VLC Media Player has always been popular, but it seems that the video player exhibits more problems as time goes on. A quick search of user reviews proves that newer updates of VLC are fraught with bugs, glitches, crashes, and more. Luckily, you’ve got choices, as there are many free and open-source video players on the web, like Media Player Classic, GOM Player, PowerDVD, etc. But, which one is the best VLC Media Player alternative?
This review will discuss five of the best free VLC alternatives you can use to play movies, videos, music, and more. We’ll talk about key features, supported formats, and pros and cons. Then check out the quick comparison chart to help you find your top choice. We’re also going to give you step-by-step instructions on using our top choice, PowerDVD. Finally, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions.
- Top 3 VLC Media Player Alternatives Snapshot
- What Is a Media Player?
- 5 Best VLC Media Player Alternatives
- PowerDVD – Best Overall
- KMPlayer – Best for Advanced Users
- PotPlayer – Best for Customizing
- GOM Player – Best for Subtitles
- 5KPlayer – Best for Screencast
Top 3 VLC Media Player Alternatives Snapshot
1. PowerDVD – Best Overall
PowerDVD is the premier choice for a VLC Media Player alternative, and it earns the top spot on our list. This versatile 4K HDR, 8K, and Blu-ray player supports a wide range of video formats and produces immersive audio and visual experiences that will blow you away. Detailed Review >
2. KMPlayer – Best for Advanced Users
KMPlayer is a popular media player that supports high-definition formats, like 3D, UHD, and 4K, and it offers built-in codecs. Its numerous advanced features and playback functions make it suitable for experienced users. Detailed Review >
3. PotPlayer – Best for Customizing
PotPlayer is a popular VLC alternative with various codecs and is available in both a 32-bit and 64-bit version. It offers hardware acceleration and 3D viewing and has plenty of customization options for precise control. Detailed Review >
What Is a Media Player?
A media player, or multimedia player, is software that plays files in video and audio formats. First, you download the media player to your computer, laptop, smartphone, or mobile device; then, you can play audio and video files, stream videos, and more. Most support a wide range of media files. For example, you could watch Blu-ray discs or DVDs or view videos you filmed on your smartphone.
In addition to playback features, most media players allow users to download streaming content from the web, organize multimedia files such as videos, images, and music, sync subtitles, burn CDs, play 3D content, etc. You’re probably already familiar with the default Mac media player, QuickTime Player. On Windows, it would be Windows Media Player.
Please note that you can’t use media players to do advanced video and audio editing. Instead, you’ll have to download video editing software, such as PowerDirector, to edit your files.
5 Best Media Player Alternatives
1. PowerDVD – Best Overall
Overall Rating: 10 / 10
Once you experience all the features and functions of the award-winning PowerDVD, you'll realize it's the last media player you'll ever need. You can store, stream, and share all your favorite media right from one central hub, then view it from any device using the companion mobile app, PowerPlayer. In addition, PowerDVD offers crystal clear 8K video and support for HDR 10 and 4K. It also supports many file formats, including XAVC-S, AVC, MP4, MKV, and HEVC. It also supports spatial audio, VR video playback, and 360° video.
PowerDVD's TrueTheater™ enhancements (including audio, lighting, color, and HDR) provide an authentic and rich cinematic experience right in your home. Colors are more vivid, the sound is clear and well balanced, and every detail becomes magnified. Do you prefer streaming on Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, etc.? PowerDVD lets you cast video, photo, and audio right to your TV. It also features Dolby Digital Surround, hi-res audio, and DTS and supports 7.1 channels.
If you're searching for the best VLC alternative, PowerDVD checks all the boxes. This top-notch media player lets you organize and customize your entire media library, including personalized thumbnails. In addition, people with extensive photo libraries will appreciate the AI-powered facial recognition feature, which automatically tags and organizes pictures via CyberLink's exclusive FaceMe® engine. There's no doubt that PowerDVD has everything it takes to be the top VLC alternative.
Reasons to Recommend
- Supports all major file formats
- Easily organize and view large media libraries
- TrueTheater™ video and audio enhancements
- Stream, share, store, view, and cast your favorite content
Download PowerDVD right now for free by clicking the button below.
