VLC media player portable is the most stable, flexible and lightweight audio and video player around today, especially when compared to others that will play unusual formats after downloading a codec, or simply refuse to play things. The program handles tons of formats, from MPEG to FLV and RMBV files. V10 bit codes plus multi-threaded decoding for H.264, MPEG-4/Xvid and WebM, as well as the ability to play HD and BluRay. Also useful is the fact that you can use VLC media player to preview files you are downloading since it plays incomplete parts of video files. VLC media player is not just for video playback however.
VLC can convert media files between the formats it supports. You could use this to make a video smaller for a mobile device, convert media from an unsupported format to one your device supports, or even to extract the audio from a video and save it as a separate file.
To do this, click the Media menu and select Convert / Save. Load the file you want to convert, click the Convert / Save button, and select the type of file you want to convert it to. Use the Edit selected profile button to tweak the video encoding settings.
VLC can stream media across the Internet or on your local network. To get started, click the Media menu, select Stream, provide the media file you want to stream and click the Stream button. You’ll be able to set up VLC as a media server so other computers on the network — or even around the world — can connect to your stream and view it.
VLC can load your desktop as an input device. This means that you can use the Convert / Save feature to save a video of your desktop, effectively turning VLC into screen capture software. You could also use this in concert with the Stream feature to broadcast a live stream of your desktop across the network or Internet with no additional software required
VLC has an integrated HTTP server you can enable. Set this up and you can then remotely access your VLC client via a web browser. This would allow you to remotely control a media center PC from a web browser, controlling playback and queuing up audio or video files. You could even use this along with a smartphone to turn your phone into a remote control for VLC. There are mobile apps that function as remote controls for VLC, and these apps use VLC’s web interface to function.
Want to play a YouTube video outside of your web browser? Just browse to a video on YouTube and copy its full URL.
VLC can be used to stream podcasts, so you don’t need any additional software if you want to listen to podcasts at your PC. Just click the View menu in VLC and select Playlist. Hover over Podcasts in the sidebar, click the + button, and paste the address of a podcast’s feed into the box. You can then stream the podcast’s episodes from within VLC.
Before Pandora and Spotify, there were streaming Internet radio stations. There was a time when Internet users primarily streamed these radio stations from within Winamp, but they live on. You can view a searchable directory of radio stations from within VLC — just open the playlist and select Icecast Radio Directory. Perform a search for the kind of music you want to listen to or browse the list of free streaming radio stations.
Of course, VLC can also stream other Internet radio stations that aren’t included in this directory. You can generally find a “listen” link on their websites that will allow you to listen in a desktop player like VLC.
VLC can apply audio effects, video effects, and tweak the way a video’s audio and video line up. Click the Tools menu and select Effects and Filters. From here, you can apply an audio equalizer or video effects, such as cropping, rotating, overlaying, or colorizing a video. From the Synchronization tab, you can tweak the way a video’s audio and video stream line up. This allows you to fix broken videos where the audio and video are out of sync.
VLC also allows you to set a video as your desktop wallpaper, replacing your desktop background with a video. It’s not very practical and extremely distracting, but hey — it’s something you can’t do with many media players.
To do this, open VLC’s preferences window, click the Video icon, and select DirectX (DirectDraw) video output in the Output box. Restart VLC, load a video, and you’ll be able to click the Video menu and select Set as Wallpaper to turn the video into your desktop wallpaper.