VLC media player

VLC media player

Infobox Software
name = VLC media player

caption = Screenshot of VLC 0.8.x running under Ubuntu
developer = VideoLAN Project
released = initial release|2001|02|01
frequently_updated = yes
programming language = C/C++
operating system = Cross-platform
language = multilingual
genre = Media player
license = GNU General Public License v2 or later
website = [http://www.videolan.org/ VideoLAN.org] en icon

VLC media player is a free software media player written by the VideoLAN project.

VLC is a portable multimedia player, encoder, and streamer supporting many audio and video codecs and file formats as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It is able to stream over networks and to transcode multimedia files and save them into various different formats. VLC used to stand for "VideoLAN Client", but that meaning is now deprecated. [cite web | url=http://www.jbkempf.com/blog/post/2006/11/23/VLC-Name | title=VLC Name | author=Jean-Baptiste Kempf | date=November 23, 2006 | work=Yet another blog for JBKempf | accessdate=2007-02-24 ] [cite web | url=http://wiki.videolan.org/Intellectual_Properties#Names_.2F_Trademark | title=Intellectual Properties | author=VideoLAN Team | work=VideoLAN Wiki | accessdate=2007-07-30 ] It is one of the most platform-independent players available, with versions for BeOS, Syllable, BSD, Linux, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, MorphOS and Solaris, and is widely used with over 100 million downloads for version 0.8.6. [cite web | url = http://www.videolan.org/stats/downloads.php | title=Download Statistics | work=VideoLAN Project | accessdate=2008-03-01 ]

VLC includes a large number of free decoding and encoding libraries; on the Windows platform, this greatly reduces the need for finding/calibrating proprietary plugins. Many of VLC's codecs are provided by the libavcodec library from the FFmpeg project, but it uses mainly its own muxer and demuxers. It also gained distinction as the first player to support playback of encrypted DVDs on Linux by using the libdvdcss DVD decryption library.

Version 0.9.2, which features a new interface and adds support for new codecs was released on 15 September 2008.


Originally the VideoLAN project was intended to consist of a client and server to stream videos across a network. Originally developed by students at the École Centrale Paris, it is now developed by contributors worldwide. VLC was the client for the VideoLAN project, with VLC standing for "VideoLAN Client". It was released under the GPL on February 1, 2001. The functionality of the server program, "VideoLAN Server" (VLS), has mostly been subsumed into VLC and has been discontinuedFact|date=September 2008. The project name was changed to "VLC media player" since there is no longer a client/server infrastructure.

The cone icon used in VLC is a reference to the rendered version in 2006. [cite web | url=http://trac.videolan.org/vlc/browser/share/vlc48x48.png?rev=9ef388cc16e200fa0a4571f9b006c0d58e9ba115 | title=vlc48x48.png | format=PNG | work=VideoLAN Project | accessdate=2008-08-06 ]

Design principles

VLC has a very modular design which makes it easier to include modules for new file formats, codecs or streaming methods. This principle also stretches to other areas and there is a wide selection of interfaces, video and audio outputs, controls, and audio and video filter modules. There are more than 360 modules in VLC. [cite web | url=http://trac.videolan.org/vlc/browser/modules/LIST | title=VLC media player List of modules | work=VLC media player trac system ]


The standard GUI is based on Qt 4 for Windows and Linux, Cocoa for Mac OS X, and Be API on BeOS; but all give a similar standard interface. The old standard GUI was based on wx on Windows and Linux. [cite web | url=http://www.jbkempf.com/blog/post/2007/02/10/Qt4-Interface | title=Qt4 Interface | author=Jean-Baptiste Kempf | date=February 10, 2007 | work=Yet another blog for JBKempf | accessdate=2007-03-07 ]

VideoLAN Client(VLC) supports highly customizable skins through the skins2 interface, also supporting Winamp 2 and XMMS skins. The customizable skins feature can malfunction depending on which version is being used.