2. KMPlayer – Best for Advanced Users
Image from KMPlayer.
Compatibility: Windows, Mac
Overall Rating: 7 / 10
Next, we have our best VLC alternative for advanced users, KMPlayer. It supports 8K, 4K, and UHD for high-definition playback of all your favorite content. Some of the best features of KMPlayer include super playback speed mode, noise reduction, advanced image processing functions, and a good range of subtitle functions.
KMPlayer offers an impressive selection of format support, including OGG, RTS, MPEG1, MPEG2, WMA7, VCD, AVI, OGM, WMA8, and AAC. Users also appreciate the many advanced screen settings, including reversal, zoom, section repeat, speed control, etc. In addition, you can use and watch this media player on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, so you can take it with you on a long road trip, to the gym, or even while you’re waiting in the doctor’s office.
With various codec support and high-definition media services, KMPlayer is a popular VLC alternative, especially for advanced users who want precise settings for their media playback. However, that doesn’t mean the software is without its faults. One of the most significant drawbacks of KMPlayer is the numerous ads and links for third-party content. Plus, it is slower than VLC and PowerDVD.
3. PotPlayer – Best for Customizing
Overall Rating: 7 / 10
Another VLC alternative on our list is PotPlayer, which you can download for free on Windows with a 64-bit or 32-bit platform. It’s a solid choice for a highly customizable media player and offers many advanced settings. PotPlayer also supports a wide range of video and audio file formats, even incomplete AVI files or broken files, but the most common include AMV, MPEG, MTS, ASF, DPG, MP3, MOD, WAV, FLAC, OGG, and AAC. It’s also a DivX player, which is a valuable feature.
PotPlayer supports 3D viewing, which you can use with a PC or 3DTV. In addition, you won’t have to spend all your time installing various codecs since PotPlayer supports OpenCodec, allowing you to add any codec necessary to optimize your viewing experience. Another great feature of PotPlayer is its ability to play up to 1,000 different media files.
PotPlayer is a popular media player, especially as an alternative to VLC. However, it’s not perfect. Its customization options are great, but setup and installation can be confusing due to numerous advanced settings. In addition, this player does not support Blu-ray videos, which is a significant drawback.
4. GOM Player – Best for Subtitles
Compatibility: Windows, Mac
Overall Rating: 6 / 10
Are you searching for a media player that supports a wide range of subtitles? If so, you might want to consider GOM Player. The popular VLC alternative supports major subtitle formats, including SMI, UTF, RT, SRT, SSA, SVT, PSB, MKS, and too many more to list. It also has a native subtitle library, which automatically searches for and then syncs the subtitles for the movie you’re watching.
The player also supports all major file formats, including AVI, MP4, OGM, WMV, MOV, OGG, AVI, FLV, MPEG, GIF, MPG, and more. It comes with built-in codecs right out of the box, but you can also use additional codecs for unsupported file formats. You’ll also appreciate GOM Player’s ability to play damaged files, watch files as you download them, and play 360° VR videos, all of which are essential features.
GOM Player is a solid choice for a VLC Media Player alternative, especially for users who want advanced subtitle settings and format support. The website claims you can “play all videos,” and indeed, it supports a wide range of file formats. Unfortunately, Mac users will find limited features. For example, it only supports 360° VR videos on Windows. In addition, many users report that using GOM Player often caused their computers to “hang” and stop responding to input like the mouse or keyboard.
5. 5KPlayer – Best for Screencast
Compatibility: Windows, Mac
Overall Rating: 5 / 10
If you’re a cinephile, you probably want to watch your movies on the big screen instead of your computer or smartphone, also known as screencasting. 5KPlayer is a decent choice for screencasting, offering an embedded video converter and the option to screen record. It’s also a free (MKV) UHD video, DLNA, and music player for streaming and downloading online media. Plus, it supports Apple AirPlay tech, allowing you to mirror record and stream your favorite videos on a larger screen.
5KPlayer allows you to view DVD, IPTV, 4K, 1080p, and 360° video—plus, it supports video playback up to 8K thanks to its hardware acceleration capabilities. It also supports music files like AAC, APE, FLAC, ALAC, OGG, WMA, MP3, and more. You can also use this media player to download videos from over 300 online streaming platforms, like YouTube or Vimeo. 5KPlayer also has an option for satellite radio playback, a unique feature that’s often hard to find in other media players.
