The VLC player has been an indispensable tool for many PC and Mac users for years. The minimalist program from the VideoLAN company enables you to play almost every video and audio format. The growing popularity of YouTube, DailyMotion, and other video streaming sites has also greatly increased VLC player’s popularity. Many users download their favorite clips so they can play them in a compressed format whenever they like using the VLC player. In this article, we will be talking about Best VLC Player Alternatives.
The popular player’s main advantage is that it’s possible to play compressed videos directly with VLC without having to convert them first. In total, the media player has been downloaded more than 2.3 billion times on all operating systems. The VLC player provides a functional user interface with impressive codec support. However, it might be that the VLC player is not quite sufficient for specific requirements.
Are you looking for alternatives to VLC that offer slightly different features? There are some programs that are worth a try. Some users are looking for a program to organize their media files and watch their movies on TV, whereas others want cloud storage, or the ability to convert movies and music, or maybe visualizations that are played parallel to music.
So what are the best alternatives to VLC? In this guide, we provide you with a wide range of choices – from the streamlined player for compressed clips, to the media center perfect for managing your music and movie files.
Best VLC Player Alternatives Winamp (Windows, Android, macOS)
Winamp is a popular media player, established in the mid-1990s. Nowadays, it’s fallen into oblivion. But Winamp is still a good choice for Windows users. The fully featured program comes with a highly customizable design. You can install visualizations, or change the appearance of the player with hundreds of skins. Winamp supports a huge selection of video and audio formats, including MPG, MPEG, MP3, MP4, and OGG.
The most compelling feature in Winamp is the extensive range of plugins. This extends from the installation of Dcodec packs (to play various file formats), to plugs that allow additional functions like DVD conversion. Winamp runs on older computers and is a tried and tested program that many users, even today, couldn’t imagine being without.
BS.Player (Windows, Android)
This alternative to VLC has the advantage of being very resource-efficient. Despite the low processor use, the BS.Player offers many features. The media player for Windows and Android can play most video formats without the need for conversion, and has practical chapter and subtitle options.
What’s especially useful is the fact that you can customize the video’s subtitles. The program is also suitable for enjoying multilingual videos, since changing languages is not a problem. The BS.Player can also scale different image formats. For example, if you want to view a wide-format movie on a 4:3 monitor, you should use the ‘pan and scan’ feature. The program scales the image material so that you can see the whole image. The hotkey feature enables you to program shortcuts for your favorite features.
Best VLC Player Alternatives KMPlayer (Windows, Android, macOS, iOS)
The KMPlayer is one of the most popular alternatives to VLC because of its many extra features. The developer, Pandora TV, released the program under the name KMPlayer in 2002. With this player, you can easily open various video formats such as AVI, MVK, OGM, 3GP, VCD, OGG, RealMedia, and FLV. The program runs best in Microsoft Windows and is available in over 36 languages. According to the developer, 360 million people have already installed KMPlayer on their devices.
The KMPlayer is a streamlined audio and video player for desktop PCs, which also cuts a good figure on Android devices. Particularly noteworthy is that movies in 4K resolution and in 3D format are supported. The player has both internal and external filters and gives you full control over your media files, together with transformation filters for audio and video decoders as well as rendering programs. The KMPlayer’s internal filters are not registered in the user’s system, meaning that no problems occur with system filters that have already been installed.
SMPlayer (Windows, Android, Linux)
This alternative to VLC is impressive due to its versatility. The SMPlayer is completely free and available as an open source solution, which makes it particularly attractive for experienced Linux users. The media player supports all common Windows operating systems (excluding Linux), and is available in 30 different languages.
The program has many useful features, such as audio and video filters that can be combined with your video and music files. Thus, the SMPlayer is well suited for visuals that you can project onto a screen using a projector.
Particularly noteworthy is how flexible the program is: the playback speed can be adjusted, and the speed of the subtitles can be subsequently optimized. The player automatically supports all common media formats such as MOV, MVK, AVI, MP4, DIVX, and MPEG, and no codes need to be installed.
Best VLC Player Alternatives GOM Player (Windows, Android, macOS, iOS)
The GOM Player, which was released in 2003 by South Korean developer, Gretech, is particularly popular in Asian countries. The program is already fully equipped with codecs for audio and video. It is therefore not necessary to install plugins or codecs separately. The player supports common subtitle files such as RT, SRT, SUB, and SMI.
GOM Player users have access to the largest subtitle database in the world. As soon as a video is played and connected to the internet, the program automatically searches its database and displays the appropriate subtitle results. After you select the subtitle you want to apply, it is automatically downloaded and applied.
If you are interested in VR and 360 degree videos, GOM Player should be your first choice. The program supports a variety of VR and 360-degree video formats and can also play 360-degree YouTube videos. Advanced users can also configure video presentations individually.
Another feature of this VLC alternative is the remote function. As a GOM user, you can link your smartphone to your GOM Player wirelessly, allowing you to control virtually all the features of the player with your mobile device: select videos or music, adjust volume, configure screen settings, and more. The developer team offers regular updates to keep the program up-to-date.