For console users, VLC has an ncurses interface. As VLC can act as a streaming server, rather than a media player, it can be useful to control it from a remote location and there are interfaces allowing this. The Remote Control Interface is a text-based interface for doing this. There are also interfaces using telnet and HTTP (AJAX).


In addition to these interfaces, it is possible to control VLC in different ways:
* configurable hotkeys
* mouse gestures
* LIRC and infrared controllers


* VLC is popular for its ability to play the video content of incomplete, unfinished, or damaged video downloads before the files have been fully downloaded. (For example, files still downloading via BitTorrent, eMule, or Gnutella). It also plays m2t MPEG Transport Streams (.TS) files while they are still being digitized from an HDV camera via a FireWire cable, making it possible to monitor the video as it is being played. This is because it is a packet-based player.
* The player also has the ability to use libcdio to access .iso files so that the user can play files on a disk image, even if the user's operating system does not have the capability of working directly with .iso images.
* VLC supports all codecs and all file formats supported by FFmpeg. This means that DVD Video and MPEG-4 playback as well as support for Ogg and Matroska (MKV) file formats work "out of the box". However, this feature is not unique to VLC, as any player using the FFmpeg libraries, including MPlayer and xine-lib-based players, can play those formats without need for external codecs. VLC also supports codecs that are not included in FFmpeg.
* VLC media player has some filters that can distort, rotate, split, deinterlace, mirror videos, create display walls, or add a logo overlay. It can also produce video output as ASCII art.
* VLC media player can play high definition recordings of D-VHS tapes duplicated to a computer using CapDVHS.exe. This offers another way to archive all D-VHS tapes with the DRM copy freely tag. An entire library of tapes (or about 50 D-VHS 2 hours long) can be placed on a single terabyte sized hard drive. However, they must be imported by playing the tapes in real time, and can't simply be copied as data files.
* Using a FireWire connection from cable boxes to computers, VLC can stream live, unencrypted content to a monitor or HDTV.
* VLC media player can display the playing video as the desktop wallpaper, like Windows DreamScene, but this feature is not currently available on Linux.
* VLC media player can do screencast and record the desktop.
* On Microsoft Windows, VLC also supports the Direct Media Object (DMO) framework and can therefore make use of some third-party DLLs.

Use of VLC with other programs


Infobox Software
name = libVLC

caption =
collapsible =
author =
developer = VideoLAN Project
released = initial release|2001|02|01
latest release version =
latest release date =
latest preview version =
latest preview date =
frequently updated =
programming language = C
operating system = Cross-platform
platform = Native, .NET, Java, Python and Cocoa
size =
language = multilingual
status =
genre = Multimedia Library
license = GNU General Public License
website = http://wiki.videolan.org/Libvlc en icon
There are several APIs that can connect to VLC and use its functionality:
* libVLC API, which is the VLC Core, for C, C++ and C#.
* JavaScript API, which is the evolution of ActiveX API and Firefox integration.
* D-Bus Controls.
* C# interface.
* Python controls.
* Java API [ [http://wiki.videolan.org/Java_bindings Java binding Project] ] .
* DirectShow filters. [cite web | last=Anderson | first=Dean | coauthors= Lamberson, Jim
title=Using VideoLan VLC in DirectShow | work=An open source bridge from VLC to DirectShow
date=2007 | url=http://www.sensoray.com/support/videoLan.htm | accessdate=2008-02-15

Browser plugins

* On Windows, Linux, and some other platforms, VLC provides a NPAPI plugin, [ [http://www.videolan.org/doc/play-howto/en/ch04.html#id293992 Chapter 4. Advanced use of VLC ] ] which lets people view some QuickTime and Windows Media files embedded in websites without using Microsoft or Apple Inc. products. It supports Firefox, Mozilla Application Suite, Safari and Opera as well. This plugin was initially used by Google to build the Google Video web browser plugin, [ [http://code.google.com/patches.html Open Source Patches and Mirrored Packages - Google Code ] ] which currently uses Adobe Flash.
* Starting with version 0.8.2, VLC also provides an ActiveX plugin, which lets people view some QuickTime (MOV) and Windows Media files embedded in websites when using Internet Explorer.