5KPlayer is a decent VLC Media Player alternative, especially for users who want screencasting capabilities, but it’s not infallible. While we appreciate the extensive selection of format support, it’s vital to note some of this software’s drawbacks. For example, the interface features numerous advertisements, and you may find that the player causes a lag or delay in CPU performance. In addition, many users report that it’s challenging to uninstall and overrides other video players on your device as the default.
Best VLC Media Player Alternatives Comparison Chart
|OS||Windows||Windows, Mac||Windows||Windows, Mac||Windows, Mac|
|Formats Supported||Ultra HD 4K, 8K, Blu-Ray, DVD, 3D, 360° video, MP3, MP4, MOV, AAC, JPEG, WAV, FLAC, OGG, MPEG, XAVC-S, AVC, MKV, HEVC, and many more||3K, 4K UHD, OGG, RTS, MPEG1, MPEG2, WMA7, VCD, AVI, OGM, WMA8, AAC, etc.||DivX, AMV, MPEG, MTS, ASF, DPG, MP3, MOD, WAV, FLAC, OGG, AAC, etc.||AVI, MP4, OGM, WMV, MOV, OGG, AVI, FLV, MPEG, GIF, MPG, etc.||DVD, IPTV, 4K, 1080p, 360°, AAC, APE, FLAC, ALAC, OGG, WMA, MP3, etc.|
|Free Download|| |
Ultra HD 4K, 8K, Blu-Ray, DVD, 3D, 360° video, MP3, MP4, MOV, AAC, JPEG, WAV, FLAC, OGG, MPEG, XAVC-S, AVC, MKV, HEVC, and many more
How To Use a Media Player
Are you ready for PowerDVD to bring the cinematic experience right into your living room? It’s easy. Just follow along using these simple steps:
- Download and Install PowerDVD on your computer.
- Open PowerDVD and select PC Mode.
- On the left-hand menu, you’ll see the Media Library. Click on the Plus Sign located to the right of the Media Library menu to bring up Settings.
- Under Settings, you can import media files from your Downloads or Videos folder.
- Click on OK.
- To add Music or Photos, select those options under Media Library and click on Add Now to import your files. It’s that simple!
Download the Best VLC Media Player Alternative for Free
If you had asked us ten or fifteen years ago, we would have said that VLC Media Player lead the pack in terms of free media player software. However, as technology has advanced, it’s no longer the only decent media player on the web. You have many options, but not all have advanced features and functions. Some have adware, some don’t support Blu-ray, and others aren’t beginner-friendly.
To make your quest for a VLC alternative easier, we reviewed five of the most popular choices for a free media player. PowerDVD is the best choice for a VLC Media Player alternative out of the five we reviewed. It supports an extensive range of audio and video formats, offers screencasting and Blu-ray support, and will play 3D and 360° videos. Plus, its TrueTheater™ enhancements and Dolby support create a fantastic home cinema experience. It’s user-friendly yet has enough advanced features and settings to satisfy even the biggest cinephiles.
Download PowerDVD now by clicking the button below and bring the theater right into your living room!
VLC Media Player Alternatives FAQs
1. Is VLC Still the Best?
No, that distinction belongs to PowerDVD. It offers an extensive range of features, functions, and support, making it our top VLC Media Player alternative. With 8K resolution, Ultra HD Blu-ray, and the ability to stream, share, and easily organize all your media, PowerDVD is a must-have for every home theater.
2. What Features Should I Look for in a VLC Media Player Alternative?
The top features you should look for are
- Extensive audio and video format support
- Ultra-HD resolution
- Simple user interface and navigation
- Screencasting capabilities
- Support for 3D and 360° video
- Easy organization of large media libraries
- Minimal device resource consumption
- Extensive subtitle format support
If you’re looking for a VLC Media Player Alternative that checks all of these boxes and more, we recommend PowerDVD.