MPlayerX (Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux)
If you aren’t so keen on the design of the VLC Player, you should take a look at MPlayerX. The Chinese developer, Zongyao Qu, designed a lightweight player that has a wide range of video formats. The program works especially well with macOS, but is also available for Windows and Linux. The MPlayerX offers some practical options for the individual playback of media files and is easy to use.
One great thing about this program is that in many areas it’s possible to adapt the player’s features to your needs. Nevertheless, the program is limited to the most important functions. The smooth playback of video and music files in the most popular formats can be achieved via hard disk or network. The MPlayerX is compatible with Apple Remote and supports multi-monitoring, allowing convenient wireless control.
For Apple users, the MPlayerX belongs to the top options for VLC alternatives. The program is superior to VLC in terms of how it can be integrated into macOS, which for many users is enough to convince them to try it out. Not only the design, but also the nearly identical multi-touch gestures comply better with the Mac environment than the PC-oriented VLC control.
If you want to download the latest version of the MPlayerX for your Mac, you shouldn’t do this via the App Store because the version offered here is outdated. The reason for this is Apple’s strict Sandbox guidelines, which severely restrict some of the program’s functions. If you download the latest version from the manufacturer’s site, you can always keep the program up-to-date with the auto-update function.
Best VLC Player Alternatives AnyMP4 Blu-ray Player (Windows, macOS)
If you want to play high-resolution videos on your PC or MAC, the AnyMP4 Blu-ray Player could be the right alternative to VLC for you. The program from the AnyMP4 Studio is a professional media player for all common versions of Windows and macOS. With the universal player, you can open almost all popular video and audio formats (MP4, MOV, MKV, M4A, AAC, FLAC, and more). The biggest advantage of the AnyMP4 Blu-ray player is the smooth playback of 4K and full HD videos with a high bit rate (720p is also possible).
If you already have a Blu-ray collection, the AnyMP4 Blu-ray Player plays your discs directly from your computer. To do this, you need to upgrade the Player with a plugin or codec. All new Blu-ray discs are supported natively, which makes watching movies in Blu-ray format an even better experience.
The media player can also provide some useful additional features. This enables you to change the subtitles, adjust the audio track, take screenshots, switch to deinterlace mode, and lots more. AnyMP4 also offers filters for brightness, shade, contrast, saturation, and gamma correction. This means it’s not problematic at all if you want to modify and optimize the image and sound settings according to your wishes.
Free FLV Player (Windows, macOS)
Even though HTML5 has become more popular over time, there’s still hope for Flash videos. Many streaming providers still encrypt their videos with Flash (FLV) format. On desktop PCs, these files can be played without problems with the right plugins, but this is a different story with smartphones and tablets, since Flash can cause complications. As a result, you often have to convert Flash videos so that they are compatible with mobile devices.
This is easy with the Free FLV Player from Tonec. FLV files can be converted into all popular formats, including AVI, 3GP, and MP4. So it is possible to play all videos on your iPhone, tablet, or Android smartphone.
The Free FLV Player also offers a search function for various online video portals, which you can use to quickly find your desired video. This means you don’t have to install apps for individual portals, but rather that you can play files directly via the Free FLV Converter. The setting options ensure that they search all supported websites or only certain portals. The program can also download several videos simultaneously and convert them in batches.
Best VLC Player Alternatives PotPlayer (Windows)
With a download size of more than 18 MB, PotPlayer is slightly bigger than most other streamlined VLC alternatives. The media player from the South Korean company, Kakao, offers the possibility of adding many codecs to the main file after installation. This player is therefore universally upgradable.
The first thing the user notices is PotPlayer’s very clear and minimalist user interface. Nevertheless, the player offers a whole lot of features, which should also satisfy demanding users. If you are interested in advanced features, the streamlined design will help. In order to access the advanced mode with all options, use the main menu or the context menu. There is also a settings button at the lower right corner of the user interface. When you press the button, the audio, video, subtitles, and playback settings are displayed. Adjust the frequencies with the equalizer to get a perfect sound.
PotPlayer makes it easy to fix problems such as asynchronous soundtracks that are found in some videos. The audio track is simply adapted to the video track. In addition, it is also possible to remove the subtitle track and insert another one.
PotPlayer is free for Windows and plays practically every file format and every media container. The alternative to VLC for Windows also offers a wealth of features and controls for incorporating effects in video playback. The tool supports DXA, CUDA, QuickSync, and various 3D output formats. Various types of 3D glasses have been designed for viewing 3D movies using this player. In order to make the minimalist appearance a bit more individual, there are a large number of skins available.
Alternatives to VLC: overview of the best multimedia players with file management
iTunes (macOS, iOS, Windows)
iTunes is Apple’s own program for media playback and management on macOS and iOS devices. Apple users often complain that it is difficult to transfer media files easily to iDevices. Although iTunes only supports a few formats, it is still a solid multimedia player, especially if you own an iPod, iPhone, or iPad.
iTunes supports all video content that’s available in the iTunes Store. The program opens QuickTime and MPEG 4 movie files in MOV, MP4, and MV4 formats. You can also play video podcasts, iTunes digital copies, and rented movies from the iTunes Store.
