluttered solution for novice or power users."

    October 10, 2012  |   By llfomac

    Version: VLC Media Player 2.0.3

    Pros

    Simple, compact and versatile playback of many - probably all - the most used formats, even when they are less than perfect. (even the 'stabilized' Zapruder film of the JFK assasination). No sound problems so far (using Win-7 64 bit).

    Cons

    A small quibble: I wish the playback SPEED controls were more easily accesible. As it is you either go through the top menus (2 clicks) or Right click on screen plus menus (3 clicks), and often have to repeat the process. Also some kind of indicator as to level of speed change would be welcome.

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 4.0 stars

    "A very usable player"

    October 9, 2012  |   By macka591

    Version: VLC Media Player 2.0.3

    Pros

    Plays a wide variety of files.Easy to organise whatever media you are using.

    Cons

    If it could play midi files that would be great.

    Summary

    A great all round player.Worthy of serious consideration from anyone.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 5.0 stars

    "VLC Media Player, its free, and its great"

    October 6, 2012  |   By andyseaview

    Version: VLC Media Player 2.0.3

    Pros

    One word, options, when it comes to free media players the options usually take a hit unless you buy the paid version, but VLC has tons of options for sound and video, and the playback video looks great and sounds great, VLC is the best free media player you can get,

    Cons

    I see in some reviews about VLC having a virus or crashing, one thing people dont understand when you download a program is sometimes that certain program is clashing with some other program on your computer, so if you download VLC and have issues, then uninstall it because its not compatible with something on your computer, as far as a virus, VLC has no virus problems, and it has never crashed on me,

    Summary

    VLC Media player is the best free audio and video player you can get, if for some reason its not compatible with your computer than go to the second best media program, REAL PLAYER

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 5.0 stars

    "Best player !"

    September 29, 2012  |   By conradman71

    Version: VLC Media Player 2.0.3

    Pros

    Plays everything.

    Cons

    None so far.

    Summary

    Great player that plays every format I tried so far.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 1.0 stars

    "Virus after about 30 days"

    September 28, 2012  |   By frogsoffrance

    Version: VLC Media Player 2.0.3

    Pros

    Could have been a great program for older machines and new alike. Asking for donations fairly common. Has 264 encoding. Foreign Country (allegedly). I'm not alone, I see another had a virus. Someone in the chain before you get VLC alters the program, I don't know, mine occurred 3 years ago, with a direct cause & effect. It's a pain to register just to warn others. Maybe your luckier.

    Cons

    I'm not the only one to come up with a virus after using this program whatever the problem was. Avasti Virus Scanner ID the problem, I had Mcaffrey or McDaffy Virus Scanner, which didn't have a clue it destroyed windows xp & win 98. I had two hard drives at the time. It starts by hitting your video programs, so you can't correct it, in a few days everything becomes unusable junk. Virus scanner ID the program VLC, Makes a person want to reach out and touch someone several times. Reading rodmbauer statement brought back memories, so I'm going through this trouble to warn you.

    Summary

    It was a great and easy to use program. I can't say they knew personally the viral potential, it may have been modified by the download server (giving the benefit of a doubt). At that time contacting them was impossible, just numbers of all the clients (allegedly) downloading the product.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (2)

  • 4.0 stars

    "good player"

    September 26, 2012  |   By rashupkin80

    Version: VLC Media Player 2.0.3

    Pros

    open all formats

    Cons

    sometimes not open some formats

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (2)

Results 1-10 of 41

Add Your Review

Log in or create an account to post a review.
You are logged in as . Please submit your review for VLC Media Player 2.0.3
Add Your Review

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.
Click here to review our site terms of use.

Submit your reply

Submit

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.
Click here to review our site terms of use.

cancel

E-mail this review

Submit cancel

Report offensive content

If you believe this comment is offensive or violates the CNET's Site Terms of Use, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the comment). Once reported, our staff will be notified and the comment will be reviewed.

Select type of offense:

Offensive: Sexually explicit or offensive language
Spam: Advertisements or commercial links
Disruptive posting: Flaming or offending other users
Illegal activities: Promote cracked software, or other illegal content
Submit cancel

Previous Versions:

Error

close

ERROR MESSAGE

If you think this is an error, please contact CNET TechTracker Support for further assistance.

Ok

Running Request

close

loading

Smart Install Software

close

CNET TechTracker will now automatically install software without requiring further action by you. (Note: This feature automatically accepts associated EULAs and third party applications on your behalf.)

You have selected the following software to Smart Install:

CNET TechTracker will attempt to install this software without interrupting you again. If an application requires manual installation, CNET TechTracker will download the installer and prompt you to take further action.

Proceed with Smart Install?

Confirm Standard Install Cancel

Submit a problem report for VLC Media Player

close

Please describe the problem you have with this software. This information will be sent to our editors for review.

Problem:

The CNET Installer isn't working as expected

The download link does not work

The software has a newer version

The software contains malware

Other

Description:

Please select a feedback type.

Please enter a description.

Submit Problem Report

Problem Report submitted

close

Thank you for submitting a problem report! The Download team is committed to providing you with accurate software information.

OK

Or, Learn More About VLC Media Player

Installed

Smart Install
VLC Media Player