Your media will never be the same.
In fact, with VideoLAN's VLC media player for Windows, Mac, and Linux, it doesn't have to be. One of the amazing things about VLC is that it can play anything that you've ever even thought about playing. That random media format that one site in Ecuador requires--VLC likely plays it, while Windows Media, Apple QuickTime, etc. likely will not.
This is, in part, a natural result of VLC's open-source heritage. Licensed under the GNU General Public License, VLC attracts a diverse array of developers with disparate media interests. Those interests translate into a media player that really can play every obscure media format I've ever thrown at it. (And in my hunger for Arsenal videos, I've found many different video formats that Windows Media, Apple QuickTime, etc. didn't know what to do with.)
Here are a few of the features now available in VLC 1.0.0:
- Live recording
- Instant pausing and frame-by-frame support
- Finer speed controls
- New HD codecs (AES3, Dolby Digital Plus, TrueHD, Blu-ray Linear PCM, Real Video 3.0 and 4.0, ...)
- New formats (Raw Dirac, M2TS, ...) and major improvements in many formats
- New Dirac encoder and MP3 fixed-point encoder
- Video scaling in full screen
- RTSP Trickplay support
- Zipped file playback
- Customizable toolbars
- Easier encoding GUI in Qt interface
- Better integration in Gtk environments
- MTP devices on Linux
- AirTunes streaming
I regularly use VLC to transcode media files, including files I originally streamed from the Web:
If you don't have VLC, I encourage you to download it and give it a try. It really is an amazing media player, one that has far more tricks up its sleeve than the proprietary media player that came with your computer.
Follow me on Twitter @mjasay.