DivX is another good alternative to VLC. It can play most popular video formats. Besides that, you can use it to watch streaming videos in DivX, AVI and MKV formats through the web player. It also provides the DivX Converter for Mac, with which you can create and backup content or convert them into DivX or MKV.Is there a better alternative to VLC? ›
DivX is another good alternative to VLC. It can play most popular video formats. Besides that, you can use it to watch streaming videos in DivX, AVI and MKV formats through the web player. It also provides the DivX Converter for Mac, with which you can create and backup content or convert them into DivX or MKV.Is VLC still the best 2022? ›
Yes, VLC Media Player is still very much used today and for good reason. It provides its ever-useful features such as the ability to play multimedia containers, formats like MKV, AVI, MP4 and many more.Is PowerDVD better than VLC? ›
PowerDVD is the best choice for a VLC Media Player alternative out of the five we reviewed. It supports an extensive range of audio and video formats, offers screencasting and Blu-ray support, and will play 3D and 360° videos.Which is better MX Player and VLC? ›
Vlc is good. I would suggest giving MX player a go too. I second the above opinion, MX Player is by far the best video player on Android for me and well worth its price.What is the disadvantage of VLC? ›
Drawbacks or disadvantages of VLC communication
➨There are challenges to integrate VLC with wifi system. ➨Other drawbacks with VLC system are atmospheric absorption, shadowing, beam dispersion etc. ➨It requires both source and receiver should be in LOS. Hence non-LOS communication is difficult to be achieved.
VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files, and various streaming protocols.Why is VLC closing? ›
Your system might not have enough free space to run an HD video. The drivers installed on your computer might be corrupt or outdated. There could be an issue with VLC's coding, output scheme, or any other playback setting. Your system's firmware or any other security app/setting could be blocking VLC's component.Why is VLC not closing? ›
Open "Run a command" window by pressing Alt + F2 or run the following from a terminal: Try killall vlc to send SIGTERM to all instances of vlc (Tell em to terminate themselves). If this does not work, try killall -s 9 vlc to send a SIGKILL (Tell the system to kill the processes).Is PowerDVD free to use? ›
100% secure & free. No payment info required. Click here to restart the download if it didn't automatically start. Once your download is complete, run the PowerDVD downloader to complete the installation.
$54.99 $4.58/ mo.Is there a free DVD player for Windows 10? ›
Free DVD player options are also available. You can download a free trial version of Windows DVD Player to check if it's compatible with your device before you buy it. Select the Free trial button on the Windows DVD Player page in Microsoft Store.What is the best version of VLC to download? ›
It had better efficiency and device management support. It fixes around 1000 bugs that were in older versions.
Similar to VLC Player, KMPlayer has enjoyed its status as a popular alternative video player for both Windows and OSX. The Android version features support for various codecs and casting support with much more. This includes direct streaming from cloud storage applications, including Google Drive and Dropbox.What is the safest site to download VLC Media Player? ›
VideoLAN.org: This is the official site to download VLC media player for free. CNET: This is one of the trustworthy websites offering the VLC player for free. It provides you the latest version of the software. Softonic: On this website, you can enjoy a free and fast VLC player download.Is VLC safe again? ›
Apart from its sleek features, VLC media is a hundred percent safe for you to download. It is advisable to download this media player from the approved site. This will keep you free from all forms of viruses. This player is not only protected from intended damages but also spyware and any other type of mischievousness.Does VLC reduce video quality? ›
VLC player allows users to "cut" video off by recording the video clip you need with the "Record" feature during playback. It decreases video quality to convert video formats or lower down video bit rate for shrinked video file size. 4. How do I convert VLC 720p to 480p?Is VLC owned by China? ›
So, what's the Chinese connection of the VLC media player and why its users in India really need not fret much. No, the VLC media player is not a China-based software. It is an open source software from France-based group.Is VLC a Chinese company? ›
The VideoLAN software originated as a French academic project in 1996. VLC used to stand for "VideoLAN Client" when VLC was a client of the VideoLAN project.What's new VLC? ›
VideoLAN is proud to release the new major version of VLC for Android. It comes with new widgets, network media indexation, a better tablet and foldable support, design improvements in the audio screen, improved accessibility and performance improvements.
