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VLC 0.9.9, The Best Media Player Just Got Better

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the open-source-ahead-of-the-pack dept.

Software 488

Matt Asay points out a recent update to VLC as they narrow in on a 1.0 release. Already a favorite of many, the open source project has made great strides in recent history towards really solidifying the position as best-in-class. This update, 0.9.9, fixes several display bugs and sees some definite performance improvements. "If you've yet to try VLC, do so. Whether you just want to play media files or also want to convert them, VLC can handle just about anything you throw at it. When all other media players fail, whether on Windows, Linux, or the Mac, VLC will almost always deliver. You can download VLC media player 0.9.9 here. It's open source, but that's not why you'll want to keep using it. You'll use it because it's better than its proprietary peers — by a long stretch.

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First (-1, Offtopic)

zoobaby (583075) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446675)

or third

Better than mplayer? (5, Insightful)

Murpster (1274988) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446717)

Color me skeptical.

Re:Better than mplayer? (1, Insightful)

.Bruce Perens (150539) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446751)

yah it fuken rox

STFU Bruce. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27446999)

You suck my rox. And use some creme to get rid of that thing on your .name

Re:Better than mplayer? (5, Insightful)

Bashae (1250564) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446759)

I'm a Windows user. I prefer Media Player Classic to VLC. It just works better for me.

Re:Better than mplayer? (2, Interesting)

whiledo (1515553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447013)

Ditto. For those few times when MPC won't play something or has a problem playing it smoothly, I fire up SMPlayer.

Re:Better than mplayer? (5, Informative)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447037)

Not sure why this guy got modded Troll. Case in point, I got the most recent BSG DVDs and tried to play them on everything I had. VLC didn't work beyond the root screen. Windows Media Player failed. Intervideo DVD player crashed every time. It wasn't until I loaded the K lite codec full [free-codecs.com] that I could get it to play...and only on the Media Player Classic frontend.

Don't get me wrong, I use VLC for most all other things, but they don't include proprietary codecs with the program. You can get them, but they don't always work.

Re:Better than mplayer? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27447123)

Not sure why this guy got modded Troll

Probably ignorant knee-jerk Microsoft hatred (someone assuming Media Player Classic is a MS offering. It isn't.)

Re:Better than mplayer? (1, Interesting)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447201)

Not sure why this guy got modded Troll. Case in point, I got the most recent BSG DVDs and tried to play them on everything I had. VLC didn't work beyond the root screen. Windows Media Player failed. Intervideo DVD player crashed every time. It wasn't until I loaded the K lite codec full that I could get it to play...and only on the Media Player Classic frontend.

I have an Ice Age 2 DVD that won't play on anything except my custom-compiled mplayer. Doesn't even work with the same version on Windows.

Re:Better than mplayer? (5, Informative)

eball (1315601) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447439)

Yes, VLC has a bad habit of only using its own codecs (even when "Use System Codecs" is selected), so if they don't cover what you need, or there are better ones out there, you're not taking advantage of that.

My preference is for MPC, particularly the one bundled with the CCCP (cccp-project.net). MPC works wonderfully for pretty much everything, and what it lacks in interface is more than made up for in features. And the CCCP version is customized to run as smoothly as possible with the codecs it comes with (plus, if there's anyone I trust with getting the most out of my videos, it's the geeks of the anime encoding community behind the CCCP).

Re:Better than mplayer? (2, Insightful)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447521)

I got the most recent BSG DVDs and tried to play them on everything I had. VLC didn't work beyond the root screen. Windows Media Player failed. Intervideo DVD player crashed every time. It wasn't until I loaded the K lite codec full [free-codecs.com] that I could get it to play...and only on the Media Player Classic frontend.

Sounds worse than DRM!

Re:Better than mplayer? (4, Insightful)

queequeg1 (180099) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447115)

+1. Media Player Classic has been so good on difficult files that if it fails, I generally just give up (on the assumption that figuring out how to play such a difficult file will be more trouble than it's worth).

Re:Better than mplayer? (1)

santiagodraco (1254708) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447455)

I have to agree. Media Player Classic is the best player around. Why? Because it's simple and it just works.

Re:Better than mplayer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27447535)

Ignorant fools! Zoomplayer is the only way to go on Windows.

