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VLC Media Player Free Review: How can I watch for free? (Updated 2022)

If you're looking for a media player that's intuitive, easy to use, and will play any file type and codec, look no further than VLC Media Player. It's also 100% free to download and use, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking for an open-source option. If you're unhappy with your current media player, give VLC a try - I guarantee you won't be disappointed! Read my full review to learn more.

Vlc Media Player

Nicole Sommer
Last updated: Wednesday, 04.October 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 has this happened to you? You download a movie and get excited to watch it, but then when you try to play it on your computer's factory media player (Windows Media or iTunes or something of the sort), you find that the file type can't be recognized. Suddenly, what you thought was going to be a fun movie night has been all but ruined; that or you have to do some research and figure out how to convert the file, download a different version of it, etc. all of which can be a massive headache.
The problem with your computer's stock media player is that it can't handle all the different file types out there. This is because new filetypes are being introduced all the time, whereas your media player isn't equipped to adapt to this.
This is why it is important to have a media player that both performs well and is easy to use, as well as being able to read and play any file type. Unfortunately, iTunes and Windows Media Player are not always going to be able to do this.
VLC Media Player is the best media player for adapting to changing technology. It's user-friendly and versatile, making it perfect for using on desktop computers and mobile devices.


()Video Lan Project is an open source software project that originated as a college project in 1996. The initialism, VLC, stands for Video Lan Client. Seeing as this is now no longer the case, the initialism no longer holds up (even though the name has). The original purpose of VLC was to implement a client and a server so that digital streaming of content from satellite dishes across a college campus could be done using the university's network. But it has gone far beyond these relatively humble aspirations today.
VLC was created by students at the Ecole Centrale Paris in 1994. It has since been taken over by contributors from all over the world, who have collaborated to create a powerful and freely available media player. The Video Lan Project oversees the development of VLC and releases free software versions of it to benefit everyone.
It wasn't 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. Around the same time, however, a company called Applidium created a version of VLC for iOS with full endorsement from the Video Land Project.
However, eventually there was a licensing conflict between the Apple Apps 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's a good chance that you'll recognize the program's famous orange traffic cone icon graphic. 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 has always made sense to me. Even before learning of this, I always knew I could click on VLC and the issue would be paved over. VLC truly does a great deal of work, so even if just a coincidence, it would be hard to imagine a more fitting icon for the program.
I think that the best way to describe the media player itself is that it is straightforward. It has a few simple buttons to choose from, as well as an audio equalizer in the taskbar.
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. 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 you--unless you are using VLC on Mac OS; unfortunately, skins are not yet compatible with Mac.


As I said before, VLC Media Player is a great tool for playing any file type. From downloaded files to disc media and even streaming videos from webcams, it can handle everything. Nearly every codec is supported automatically, without the need for additional codec packs or converters. From MP2 to H.264 and WMV, VLC has you covered whatever your media needs may be.
Also, skins are not the only way that VLC Media Player can be customized. Video Lan Project offers hundreds of media player extensions. You can browse their impressive extension library in order to make VLC work for your unique needs, whatever they may be. Enjoy add-ons like subtitle loaders, history-based shuffle, quick save/load playlist generators, and even ways to stream live television in some countries. New plugins are being developed for VLC all the time - so the sky is truly the limit when it comes to what this media player can offer!

Desktop and Mobile Experience

In the 10+ years that I have been using it, I've never had any issues with VLC Media Player's desktop program. I haven't seen a single bug or glitch whatsoever. It always runs, uses minimal CPU space, and plays all files dependably to the highest resolution that they will allow.
Although I think the mobile experience could use some improvement, especially on the iOS version of VLC, I believe that the app has potential. It only receives three stars on the Apple Apps Store though, which I think is fair given how clunky and cumbersome it looks.
Although the app is not as user-friendly or customizable as the desktop program, it still provides a one size fits all experience. Some redesigns might make it more convenient, but you can't find a more versatile media player app for free.

Pricing and Plans

One of the great things about VLC 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. That being said, the Video Lan Project does accept donations. So, if you find that you enjoy the software, I highly recommend donating if you can afford it. A freeware of this caliber is rare, so it should definitely be incentivized where possible!

Suggestions that I have for VLC Media Player

I don't really have any suggestions for VLC, as I think their mobile app is great the way it is. Other than that, keep up the good work!
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.
Fastest livescore
  • ✓ Fastest goal alarm
  • ✓ Most leagues
  • ✓ Fast scorers info
  • ✓ Quota integration
Other Websites
  • — No livescore
  • — Long delay to the goal alarm
  • — No player info
  • — No odds
Best soccer videos
  • ✓ Instant goal stories
  • ✓ International transfers
  • ✓ Summary videos
  • ✓ All livestreams at a glance
Other Websites
  • — No goal videos
  • — Local TV channels only
  • — No summaries
  • — Often illegal streams
Compact stats
  • ✓ All constellations
  • ✓ Real time game statistics
  • ✓ Live tables
  • ✓ Football predictions
Other Websites
  • — No exhibitions
  • — No player infos
  • — Obsolete tables
  • — Not suitable for betting

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Vlc Media Player