Applications which use the VLC plugin

* VLC can handle incomplete files and can be used to preview files being downloaded. Several programs make use of this, including eMule and KCeasy.
* The free/open-source Miro also uses VLC code.
* The Songbird media browser joins code from VLC and Firefox.
* And a few others... [ [http://wiki.videolan.org/We_Use_VideoLAN VideoLAN Wiki: We use VideoLAN] ]

Format support

Readable formats

VLC can read several formats, depending on the operating system VLC is running on. [cite web | url=http://www.videolan.org/vlc/features.html | title=VLC features list | work=VideoLAN Project | accessdate=2007-02-24 ] ; Input : UDP/RTP unicast or multicast, HTTP, FTP, MMS, RTSP, DVDs, VCD, SVCD, CD Audio, DVB (only on Linux and on Windows in development versions), Video acquisition (via V4l and DirectShow), RSS/Atom Feeds, and from files stored on your computer.; Container formats: 3GP,To use AMR as audio codec, VLC and FFmpeg need to be compiled with AMR support. This is because the AMR license is not compatible with the VLC license.] ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, Musical Instrument Digital Interface (.mid/.midi), [This featue needs sound fonts and might not work on every OS] , QuickTime, MP4, Ogg, OGM, WAV, MPEG-2 (ES, PS, TS, PVA, MP3), AIFF, Raw audio, Raw DV, MXF, VOB.; : Cinepak, DV, H.263, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, HuffYUV, Indeo 3, [Indeo 4 and 5 codecs are not supported] MJPEG, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 Part 2, Sorenson (thus enabling direct playback of the modified Sorenson H.263 encoded videos downloaded from YouTube), Theora, VC-1, This is from the 0.8.6 version.] VP5, VP6, WMV.; Subtitles: DVD, SVCD, DVB, OGM, SubStation Alpha, SubRip, Advanced SubStation Alpha, MPEG-4 Timed Text, Text file, Vobsub, MPL2,This is present in 0.9.0 and newer version.] Teletext.; Audio formats: AAC, AC3, ALAC, AMR, DTS, DV Audio, XM, FLAC, MACE, MP3, PLS (file format), QDM2/QDMC, RealAudio, [ Real Audio playback is provided through the FFmpeg library which only supports the Cook (RealAudio G2 / RealAudio 8) decoder at the moment.] Speex, Screamtracker 3/S3M, TTA, Vorbis, WavPack, [Currently only supported when encapsulated in the Matroska container format, and includes no multichannel support.] WMA.

Output formats for streaming/encoding

VLC can transcode into several formats depending on the operating system.; Container formats: ASF, AVI, FLV, Fraps, MP4, Ogg, Wav, MPEG-2 (ES, PS, TS, PVA, MP3), MPJPEG, FLAC, MOV; Video formats: H.263, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, MJPEG, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 Part 2, VP5, VP6, Theora, DV; Audio formats: AAC, AC3, DV Audio, FLAC, MP3, [You need to compile VLC with mp3lame support] Speex, Vorbis; Streaming protocols: UDP, HTTP, RTP, RTSP, MMS, File

Unsupported formats

As of 0.9.2, VLC is unable to play files using the following formats:
* RealMedia (.rm)
* RealMedia Variable Bitrate (.rmvb)
* IVR (Internet Video Recording, which is made by Real Player).

However, you can use Real Player a Dynamic-link library file from Real Player to make VLC play those videos.

See also

* List of media players
* Comparison of media players
* List of multimedia (audio/video) codecs
* xine, MPlayer
* MEncoder


External links

* [http://www.videolan.org/vlc/ Official Website]
* [irc://irc.freenode.net/videolan IRC channel]
* [http://translate.sourceforge.net/wiki/decathlon/vlc Localising VLC]

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