VLC crashes a lot (2, Informative)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447563)

Recently I tried to play a DVD, and vlc crashed on me after a few seconds.

I thought maybe I needed the latest version, so I downloaded the latest at that time v0.9.8a, and while it seems they have finally made the subtitles look better, it crashed too.

Media Player Classic and Windows Media Player had no probs playing it.

I also never managed to get VLC to remember the deinterlace setting I pick (I tried the various filter and stupid obscure config stuff found on google and still it didn't work).

Overall I have a bad impression of VLC. Best to only use it if the other players can't play it.

p.s. if you are using Media Player Classic, avoid the haali media splitter crap. It causes crashes and instability[1], especially if you are using it with other stuff like windows movie maker (which someone found out the hard way - not me fortunately).

[1] http://www.afterdawn.com/software/video_software/codecs_and_filters/haalimediasplitter.cfm [afterdawn.com]

Re:Better than mplayer? (2, Interesting)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447585)

Try Zoom Player. It comes with the CCCP pack and much easier to use than VLC, looks better, may not have some of the same functionality but for playback it's unbeatable. Also, the scroll-wheel zoom in/out feature rocks.

VLC still has issues on my machine where I'll hit the spacebar to pause, then hit it again and the file will 6 out of 10 times start playback at half speed.

MPC has issues with subtitles.

Re:Better than mplayer? (0, Troll)

gapagos (1264716) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446771)

mplayer is like RealPlayer if you compare it to VLC.
*AHHH* MY EYES, IT BURNS****

Re:Better than mplayer? (4, Informative)

Murpster (1274988) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446897)

I've never found any videos or audio files mplayer doesn't play. I can use command lines and not have to be burdened by some silly GUI with mplayer (but it has a GUI for people who are keyboard-impaired). It has that super-useful -dumpstream feature for saving audio files off of the net which streaming sites make difficult for people to save. It lets you convert files between different formats, separately rip out the audio or video parts of a movie, or replace the audio track to a movie (or add audio to a silent video). How much of this does VLC do?

Re:Better than mplayer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27447103)

all of it. and then some. vlc also allows for sreaming video out to other clients on your network, for one thing.

Re:Better than mplayer? (5, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447589)

Its a bloody video player man. It goes without saying that the OUTPUT is GRAPHICAL. Why wouldn't you want to USE a GRAPHICAL user interface to it?

I can almost forgive elitism in some avenues, but this is just making your life more complicated for no good reason.

Re:Better than mplayer? (1)

almostinsane (770051) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446863)

I'll take hardware acceleration for $100, Alex.

Re:Better than mplayer? (1)

Cube Steak (1520237) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447001)

You mean like the VDPAU support that it got as soon as nVIDIA released the patches? mplayer also supports xMBC as well. So what exactly are you talking about?

Re:Better than mplayer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27446905)

Better than mplayer?

Exactly

You can measure how 'good' a media player is on:

* quality of media reproduction
* user interface
* codec support

On quality there is no way vlc beats mplayer.

The UI in VLC is messy and confusing

I don't know about VLC codec support, but I've only found one weird intel codec that mplayer can't play.

Still VLC is a good piece of software...

Slightly off topic:
Everyone is going HD crazy, but the actual quality of standard def video can vary so much depending on your player. If bad players (not aimed at VLC) are used for HD then your video could end up looking worse

Re:Better than mplayer? (4, Informative)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447685)

Using VLC for HD video, especially 1080p video, is horrible compared to Zoom Player. Most anime I get now is in high-def, and VLC has issues with keeping up with the video when I skip to points - it takes about 10 seconds for VLC to catch up and display the video. Zoom Player is instantaneous. MPC isn't as fast but you don't get the annoying compression blocks like VLC gives you when skipping around a video file.

Also, on VLC, when I try playing an MP3, I have to reset the damned EQ every time the song changes - that gets annoying as hell.

Re:Better than mplayer? (5, Informative)

skinlayers (621258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446919)

Sorry... though I appreciate VLC, I think its far from the best media player. My vote would go to the numerous incarnation of MPlayer [mplayerhq.hu] . From Xbox Media Center [xbmc.org] to SMPlayer on Linux [sourceforge.net] and Windows [dummwiedeutsch.de] to MPlayer OSX Extended [mplayerosx.sttz.ch] on Mac OS X, MPlayer has always been able to play whatever weird codec or container I toss at it. Meanwhile, every time I've attempted to use VLC (mainly on OS X) I've become frustrated by hangs and crashes... Maybe I'll hate this version a little less?

