Editors' Note: The VLC Media Player source code is also available.
VLC Media Player is a longtime open-source favorite, and the latest version offers fixes and feature enhancements for the Mac version that make it a must download. It's not the only option for free video playback, but it's one of the best, and it's often the go-to media player for Mac users who can't seem to play a specific media file.
VLC Media player offers a number of tools and customization options to manage and watch video. Users get frame-by-frame advancement; granular speed controls allowing for on-the-fly slower or faster playback; and live recording of streaming video. The toolbars are fully customizable, so you can have only the buttons you need in the interface.
This version comes with improvements to the interface, support for MxPEG files and streaming, and more. Along with minor tweaks, VLC continues to offer robust support for a wide range of video and audio formats, including OGG, MP2, MP3, MP4, DivX, HD codecs like AES3, Raw Dirac, and even support for playing back zipped files. It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network.
The default interface was improved in recent updates, but integrated skinning can make it even better. Behavior can still be a bit unpredictable depending on the quality of the skin, but VLC's open-source foundation and community ensures that it evolves quickly and often, with new features and fixes released frequently.
Overall, VLC Media Player is a must-have application for its ability to open just about any type of video file you throw at it, making it a great option for Mac users having trouble playing certain file types.
VLC (initially VideoLAN Client) is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats, including MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, MP3, and OGG, as well as for DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It also can be used as a server for unicast or multicast streams in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network.
What's new in this version:
Notable changes include improved reliability for MKV file playback, fixed MPEG2 audio and video encoding, pulseaudio synchronization, Mac OS interface, and other fixes. It also resolves potential security issues in HTML subtitle parser, freetype renderer, AIFF demuxer and SWF demuxer.