Since it’s Apple software, you will not have any problems streaming your videos wirelessly via AirPlay. For example, you can transfer your media files wirelessly from your iOS device to your Smart TV. AirPlay-enabled output devices, such as AirPort Express and Apple TV, work with iTunes to provide you with access to your content throughout the home.
Apple is well ahead when it comes to usability, which is often a decisive factor. Unfortunately, Apple products (e.g. Apple TV) are costly and therefore each user must decide for themselves whether the user friendliness is worth the price.
Best VLC Player Alternatives Kodi (Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, Raspberry Pi)
The open source multimedia suite, Kodi (formerly known as XBMC Media Center) offers far more than just a simple media player. The free media center makes it easier to organize your videos, music, and photos thanks to the practical interface. The whole concept is clearly based on Apple TV, but without the price tag. Another plus is that Kodi users can customize the interface according to their tastes.
The media center automatically detects all media files that you want to play. It doesn’t differentiate between files on a hard disk, DVD, Blu-ray, or server – Kodi will find them even if they’re in the most remote places on your computer or network. In addition to the physically-stored files, you can also store internet streams in the media center. Publicly-owned streams can also be integrated using Kodi.
The program is designed to be a universal media center, which is best used via Smart TV and with a remote control. The idea is to use it in the living room rather than on your desk, since Kodi is perfect for watching video clips on your TV set. The range of functions is considerably larger compared to other programs such as VLC. So if you only occasionally watch videos in compressed formats on your computer, you should instead opt for a more streamlined video player than this extensive media center.
However, if you want to manage your video collection and control the movie playback via remote control, there is practically no alternative to the free Kodi Media Center. An important advantage to the paid Apple TV is the versatility of the program. It is also possible to play compressed file formats, which isn’t possible with Apple’s own video service. The Kodi Media Center is easy to control with your Android or iOS devices.
The program is less suitable if you prefer to play individual clips, but for cinema fans, Kodi has everything you need.
Best VLC Player Alternatives RealPlayer (Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux)
The first RealPlayer was released in 1995, making it a real classic among media players. The program has evolved into a versatile multimedia tool that supports a wide range of video formats – including RealAudio and RealVideo formats. The RealPlayer supports the most common formats including MP3, MPEG, WMV, and Flash Video (FLV). RealPlayer can also play the popular MKV format with the help of an add-on.
If you define the RealPlayer as the central playback program for your media files, you can easily create playlists, copy videos from websites, or burn CDs, DVDs, and stream videos. The RealPlayer is one of the most versatile programs among the VLC alternatives.
Current versions of the RealPlayer have improved mobile device support, which is how you transfer your music and videos easily from your smartphone to the PC and vice versa. The RealPlayer supports Chromecast, Google’s streaming dongle. This means, for example, that you can connect your smartphone to your TV via HDMI and watch your favorite series using the RealPlayer app (on iOS or Android).
Best VLC Player Alternatives RealTimes – the RealPlayer cloud (Windows, Android, macOS, iOS)
The RealPlayer cloud option, RealTimes is an extension for RealPlayer that enables you to enjoy your media library wirelessly. Instead of retrieving your videos and audio files from your desktop PC’s hard drive, you can use this tool to upload your media files to a cloud. They can then be played on numerous devices.
With the RealTimes playback function, you can watch your movies on HDTV or on a large monitor. The tool also supports Google Chromecast and Dropbox. For a small monthly amount, you receive 25GB of storage available in the cloud.
The Cloud tool scores points with its simplified layout, which is great for beginners. Once set up, the video uploads and synchronization run in the background. This means you aren’t disturbed by the technical procedures so you can concentrate fully on watching the movie. With RealTimes it is also possible to create collages of your images and videos in a story format and then share them with others.
In a nutshell: Given its wide range of support for various devices and platforms, the RealTimes cloud is a VLC alternative, which comes in handy for many users. The basic service is free of charge, but there are also several premium editions with more storage and more features to choose from.
Best VLC Player Alternatives MPC-HC (Windows)
Media Player Classic – Home Cinema (or MPC-HC for short) is another high-quality alternative to VLC. The program from the Gabest company is a combination of a universal media center and minimalist media player. Even though the user interface looks simple, it possesses many features of a new generation media program, including DVB playback.
MPC-HC provides native support for Matroska, VCD, DVD playback, and built-in codecs that enable you to play media files from mobile devices (3GP, AC3, DTS audio etc.), without having to convert them beforehand.
An additional factor that speaks in favor of MPC-HC is the large selection of extensions and plugins. The main advantages of the extensive program is, however, its minimal system requirements. The tool runs on almost every Windows PC. MPC-HC is the perfect choice if you are looking for a minimalist media player with many features to use as a home cinema, which works just as well on older computers.
Hopefully, you liked this alternatives list. These were some of the most popular alternatives of VLC Media player. This alternatives are useful bor iOS, MacOS or even Windows PCs.