Re:Better than mplayer? (3, Insightful)

Mooga (789849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447063)

I know I'm going to be hated, but VLC simply lacks a USABLE GUI. Give me Media Player Classic (MPC) with klite codec pack any day over VLC. I've tried to get used to VLC and I can't do it. I will give Mplayer a try though. I've use it in a Kubuntu VM and the experience is iffy at best...

Re:Better than mplayer? (-1, Troll)

Murpster (1274988) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447137)

*buntu is the MicroSoft Bob of Linux. Try a real distribution, and preferably not under a VM (at least not a VM that has to rely on Windohs). You'll get much better performance. There are multiple GUIs for mplayer, some are pretty good... but I love that it doesn't require a GUI. A good command line interface makes mplayer even better.

Re:Better than mplayer? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447249)

USABLE GUI

THANK YOU. Somewhere along the line they borked up the GUI starting with anything after 0.8.6. The current GUI looks like it was designed by the MOSAIC team for compatibility with Win3.1

Re:Better than mplayer? (4, Informative)

Shark (78448) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447575)

The switch from vxWorks to QT was a pretty heated debate. And I think our side lost...

They had fairly good reasons for it, but it still makes me unhappy. I'm not complaining though, it made me switch to mplayer which is a lot nicer to me after some tweaking.

Re:Better than mplayer? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447423)

I don't really like the new interface either; it takes up too much space. I mostly use the keyboard shortcuts anyway.

What really bugs me, though, is that they completely re-did the playlist and it's now virtually unusable. I haven't been able to figure out how to get the files to sort and play in the order I want them to. At least the old playlist, buggy as it was with its drag-and-drop, allowed me to set the order.

One thing I do wish they'd do is make it capture snapshots at the scaled resolution instead of the original size.

Re:Better than mplayer? (1)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447139)

VLC on my OSX system has only successfully played one DVD for me. Since then it steadfastly refuses to play anything. Not sure why... I've taken to running it on a Windows system, which has no problems.

I use it because it lets me play movies without sitting through unskippable crap and accusations of being an international criminal, etc.

I'll give this new VLC version a try. I'll also try the MPlayer version you mentioned. Thanks.

Re:Better than mplayer? (1)

qwertphobia (825473) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447243)

Check out MPlayer OSX Extended. It's the bees knees.

Re:Better than mplayer? (2, Interesting)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447199)

Indeed. Does it rescale video decently now, or is it still a pixelated mess (see, this worked fine in old versions, and then, somewhere along the line, it got broken. "It was ffmpeg's fault," but somehow mplayer didn't have the same problem)? And when you use it to transcode, does it produce MPEG-2 output that is correct-enough to be played by... any other player? 'Cus it hasn't yet in any version I've tried previously. And how about subtitles; does it handle them correctly now?

(VLC has an identity crisis. Once upon a time, it was supposed to be for network video streaming. Now it's competing as yet-another-general-purpose-media-player.)

New, but not necessarily better. (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447363)

I tried 0.9.9. I had to downgrade back to 0.8.6d to get H264 video streaming to work. So, if you use that feature - don't upgrade.

Re:Better than mplayer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27447551)

mplayer still doesn't use hardware acceleration. It's 2009 buddy, not 1999.

Saying your the best will only lead to a letdown. (0, Flamebait)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446721)

I am sorry, There will be that one feature that someone needs that it doesn't do that someone else handles or handles better, so for them the other program will be better.

Besides saying your the best only makes you look like a jerk.

Re:Saying your the best will only lead to a letdow (3, Insightful)

Murpster (1274988) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446801)

Using "your" for "you're" and accusing someone of bragging when a third party says it's the best also makes you look like a jerk.

Re:Saying your the best will only lead to a letdow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27447171)

Oh yea Umm being a spelling/gramar nazi is more of jerk.

Re:Saying your the best will only lead to a letdow (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27447297)

I think I speak for most of the community when I say "shut the fuck up, you illiterate retard."

