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VLC Media Player Free: Everything you need to know (Updated 2022)

The media player is one of the best on the market and is intuitive, easy to use, customizable, and plays any file type and codec without any issues whatsoever. Additionally, it is free to download, use, and is an excellent example of open-sourced software. If you have been dissatisfied with your current media player, it may be time to try out the player. Read my review to learn more!

VLC Media Player

Nicole Sommer
Last updated: Monday, 05.June 2023
Author Biography
Hello. My name is Nicole Sommer. I am a big soccer enthusiast and do a lot of reserach around the easiest way to watch soccer on TV and online across the whole globe.
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How often have you been disappointed when you tried to watch a movie that you had been interested in for weeks or months on your computer's factory media player (Windows Media or iTunes or something of the sort)? Sometimes, the file type can't be recognized and this creates a problem. Sometimes, researching how to convert the file is necessary or downloading a different version of the movie is necessary.
Now that you know all this, what can you do about it? Well, there are a few different things you can try. One solution would be to update your media player software. Another would be to find a more powerful file type handler that can handle more file types. And finally, you could also consider using a virtual media player instead of relying on your computer's built-in media player.
Media players are important devices for movie and TV buffs because they allow you to view and enjoy your favorite films and series on your computer or portable device. Unfortunately, iTunes and Windows Media Player are not always capable of reading or playing files in some instances, which can make enjoying content difficult.
A media player that is as versatile and adaptable as the ongoing and constant changes in technology itself must be user-friendly and dynamic. For this, I cannot recommend VLC Media Player enough. Whether you are looking for a desktop or mobile experience that is simple and streamlined, VLC will meet your needs every step of the way.


VLMC Media Player is an open source software developed by the Video Lan Project, which originated at a college in 1996. The initialism, VLMC, stands for Video Lan Client due to its original role of just being a client program of the Video Lan Project; however, because this is no longer the case, the initialism no longer applies (even though the name still exists). The original purpose of VLMC was to implement a client and server to stream digital media from satellite dishes across a college campus using the university's network. However, VLMC has gone beyond these humble aspirations today and is widely used across many platforms.
VLC was created by students at the Ecole Centrale Paris. It has since been taken over by contributors from all over the world, and is implemented and coordinated by the nonprofit organization, the Video Lan Project. The media player (and, in fact, all forms of software released by the Video Lan Project) is free software - a rare instance of 100% open-source technology.
It was not until 2010 that people began working on mobile versions of the media player, and the first VLC Media Player app was released on the Google Play Store for Android users in 2011. However, a company called Applidium created a version of VLC for iOS with full endorsement from the Video Land Project in 2011.
However, eventually, there was a licensing conflict between the Apple App Store policy and VLC developer Remi Denis-Courmant, resulting in the app being withdrawn from the App Store for iOS. It wasn't until 2013 that the VLC app was relicensed with a more universally acceptable licensing code, thanks to the advent of the Mozilla Public License option. VLC has been running strong on iOS ever since.


If you have used VLC before, there is a strong chance that you will recognize its famous orange traffic cone icon. This design choice was inspired by the traffic cones that were collected by Ecole Centrale Paris' networking students when the original iteration of VLC was created.
The traffic cone icon, even before learning of this, always made sense to me. Because if I was ever having trouble playing a media file, I always knew I could click on VLC and the issue would be solved. The program truly does a great deal of work, so, even if just by coincidence, it would be hard to imagine a more fitting icon for the program.
The media player looks pretty straightforward, with the focus being on the media content itself. There are only a few buttons, and they're placed in the toolbar at the top of the window. Besides a large screen window (which you can resize), you'll find a few simple buttons to choose from, such as play, pause, skip, stop, fast forward, rewind, full screen mode, etc. Additionally there is an audio equalizer in the taskbar so that you can customize your listening experience.
Speaking of customization, that is another thing that makes VLC Media Player so great. It is actually somewhat difficult to speak on design when it comes to this program, seeing as VLC offers hundreds upon hundreds of predesigned skins that allow you to make VLC entirely your own. Depending on what you want, the design of VLC can be whatever you make it. Don't like any of the skins that are offered on the Video Lan Project site? That's okay, too; because VLC also offers you the ability to create customized skins. The design of VLC is up to each individual user, really. Well, unless you are running VLC on Mac OS; unfortunately, skins are not yet compatible with Mac.


VLC Media Player is an excellent media player that can play most files. It can play downloaded files, discs, webcams, and streams without any trouble. Additionally, it has a wide range of supported codecs so almost any kind of file can be played.
Additionally, there are many media player extensions available which allow for customization of VLC. Video Lan Project offers an impressive extension library with hundreds of options to meet specific needs and interests. Browse through their selections to find the perfect extension for your needs, customize it to your liking, and enjoy the benefits. New plugins are being developed for VLC all the time, so there is always potential for even more customization options in this popular media player.

Desktop and Mobile Experience

I have never had any issues with VLC Media Player's desktop program over the last 10+ years. There have been no bugs or glitches whatsoever. It always runs smoothly, uses very few CPU resources, and plays all files reliably to their highest resolution possible.
The app could use more work if we're talking about the iOS version. On the Apple Apps Store, VLC for Mobile only has a rating of three stars, which I think is appropriate. The app is comparatively clunky and cumbersome, and it needs more work to be effective.
The media player app is not nearly as user-friendly or customizable as the desktop program. It is a one size fits all experience that could definitely benefit from some redesigns, I think, in order to make it more convenient. That being said, you still are not going to find a more versatile media player app out there for free.

Pricing and Plans

One of VLC's greatest qualities is that it is open-source and free for all to use. There are no tiered subscriptions or hidden fees to worry about. From the moment you download the media player, you can immediately enjoy all that VLC has to offer. However, Video Lan Project does accept donations. So, if you find that you enjoy the software, I highly recommend pitching in a few bucks if you can afford it. Freeware of this caliber is rare, so it should certainly be incentivized where possible!

Suggestions that I have for VLC Media Player

My only suggestion for VLC is that it be reworked to resemble the desktop program more closely. Other than that, keep on trucking!
Nicole Sommer
Nicole Sommer is a true soccer fan and loyal supporter of FC Arsenal and 1.FC Köln. She plays actively her self as central forward in the women's aquad of TuS Köln in Germany. In her spare time she spends a lot of time online including researching the soccer streaming space. Her research has been published in several online soccer magazines.
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VLC Media Player

VLC Media Player Free: Everything you need to know (Updated 2022).

The media player is one of the best on the market and is intuitive, easy to use, customizable, and plays any file type and codec without any issues whatsoever. Additionally, it is free to download, use, and is an excellent example of open-sourced software. If you have been dissatisfied with your current media player, it may be time to try out the player. Read my review to learn more!

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