The VLC Media Player website, which was banned in India, is now accessible for the Indian consumers as the Central government removed the block. The ban was lifted by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.Why is VLC so popular? ›
VLC Media Player is hugely popular, and for good reason – it's completely free, supports almost all file formats without the need to download additional codecs, can optimize video and audio playback for your chosen device, supports streaming, and can be extended almost infinitely with downloadable plugins.Has VLC been banned? ›
India's Ministry of Electronics and IT has removed a ban against the official website of popular media player application VLC Media Player that was instigated in February 2022.Why is VLC glitching? ›
Change Power Plan to High Performance. Enabling a strict power profile on your Windows computer can cause apps to run slowly. As a result, videos in the VLC media player may lag or stutter. To avoid such performance issues, you can change your computer's power plan to High Performance mode and see if that helps.Why I am unable to play video in VLC? ›
- Missing MP4 Codecs.
- Outdated version of Windows OS or VLC player.
- Video settings are not properly configured.
- The MP4 video file may be corrupted.
- The location where the MP4 file is stored, could be corrupted.
- There may be an issue with your video editor, online converter, or any other application.
VideoLAN VLC Media Player. GOM Player. PotPlayer. Media Player Classic-Home Cinema.What is the best player to play HD videos? ›
VLC is an outstanding 1080p video player for all platforms. Supporting a wide variety of codecs, VLC can easily open video and audio files in formats like MKV, AVI, MP4, MXF, Blu-ray, DVD-Video, VCD, CD Audio, MP3, AAC, and more. It supports playing 1080p and 4k videos, and convert HD or FHD videos with high quality.Does Windows 10 have a video player? ›
Windows Media Player is included with Windows 10 desktop.What is the difference between CyberLink Power Media Player and PowerDVD? ›
PowerPlayer 365 is a lightweight software player on PC that focus on media library sharing and video file playback features. PowerDVD 365 is a disc-oriented fully-packed player that supports not only media file playback, but also video disc playback (e.g. Ultra HD Blu-ray/Blu-ray/DVD-Video).How can I play a DVD on my computer for free? ›
- VideoSolo BD-DVD Ripper.
- WinX DVD Ripper.
- CyberLink PowerDVD 20 Ultra.
- VideoLAN VLC media player.
- DVD Player-Free.
- 5K Player.
CyberLink PowerDVD is a media player for movie discs, video files, photos and music.Is CyberLink Media Player free? ›
Is CyberLink PowerDVD free? Unfortunately, PowerDVD doesn't have a completely free version.What is the alternative to CyberLink DVD player? ›
- 1208. MPC-HC. Free • Open Source. Media Player. ...
- 771. AIMP. Free • Proprietary. Audio Player. ...
- 428. SMPlayer. Free • Open Source. Media Player. ...
- 165. MPC-BE. Free • Open Source. Media Player. ...
- 183. MX Player. Freemium • Proprietary. Media Player. ...
- 333. MPlayer. Free • Open Source. Media Player. ...
- 109. Videos. Free • Open Source. Media Player.
PowerDVD 22 40% OFF
To burn an audio music CD or MP3*/WMA music disc, do this: In the new task window, click the Music Disc option and then select the type of music disc you want to create (Audio CD, WMA CD, MP3* CD, WMA DVD, MP3* DVD). The Music Disc window displays. 2.
The Windows DVD Player app enables Windows 10 PCs with an optical disc drive to play DVD movies (but not Blu-ray discs). You can buy it in Microsoft Store. For more info, see Windows DVD Player Q&A.Does Windows 10 have a DVD converter? ›
No. Windows Media Player supports burning video and audio to a DVD or CD. In turn, it can also convert CDs to audio, but it can't convert DVDs to multimedia formats. Except for Windows 10 and Windows 11, in fact, all versions of Windows Media Player do not allow ripping DVDs.Why won't my Windows 10 media player play DVDs? ›
Playing DVD with Windows Media Player on Windows 8, 10
Unlike Windows 7, Windows 8 and 10 do not support movie DVDs with the built-in program, although data DVDs are still compatible. To watch a movie DVD, you will need to download a third-party program to perform Windows Media Player DVD decode.