Re:Saying your the best will only lead to a letdow (0, Troll)

whiledo (1515553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447689)

Not really. You certainly don't speak for the part of the community that knows the grammar rules but still makes a typo now and then.

Fine we can just change it then. (5, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446971)

"VLC: Best media player for jerks!"

Re:Saying your the best will only lead to a letdow (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447417)

Well, it may be the best "overall" media player, but I've found it's not better than mediocre in any area. I ended up having three or four media players, and just using one based on what I'm watching/listening to.

About all I used VLC for is my TV Tuner because I didn't feel like getting MythTV set up, and along with a command line channel switcher, it worked fine.

1.0, what's the big deal? (1)

NervousNerd (1190935) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446741)

0.9.x seemed to me as more of a 1.0 release.

VLC is OK. (5, Insightful)

c0l0 (826165) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446747)

VLC is an OK media playback application. I, for one, never understood why someone would prefer it over using mplayer [mplayerhq.hu] . It's got all the nice libavcodec improvements first, and is the perfect example of unintrusive UI design (note that I'm talking about the CLI-only `mplayer`, not `gmplayer` or any other graphical front-end).

Re:VLC is OK. (4, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446865)

Admittedly a command line is pretty much the only thing that could be more minimal than the VLC interface, but you're probably in a fairly niche market if you find a CLI media player to be the most intuitive. Each to their own and all that, though.

Re:VLC is OK. (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447633)

But the best thing about mplayer, is that there are many GUIs for it. I use kmplayer as its pretty minimal but saves me from the CLI, but smplayer is fairly good too and im sure there are plenty more.

Re:VLC is OK. (4, Interesting)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446885)

why someone would prefer it over using mplayer

On Mac machines. VLC is one of those rare applications that works best on Macintosh. My personal preference for it stems from the clean GUI, the working DVD support, and the fact that it will actually play full-screen on your second monitor while still letting you work on the first monitor in other applications.

It's also a fine player on Windows and Linux - though not as compelling as those platforms have other very good choices.

Re:VLC is OK. (4, Informative)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446907)

mplayer plays almost everything I've thrown at it. It even handles corrupt files pretty well. VLC dies a horrible death if the file is corrupt, even with just a few bytes being messed up in a header.

mplayer gets my vote for being the BEST player out there, not only because it supports most everything, and has an unintrusive UI as the parent post pointed out, but also because it doesn't hang and crash when it runs into data that isn't perfect.

Re:VLC is OK. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27447153)

I agree. VLC has a poopy interface and has locked up more than a few times when trying to run files.

I love MPlayer.

Another good player is AL Show [altools.com]

Re:VLC is OK. (1)

EvilIdler (21087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447331)

VLC is the player on Mac and Windows which is least picky about mildly corrupted files, but any version crashes frequently for me.

I've found a few ways to fairly consistently make it crash, on four different computers, with a mix of OS X, Windows XP, Vista 32/64 and Ubuntu 8.x+:
1.Dragging a bunch of files into VLC and playing, then adding more will sometimes crash.
2.Dragging a directory of MP3s will crash it most of the time.
3.Adding files one at a time before even playing will sometimes crash it.

It seems that crashes are a guarantee when the files involved are MP3s, less so with any other format. I think I've *never* seen failure when FLAC was the only type involved, for some reason. I'm sticking to Kaffeine on Linux and QT+Perian on Mac.

Re:VLC is OK. (1)

hydromike2 (1457879) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447483)

vlc is fantastic, when im downloading a season on something and the file is only 80-90% done im too impaitent to wait, doesnt take to long for it to build an index and goes right along playing

Re:VLC is OK. (3, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446909)

the perfect example of unintrusive UI design (note that I'm talking about the CLI-only `mplayer`, not `gmplayer` or any other graphical front-end).

That doesn't strike me as being an unintrusive UI, so much as the omission of a visible UI. That's intrusive in its own right, since it leaves you fumbling for controls until you read the manual and memorize the keys.

Unintrusive UIs would probably be what VLC/Quicktime use on OS X, with a control set that fades in and out if you move the mouse, in addition to the keyboard actions.

