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Author Topic: VLC - Is it worth it still?  (Read 3799 times)
Josh
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« on: August 20, 2012, 09:44:06 PM »

OK, here is my inquiry to the DoCo void.

VLC is a great little media player that can play most formats out of the box without the need for codec packs. However, for systems where codecs can be loaded, is it better to go with a different player and use one of the codec packs like K-Lite?

I used to be a die-hard winamp fan (video and audio), but moved to VLC after I was burned by codec issues back in the early 2000s.

What do you think? Is VLC still as valuable as it once was? I know that when I have tried to set it to "use system codecs when available", the setting never gets saved. This occurs on fresh installs, fresh OS installs, and in a virtualized environment. Hence, my question as to whether or not it would just be better to install a single codec pack and be done with it.

Oh DoCo mastermind, I call to you!
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Strength in Knowledge
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2012, 10:18:54 PM »

I've really not had many codec problems in the last however-many years. I use 2 video players: ALShow and VLC. 99.9% of the time I use ALShow. However, there are rare cases when I use VLC.

(Disclosure: I used to work for ESTsoft, the maker of ALShow.)

But I find ALShow is MUCH easier to use than VLC. It also has codec detection, and if the proper codec isn't already installed, which is rare for ALShow in my experience, then it automatically prompts you to download the right codec, which eliminates farting around trying to figure out what codec/pack you need.

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barney
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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2012, 10:25:38 PM »

Oh DoCo mastermind, I call to you!

Don't think I qualify for that particular designation, but this sounds like a question of practicality/applicability/if it ain't broke.  If VLC still does what you want it to do, keep it.  If it doesn't, then hopefully the audio folk here can point out the least painful alternative.
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Josh
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2012, 12:19:28 AM »

Oh DoCo mastermind, I call to you!

Don't think I qualify for that particular designation, but this sounds like a question of practicality/applicability/if it ain't broke.  If VLC still does what you want it to do, keep it.  If it doesn't, then hopefully the audio folk here can point out the least painful alternative.

I should have said "DoCo hive mind", but hey, live and learn...

Anyways, I have been burned, fairly recently and on several occasions, in instances where the "Use system codecs" option did not work or was not retained after being set. This resulted in issues where VLC would display a directx video window or would simply present with playback problems (pixilation, choppiness, etc) when using the built-in codecs.

This is my reason for considering a change in operationg procedures.
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panzer
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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2012, 02:23:39 AM »

I use Pot Player.
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vlastimil
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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2012, 02:34:12 AM »

I believe VLC is worth it not just for the codecs. It was the only player I was able to configure to painlessly play content on a TV connected via HDMI while keeping the controls on the main display. Both video and audio can be configured to be sent to the TV. I actually use 2 players on that system - VLC to play on TV and MP Classic to play on the main display. VLC is one step away from perfection - it does not support 3D subtitles out of the box, or at least did not when I was checking some 6 months ago.

Another nice feature I have not seen in other players is that the audio goes to 200% - some movies have really quiet audio track, so this is useful.

 Thmbsup for VLC.
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IainB
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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2012, 04:39:56 AM »

I used to be a die-hard winamp fan (video and audio), but moved to VLC after I was burned by codec issues back in the early 2000s.
I have been a long-time user of Winamp as my audio/music player - at which it seems excellent - but the video-handling aspects of Winamp were not so good. So I gave the video task over to VLC and have been a satisfied long-time user of VLC ever since.
I have tried various video players (including ALShow, which @Renegade refers to, above), but the one that seems to consistently come out with what are the most powerful/useful features and updates for my purposes, and is reliable, is VLC.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2012, 04:53:55 AM »

VLC here. It does just about all that I need it to. And I don’t have to juggle Codecs and get burned, as has usually happened in the past! I tried to get K-Player about a year or so ago when it was mentioned here but I couldn't find a site that I could understand. I think it was an Asian site; I wasn’t even sure where the download link/button was.

Jim
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Tuxman
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« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2012, 05:04:17 AM »

VLC was never worth it. The built-in codecs are of rather low quality, the audio output processing does not do what my Hi-Fi ears expect. Piece of crap.
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« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2012, 05:10:40 AM »

I was never a big fan of VLC, mostly because its default keyboard shortcuts make no sense to me (I know they can be changed) and the subtitles look awful. However, I often find that there's some stuff that the system codecs can't decode properly and I have to go back to VLC. So, I suppose that if you're OK with VLC, I'd stick to it to avoid having to sometimes switch back.
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f0dder
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« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2012, 05:58:51 AM »

I tend to use Media Player Classic - Home Cinema. It's UI in unobtrusive, it handles the file formats I need, it has some GPU acceleration support, and I don't need to install any of those nasty destabilizing codec packs.

