Open Source Media Player Alternatives

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This live call involved a gentleman asking me for a good free alternative to Windows Media Player. He’s had a lot of trouble using WMP, and doesn’t really like it.

The chat room immediately went nuts on this request, yelling (typing, of course) out names of various media players. Everyone has their favorites, it seems. My first suggestion is VLC, and the other one is MPlayer. Both of them are free, and work very well. In fact, the new Google Video player is based on VLC.

MPlayer is a movie player which runs on many systems. It plays most MPEG/VOB, AVI, Ogg/OGM, VIVO, ASF/WMA/WMV, QT/MOV/MP4, RealMedia, Matroska, NUT, NuppelVideo, FLI, YUV4MPEG, FILM, RoQ, PVA files, supported by many native, XAnim, and Win32 DLL codecs. You can watch VideoCD, SVCD, DVD, 3ivx, DivX 3/4/5 and even WMV movies.

VLC media player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, …) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network.

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