Re:VLC is OK. (4, Informative)

YttriumOxide (837412) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447065)

Unintrusive UIs would probably be what VLC/Quicktime use on OS X, with a control set that fades in and out if you move the mouse, in addition to the keyboard actions.

Don't forget support for the apple remote... that's one thing (out of several) I really love about VLC actually - sitting back on my couch and watching movies/TV with the ability to control it from the apple remote (which regardless of ones thoughts on Apple products in general, is a very nice little remote just for the simplicity). It's actually pretty much all I ever use the remote for as well, since I'm not much of an audiophile and FrontRow is just useless to me.

Re:VLC is OK. (1)

tyleroar (614054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446921)

Because they use Windows? Or even if they are using Linux, why should they have to drop down to the command line to play a video?

Re:VLC is OK. (2, Informative)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446995)

Be sure to grab some BASH completion scripts for MPlayer's startup command line parameters. Most distros have them maintained as packages.

The CLI is fine, but I don't like reading its manpage *every* darn time...

Re:VLC is OK. (1)

Murpster (1274988) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447237)

Or use zsh, which has fantastic tab completion for lots of things.

Re:VLC is OK. (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447307)

No matter what shell you're using, someone has to write the tab completion scripts. Maybe it's easier done in ZSH, I don't know... but ZSH alone doesn't do magic.

Re:VLC is OK. (5, Funny)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447043)

I'm sort of surprised at the arguments.

Both VLC and mplayer are so insanely good, so much better than any alternatives, that it's kind of like arguing about whether you should drink belgian beer or german beer compared to drinking raw sewage.

Re:VLC is OK. (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447157)

Personally, I like the cross-platform streaming.

I use it to stream video from my Ubuntu TV rig to VLC on my fiancee's WinXP box.

Re:VLC is OK. (2, Interesting)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447159)

VLC is an OK media playback application. I, for one, never understood why someone would prefer it over using mplayer [mplayerhq.hu] .

I used mplayer for years, I tried a windows binary, didn't like it much. The command prompt is horrible in windows, and all of the GUIs I've found just didn't work all that well. VLC was a nice slim media player, worked well with any file I threw at it (like mplayer), it had a nice playlist I could drag and drop files onto, and it was easy to use. Same thing on my mac.

In linux I use mplayer for everything, but linux is more command line based, I'm used to it. I know how to quickly navigate a linux system with the command line. There isn't some fancy windows explorer or finder that I want to integrate nicely with on linux so mplayer works just fine for me in that situation. But seeing as how most people use windows or mac, VLC is very easy to install and will play just about anything, it's kind of obvious why most people would use it.

Re:VLC is OK. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27447613)

I use VLC on Windows and OS X. Easy to install, plays DVD's, etc.

On Linux with plain videos I'm most likely to use Xine and if Xine can't handle it then I use mplayer. Xine is a little more stable and tends to be more accurate when seeking (most of the time) compared to mplayer. I sometimes use mplayer to get the video/audio stream information though because it's easy to print out from the command line. I do use VLC for DVD's most of the time just because DVD playback tends to be more straightforward with VLC.

-1, slashvertisement (0, Troll)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446855)

Slashdot is starting to get like usenet. My first step every time I get on usenet is to filter out all the spam about porn and shoes. My first action every time I get on slashdot is to filter out which stories are mistakes, FUD, or slashvertisements. It seems like the firehose system has drastically reduced the signal to noise ratio.

Re:-1, slashvertisement (1, Troll)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446951)

Who paid slashdot for this slashvertisement?

Seriously?

Re:-1, slashvertisement (1)

LotsOfPhil (982823) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447079)

My first step every time I get on usenet is to filter out all the spam about porn and shoes. My first action every time I get on slashdot is to filter out which stories are mistakes, FUD, or slashvertisements.

...my second step is to post on those stories?

Re:-1, slashvertisement (1)

whiledo (1515553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447193)

You're confusing advertising with evangelism. Slashdot has ALWAYS been heavy into the tech evangelism.

Have they fixed the bug yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27446957)

...that doesn't allow you to arbitrarily (without regard to the original aspect ratio) re-size the playback window? I had to roll back from version 9.whatever to 8.whatever when they added that bug. Someone thought it would be funny to have enormous chunks of screen real estate taken over so the playback window could show black bars around it.