Once in a blue moon I come upon something that's been encoded queerly or has some weird subtitle sync problems, which VLC might handle better... but that's not very often.

Oh, and most of the time I use my HD TV Live box instead - that's such a sweet little piece of hardware Kiss
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mahesh2k
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« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2012, 06:20:09 AM »

VLC on linux gets my anime and vids going. No complaints.
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Crush
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« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2012, 07:25:42 AM »

I still use VLC, because it has some nice features like the realtime video transform & streaming, but a few months ago I found a new one.
More and more I now use SVP and the player MPC (as fodder posted). I so get a much higher quality of playback with additional risen video frequency.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2012, 11:31:08 AM »

As for audio output being sub par, I wouldn’t know as I use it only for video. I use MediaMonkey Gold for my music, and it sounds just fine for me! It's output is to my computer speakers which is a set of Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 and it does fine for that.   Cool

Jim
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wraith808
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« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2012, 11:50:32 AM »

As for audio output being sub par, I wouldn’t know as I use it only for video. I use MediaMonkey Gold for my music, and it sounds just fine for me! It's output is to my computer speakers which is a set of Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 and it does fine for that.   Cool

If you already use MMG for your music, with the codecs installed, it becomes quite good for managing everything...
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nosh
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« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2012, 11:58:48 AM »

I'm all for side-stepping codec hell and going for an all in one solution. My player of choice: PotPlayer. BTW, I heard (unconfirmed) KMPlayer took the Adware route with their latest iteration.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2012, 12:38:35 PM »

As for audio output being sub par, I wouldn’t know as I use it only for video. I use MediaMonkey Gold for my music, and it sounds just fine for me! It's output is to my computer speakers which is a set of Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 and it does fine for that.   Cool

If you already use MMG for your music, with the codecs installed, it becomes quite good for managing everything...

Wraith, do you mean it handles video well also? I know I tried it in the past, when they first added video to MMG, and it wasn’t that great - didn't have all the features that VLC does. Maybe I should give it another try.

I really like VLC for video for a few reasons, like:

  - Ability to speed up and/or slow down on the fly
  - Snapshots while playing
  - Stupid convenience setting, but I love being able to pause/play by tapping the space bar!
  - It plays DVDs and utilizes their menus  (Neither WMP nor WMC can do this; tough to even play DVDs on WMP & WMC - you can't resume play where you left off, which is pretty common among most player, but at least with VLC and others you can drop back to the last chapter or scene. With WMP/WMC you have to start over at the beginning of a movie.  Grrr.)

Thanks!

Jim
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wraith808
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« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2012, 01:33:02 PM »

Wraith, do you mean it handles video well also?

Yes.  I've started ripping my DVDs to mkv, and I'm indexing them all in MMG with the codec pack.
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2012, 02:00:49 PM »

SPlayer Portable plays everything I need accept for the occasional video that has PGS subs. WMP 12 handles those.

VLC also supports PGS subtitles. That's the main reason I haven't deleted the folders. Every version since 1.0 is crash prone on my systems. I must have said something to make it mad. It loved me before 1.0.

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« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2012, 09:14:24 PM »

@MilesAhead

What version of VLC are you using? I can't remember what version I had awhile back vlc use to freeze and lock up. I updated my video and audio drivers and vlc has worked fine since.

You may want to uncheck use GPU accelerated decoding especially if you have an AMD/ATI video card.

From VLC FAQ:

VLC crashes.

Increase the verbosity level (either in the preferences or with a -vv command line option) and look at the debug messages (in the terminal or in the Messages window).

If you are convinced that it is a bug in VLC, have a look at the bug reporting page.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 09:20:44 PM by Cloq » Logged
MilesAhead
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« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2012, 09:23:24 PM »

It never freezes or locks up. When I touch it with the mouse, or sometimes even on mouse over, it goes away with no error dialog.  The window just closes.  I've been updating versions and trying it for so long now that it ceases to matter. I just use SPlayer Portable.

edit: but I appreciate you trying to help though. smiley
« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 10:34:47 PM by MilesAhead » Logged

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