VLC Media Player 2.1.0 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

VLC Media Player

CNET Editors' note: VLC is an open source product developed by VideoLAN Project licensed under GNU GPL v2. The VLC Media Player source code is also available for download from Download.com.

This logo or a modified version may be used or modified by anyone to refer to the VideoLAN project or any product developed by the VideoLAN team, but does not indicate endorsement by the project.

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
  • 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
  • Winamp Lite
    Play and organize a variety of audio and video files.
    Download Or, Learn More About Winamp Lite

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • 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:

    3.1 stars

    out of 20 votes

    • 5 star: 8
    • 4 star: 2
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 4
    • 1 star: 6
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 20

  • 5.0 stars

    "A solid, versatile player."

    November 12, 2013  |   By swanjame

    Version: VLC Media Player 2.1.0

    Pros

    Downloads, installs, and updates easily. Particularly good with subtitle and audio track management.

    Cons

    I did not get notification that it had been updated and I needed the update. The first clue I got was when my old version would not work right.

    Summary

    A solid, versatile player.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 5.0 stars

    "Tried them all. This is the best"

    November 12, 2013  |   By batsdude

    Version: VLC Media Player 2.1.0

    Pros

    One fine player with NEARLY everything to like.

    Cons

    Not many. Would prefer a "random play" that does not require creating a playlist. When you've got thousands of songs, who's got the time for playlists? Just go to my audio file and play them randomly! It's not that complicated. The audio equalizer leaves a lot to be desired as the 'presets' all need to be re "painted" for your own pc.

    Summary

    The best one I've come across, and I've tried dozens, despite the little drawbacks. I installed this and deleted MS' player years ago!

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 4.0 stars

    "No Problems, Using with XP Sp3 system."

    November 11, 2013  |   By poppersarm

    Version: VLC Media Player 2.1.0

    Pros

    Runs almost all video formats.

    Cons

    None that I know of.

    Summary

    Sooner or later you will need it for either sound or video formats that are not supported by Windows Media player or Real Player or Quicktime.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 1.0 stars

    "VIRUSES! This version is botched."

    November 9, 2013  |   By panda_express

    Version: VLC Media Player 2.1.0

    Pros

    If you want a media player that destroys your machine, you should download this version of VLC! If not, heed this warning and read below. VLC is an excellent media player, but this version of the download is botched.

    Cons

    Trogans & malware come with this downloadable version of VLC!

    DO NOT DOWNLOAD this version! I bought a new machine and wanted to add VLC to it since I have used it before (on an OSX platform) but immediately began noticing signs of malware (ie. strange and fake-looking pop ups in my browser searches). Looked at my uninstall programs list and noticed a bunch of fishy looking software downloaded at the same time that I installed VLC. Ie. Trogans and malware software automatically download alongside the player. I uninstalled the visible programs that looked suspicious and ran a scan using Microsoft Security Essentials. This removed the hidden trogans that I could not see in the Uninstall programs area.

    Summary

    Bad version! Don't download this.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 5.0 stars

    "Simple and simple key features to handle."

    November 3, 2013  |   By RSUDH

    Version: VLC Media Player 2.1.0

    Pros

    Simple and simple key features to handle.

    Cons

    Simple and simple key features to handle.

    Summary

    Simple and simple key features to handle.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (1)

  • 2.0 stars

    "Very Slow to old but good machines"

    October 29, 2013  |   By VAUVAU

    Version: VLC Media Player 2.1.0

    Pros

    Is good to play many formats but... (read on cons)

    Cons

    Very slow to play many HD and Full HD video.
    Especially to not so nedw machines but not so old machines.
    Other players play same HD and Full HD video faster to much faster.

    Summary

    I don't know why the programmers of VLC make it more and more heavy to play to many machines. Is very heavy and only new machines can do the job ! Pity. Only some slow rate bits per sec HDD video.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 5.0 stars

    "Good Video Player"

    October 27, 2013  |   By handale

    Version: VLC Media Player 2.1.0

    Pros

    Support many formats

    Cons

    interface is ugly

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (2)

  • 2.0 stars

    "barely usable"

    October 20, 2013  |   By spyready

    Version: VLC Media Player 2.1.0

    Pros

    So few it's sad

    Cons

    Almost as many as for Real Player

    Summary

    Disgusted with real Player's recent and sudden changes, we tried this one on for size at your recommendation using Win7 on our PC. Followed the steps indicated, and did everything correctly as far as we can make out.
    It would only play around 1/3 to 1/2 of that stored media which Real Player ALWAYS would play before they changed their policy re freeware.
    We felt confident CNET would not steer us wrong, but unfortunately this was not the case.
    It plays most flv's, but only a few MP4's--and these without the sound.
    They were played following downloading WITH SOUND by the formerly functional Real Player. The sound is still in there--but neither VLC nor Real Player will play them.
    If those of us complaining here have not followed the directions well enough owing to lack of experience in such matters, perhaps you might offer us a tutorial to aid with the installation process?
    Otherwise, please don't endorse what works well for only some of us as if it were excellent. VLC did not even work as well as our Real Player once did. So how can it be that great?
    Sorry guys!
    It AIN'T great.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (1) (0)

  • 5.0 stars

    "Very Good."

    October 16, 2013  |   By hl2dapper

    Version: VLC Media Player 2.1.0

    Pros

    Efficiency.

    Cons

    None. ....

    Summary

    Very Good.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (2)

  • 1.0 stars

    "Contains a virus, DO NOT USE"

    October 16, 2013  |   By Addersbite

    Version: VLC Media Player 2.1.0

    Pros

    Used to love VLC, sucks now.

    Cons

    Bundles software including a redirector virus. DO NOT DOWNLOAD!!!! I had to reformat to get rid of the virus

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (3) (0)

Results 1-10 of 20

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 2.1.0
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