Not so hot for hi def content (3, Insightful)

HardCase (14757) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446959)

VLC has been a non-starter for me because I can't use better performing codecs for high definition content. The internal codec doesn't approach the performance of several other codecs. I'm sticking with Media Player Classic for my XP system. It's a much better player.

By the way, does anybody else feel like the story's headline looks like it came straight from Digg?

Anybody know how to get spdif working? (1)

Mascot (120795) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446961)

You'll use it because it's better than its proprietary peers

It's also the only player I can't get to output properly to spdif on any computer I try it on. It's the _only_ player I can't get to output to spdif.

It did work on the versions a few years back, but those are useless with current codecs and containers so that's no help. For the past umpteen versions it has output nothing but looping sound. If anybody knows the magic to fix that I'd be thrilled. But Mplayer Classic HC and ffdshow does the job pretty well so it's not a big deal.

Re:Anybody know how to get spdif working? (1)

Mascot (120795) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447085)

That was supposed to be "Media Player Classic", not mplayer. But I'm sure nobody intentionally misunderstood that... For sure..

mp4 issues fixed? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446963)

It's kind of annoying to have to keep a copy of VLC 0.9.x and 0.8.6i around - have they fixed the mp4 issues that were introduced with the 0.9 series yet?

Depends on my OS (2, Interesting)

esocid (946821) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446973)

in fedora I use mplayer. In vista/xp I use VLC. WMP and WMPC would crash occasionally no matter what, and never seemed to load all codecs properly. Arguing which one is better is like driving a car in reverse and blindfolded...it just doesn't make sense.

Revert interface to 0.8.6, or use OSX GUIfor win32 (5, Informative)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 5 years ago | (#27446987)

VLC peaked at version 0.8.6. This was the last version to use the "correct" user interface on windows. That version was a very easy to use interface that looked like it had been designed after 1995. The 0.9 and forward versions have a poorly designed interface that looks like they ripped off the Mosaic interface for Win 3.1
 
VLC has an amazing GUI (Especially at full-screen mode) for OSX, and the linux version isn't far behind. I don't see why VLC for WIN32 has to be so awful, considering that Win32 is by far their largest audience.
 
VLC hasnt added any significant functionality since 0.8.6 so while I'll check out recent releases, until they fix the awful interface that is on all the 0.9.x series, I'm sticking with that. Yes, I am aware that 0.9.x is skinnable, but there is no true "classic" skin for the 0.9.x series.

Re:Revert interface to 0.8.6, or use OSX GUIfor wi (1)

mrzebra (103509) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447263)

Agreed. The new user interface for full screen mode in Windows is terrible. I will actually use it in 'maximum window' mode instead of full screen just so I can get the full-width slider bar. Trying to find a place in a two hour movie on a two-inch slider bar in full-screen mode is ridiculously difficult.

Re:Revert interface to 0.8.6, or use OSX GUIfor wi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27447295)

THIS. VLC may be capable, but I find myself using it as a last resort. While Media Player Classic is more-or-less on par with VLC in terms of playback compatibility, I prefer it almost exclusively for the UI. VLC looks like shit on Windows.

Re:Revert interface to 0.8.6, or use OSX GUIfor wi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27447427)

I've suffered many more bugs with 0.9 than I ever did with 0.8.6 -- I too keep a copy spare.

0.9 just doesn't seem as robust. I wonder if they've fixed the no-video-for-a-few-seconds-after-opening bug, which seems to be more prominent on slower systems. Also, if I repeatedly speed up and slow down playback I can frequently never return playback speed to 100% and choppy sound results. Is that so hard to fix?

I guess like proprietary software vendors, assumptions are made about users' system specs and common usage requirements.

Re:Revert interface to 0.8.6, or use OSX GUIfor wi (4, Interesting)

TypoNAM (695420) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447511)

I too absolutely hate the new QT interface and I want them to bring back the ability to use the wxWidgets interface that was used in 0.8.6 releases. Apparently the wxWidgets interface of VLC is no longer maintained, therefore they dropped it in the 0.9 releases. Because of this I still continue to use 0.8.6 on my machines. :(

Eh... (2, Interesting)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447095)

Eh, VLC is okay. I've found it to be more processor intensive when decoding MKV's than Media Player Classic - to the point where the old PC i repurposed as a media center can play 1080p movies just barely smoothly in media player classic, but it chokes if i need to use VLC (media player classic has options for choosing an audio stream but never actually shows more than one stream! grr).