With VLC Media Player, you always want the latest version of the software in your computer. There are additional features, security updates and improvements in the app when it is the most up to date version.Is VLC better than media player Classic? ›
MPC and VLC are excellent choices for a media player. They have their pros and cons, so it really depends on your needs as to which one you should choose. If you need a lightweight media player, MPC is more suitable. If you need a media player with many features, VLC is better.Can I download an older version of VLC? ›
It includes all the file versions available to download off Uptodown for that app. Download rollbacks of VLC Media Player for Windows. Any version of VLC Media Player distributed on Uptodown is completely virus-free and free to download at no cost.
What are the differences between VLC, VLC media player, VideoLAN Client, VideoLAN Server and VideoLAN? VLC is the official name of VideoLAN's main product, often named VLC. VideoLAN Client is an ancient name of this product. VideoLAN Server is another product of VideoLAN, but is discontinued since a long time.Is there a VLC player for Android? ›
VLC for Android is a free media player for Android. The program is open source and offers all its features to users free of charge.Why is VLC still the best? ›
VLC supports almost all file formats, eliminating the need to download additional codecs. This makes it a reliable choice for you who frequently use different media files. VLC also allows you to optimize video and audio playback based on the device you are using.What is deinterlace VLC? ›
Deinterlacing is the process of converting source material that contains alternating half-pictures to a computer screen that displays a full picture at a time.Is VLC better than Media Player Classic? ›
MPC and VLC are excellent choices for a media player. They have their pros and cons, so it really depends on your needs as to which one you should choose. If you need a lightweight media player, MPC is more suitable. If you need a media player with many features, VLC is better.Is VLC the best audio player? ›
VLC Media Player
Open source VLC Media Player is best known for its video-handling chops, but it's also a superb music manager that can play almost any format without installing any additional codecs – and convert between them, too.
Simple, fast and powerful
Plays everything - Files, Discs, Webcams, Devices and Streams. Plays most codecs with no codec packs needed - MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, MKV, WebM, WMV, MP3... Runs on all platforms - Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Unix, iOS, Android ...
What are the differences between VLC, VLC media player, VideoLAN Client, VideoLAN Server and VideoLAN? VLC is the official name of VideoLAN's main product, often named VLC. VideoLAN Client is an ancient name of this product. VideoLAN Server is another product of VideoLAN, but is discontinued since a long time.Is Media Player Classic the best? ›
Media Player Classic probably needs no introduction. The feature-laden open-source audio and video player has earned quite a reputation and is considered as one of the best media player available for Windows, among the likes of KMPlayer, GOM Player and VLC etc.What is the highest quality audio media? ›
A lossless audio file format is the best format for sound quality. These include FLAC, WAV, or AIFF.
The best audio formats for sound quality are uncompressed or lossless compression files—think WAV, FLAC, and M4A. That's because these formats retain the original sound quality, though you'll have to put up with the fact these files will be large.Why video is not playing smoothly in VLC? ›
Update or Reinstall VLC Media Player
If the video playback issues in the VLC media player are caused by a bug, installing newer updates should help. To check for pending updates in the VLC media player: Open the VLC media player on Windows. Click the Help menu at the top and select Check for Updates.
- Click on Tools > Preferences> Video.
- Under Video Settingsin Output, change Automatic to DirectX (DirectDraw) video output. You can also try OpenGL.
- Click Save.
- In VLC, go to Window > Tools > Effects and filters, click the check box next to the Enable option.
- Use the preset drop-down menu to select a preset, or adjust the frequency band sliders to adjust the sound manually.
According to the source, the Indian government said the ban related to third-party groups and “bad actors” interacting with the website and using it to share user data with other countries.What media player plays everything? ›
Remember these three letters: VLC. VLC is a free, open-source media player that plays almost every audio and video file format in existence, plus CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray. And you can trust VLC because it has been around since nearly the dark days of the internet, way back in 1996.What codecs are available for VLC? ›
MPEG (ES,PS,TS,PVA,MP3), AVI, ASF / WMV / WMA, MP4 / MOV / 3GP, OGG / OGM / Annodex, Matroska (MKV), Real, WAV (including DTS), Raw Audio: DTS, AAC, AC3/A52, Raw DV, FLAC, FLV (Flash), MXF, Nut, Standard MIDI / SMF, Creative™ Voice.