How good is the VLC media player

Windows Media Player and VLC Player in comparison

Windows Media Player (WMP) is preinstalled on every new notebook with a Windows system, while the free open source VLC player has to be downloaded and installed first. This additional effort is worthwhile, however, because the VLC player offers you many advantages that you should even consider setting up it as the standard player instead of the WMP. How this works is well described on In the next few sections we will tell you why you should prefer VLC Player to Windows Media Player and what advantages it offers you in direct comparison.

Both Windows Media Player and VLC are popular players for computers - but the manufacturers have completely different philosophies. Windows Media Player should serve as a player, burning program, media library and synchronization tool for hardware players at the same time. That is why it is equipped with two separate modules: on the one hand there is the library and on the other hand the burn and sync module, which has a separate video playback window. You can switch between the different modules. In addition, the change occurs automatically as soon as you open a film from the library, for example. However, Microsoft has not implemented the module concept 100 percent consistently because the music player is integrated into the library. In contrast to Windows Media Player, the VLC Player may have a somewhat outdated-looking main window. However, here you will find all functions at a glance. A small disadvantage is that the VLC Player does not offer you a way to manage your media collection. But the fact is: The VLC Player is clearly one of the most popular alternatives to Windows Media Player. And there are good reasons for that.

There are enormous differences between the WMP and the VLC, especially when it comes to dealing with codecs. These modules are required to compress and decompress video and audio material. During execution, Windows Media Player accesses the codecs that are required for the corresponding films, songs or streams. If a suitable codec is missing, playback cannot take place. The WMP has the major disadvantage that it only has the basic equipment of the Microsoft codecs. The player can automatically reload codecs in order to play files for which Windows does not offer a suitable codec. However, this rarely works in practice and playback problems often arise. You even have to buy the DVD codec, with which you can play DVD videos, for around 10 euros. This annoyance can be completely avoided with the VLC Player, because the tool has all common codecs and is practically able to play any music and film file. The VLC player does not access the codecs installed in Windows. In this respect, the player is clearly ahead of the game.

Freely scalable window and full-screen playback is possible with both players. In addition, both tools can temporarily show control buttons in the playback window, with which you can wind, pause, regulate the volume and pause as soon as you move the mouse. However, the WMP lacks a function that is often perceived as very important in everyday life: You cannot use it to adjust the volume using the mouse wheel. With VLC and WMP it is possible to switch on lyrics and subtitles. With the VLC player you can even choose the language. Last but not least, only the VLC offers track synchronization.

If you want to save yourself the hassle of codecs when playing music and video files, which is preprogrammed with Windows Media Player, then the VLC Player is the right choice for you. It includes all important playback functions and leaves no room for criticism in terms of playback quality and speed.