I also HATE that VLC doesn't let you click on the frame to pause. Nothing happens when you click on the frame, so why not pause! Having to navigate to the little pause button every time is lame.

ALSO hate that even in full screen, the progress bar stays small, so I don't have much resolution when i want to skip back a little.

So yeah, best player ever? meh. It's nice, and i love all the transcoding features etc. is has, but that's not media playing, that's something else. As a media player, VLC is just ok.

-Taylor

Re:Eh... (1)

Nukenbar (215420) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447275)

Hit the space bar to pause.

Re:Eh... (3, Informative)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447281)

I also HATE that VLC doesn't let you click on the frame to pause. Nothing happens when you click on the frame, so why not pause! Having to navigate to the little pause button every time is lame.

Spacebar pauses.

Re:Eh... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447391)

Have you considered using XBMC? It uses mplayer and ffdshow and has a nifty interface. It has mouse, keyboard, and remote support... And it's available for win, mac, lin, and xbox.

The Best Media Player? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27447129)

Whoever wrote that must be either female or a eunuch. Real men know it's not a media player until it has frame advance.

I love VLC, but until some major changes are made it's not a media player it's a I'm-to-lazy-to-configure-my-other-players-to-play-this-rare-vid player.

VLC OS X (2, Interesting)

DJCouchyCouch (622482) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447177)

I've always had bad experiences with VLC on Mac, no matter which version. Converting videos to mpg, mp4, or anything else I try results in unreadable files.

While I donno if others are experiencing the same issues, it's disappointing that it's been consistently unreliable for me.

Re:VLC OS X (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27447419)

Thats more of a problem with the mac than anything else. Apple makes it almost impossible to write good cross platform GUI's that run well on OS X.

Audio problems (1)

rootnl (644552) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447189)

VLC lately has had some big audio issues. On OS X as well as Ubuntu it hijacks the audio preventing access for other programs (flash, iTunes). It is quite annoying and I hope they've fixed it in this release.

Subtitle Problems (1)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447301)

Have they fixed their long-standing issues with styled subtitles? Many, many, many anime release groups specifically warn not to use VLC because it has issues with external subtitles, and specifically, SSA/ASS subtitles.

Which is another reason I use mplayer. (mencoder is the first reason)

The most important question is... (5, Insightful)

CAFED00D (1337179) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447337)

Did they make a better desktop icon yet?

Open source, fast, all the codecs, but still... (1)

luishernandes (1523371) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447375)

"Better", not "Prettier"

thanks for the update betanows (1)

d-r0ck (1365765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447395)

oh wait this is slashdot... guess i got confused

anyways different players have dif. strengths

zoom player is my choice for couch use

Not a big fan. (1)

saur2004 (801688) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447415)

I never have been a big fan of VLC because I think its interface is clunky at best.

I'm going to list out what I don't like and who knows, maybe some ./ers can tell me the solutions and I'll become a fan.

1.) Repeating. VLC uses the clunky "A to B" strategy and one can not just check a "repeat all" check-box.

2.) Shoutcast radio lists. Right-click + Open-Folder on a folder, does not work and if you double-click on a folder, it opens the first station in the list and starts playing it. (ug) Also, you have to click "Title" twice if you want the channels in alphabetical order after opening up a folder. (ug)

Blu ray (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27447433)

Does it play my blu rays yet?

Not trying to stir the pot, but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27447475)

...I would guess that the authors of the world's best media player, exclusively used vi, the worlds best editor, during development? Agreed?

Until... (-1, Flamebait)

NitroWolf (72977) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447517)

Until VLC plays video's in RAR file without having to decompress them manually and until the developers stop being whiny bitches when people ask for functionality or offer patches they don't "agree" with, VLC is crap.

Someone already mentioned the WIN32 interface for VLC is utter garbage as well. Yeah, stick with mplayer or WMP classic or something. VLC is weak and the developers are primadonnas.

Re:Until... (2, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447631)

Until VLC plays video's in RAR file without having to decompress them manually

What the hell does this, and why?

What insane reasoning do you use to stick a video file inside a RAR (or any other compressed archive for that matter?) Jamming a compressed file into a compressed container usually results in a file size increase. I would stop complaining that VLC doesn't support something insane, and try to justify why that behavior is in any way valuable and -not- insane.

Ogg Frog! (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27447525)

You want the best media player? Go with the Frog. Ogg Frog, that is. vlc? They can't get their mutexes right, so who knows what else they got wrong. iTunes? Sure, if you don't mind the fact the stale buffer bugs when you're ripping CDs.

Ogg Frog is designed by a professional software engineer with 36 years of c++ experience, 12 years of embedded experience, and over 2 years of mental hospitalization, so you know it's the real deal. VLC is a project by some French college students.

Ogg Frog.

Availibe for Gutsy? (1)

Dice Fivefold (640696) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447547)

Does anyone know where or if it's even possible to find a binary of vlc 0.9.9 for gutsy gibbon? The one in ubuntus repositories is very dated.

VLC did save me once recently.. (3, Informative)

rongage (237813) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447553)

I will say that VLC did just recently play a DVD that none of the other DVD players I have (mplayer, xine, etc...) wouldn't even touch. Heck the other players would crash and burn badly - even lsdvd had troubles with this one DVD - the Dark Knight.

What I don't like about VLC is how there is absolutely nothing intuitive about what combination of codecs will work on a transcode. With a recent example, I could get MPEG2 video to encode into a mpeg container or an avi container, but I couldn't get any audio to go into the same container at all. Using mpga would crash the program where using mp2a would go through the motions but you would end up with no audio in the output.

If you find that you need "support" of any sort for VLC, good luck with that. I have found in many cases that the forums are unmonitored and the IRC channel folk ignores people with real questions.

I just don't think that VLC deserves the title of "the best" in anything.

The reason I still use it as my main player... (1)

Malaak (1093915) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447599)

Many years ago it was the first player (the first I knew of course) that could playback about anything without crying about missing codecs. Since this time its one of the first things I install when setting up a new computer. Maybe there are better players out there, but VLC is lightweight and simple, and I dont care about the UI anymore when watching fullscreen.

VLC is illegal in the US (5, Interesting)

Todrael (601100) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447625)

I'd love to use VLC legally in the US, but that doesn't seem like it'll happen any time soon.

VLC FAQ [videolan.org]

In less sensation, personal terms... (2, Informative)

whiledo (1515553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447651)

I've finally settled on a Windows combination that has both significant geek appeal and even more significant wife-acceptance-factor (though really, that's not much of an issue since my fiance has a geek mindset, too):

  • Pre-built PC with a combo BR/HDDVD drive, HDMI out to plasma. great bluetooth keyboard and mouse came with it, along with a very nice windows media center remote.
  • Vista (no, really! It came with the PC and was fine once I got SuperFetch turned off)
  • SageTV Media Center + SageMC UI + SageTVLauncher (kill off stupid Windows Media Center annoyances) + LM Remote Keymap (take full control of what I want my non-learning remote to do)
  • Media Player Classic - for the <1% of videos that for some reason won't play in SageTV
  • SMPlayer - for the <0.1% of videos that for some reason won't play in SageTV and won't play well in MPC

All of this for really not that much cash. The PC was almost a grand a year ago when I bought it but of course you could get the same specs for much cheaper now. I wanted a dedicated machine because I knew I was much less likely to mess that up than my primary machine. SageTV was $80. I donated $20 to the LM Remote Keymap people because it was such a useful tool. I just wanted something that would work and could play blu-ray/hd-dvd (that was before BR won). And one that I wouldn't have to spend hours on due to quirky hardware problems because I'd built it myself.

I also needed something beefy enough to handle HD mkvs and whatever else might come out in the next few years. My old repurposed machine started to skip a bit on the HD.

So there you have if, whether you cared to know or not. Just posting this because it might help someone else who has gotten really sick and tired of trying to cobble together various apps and front-ends and wireless keyboards and mice and just want something that works reliably and smoothly while they're sitting on the couch with a remote.

CCCP and Mplayer (2, Informative)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 5 years ago | (#27447683)

The only way to go Comrade!

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