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VLC media player, an open-source application from the VideoLAN project, finally reached version 1.0 today. The software had its original start back in 1996 as a school project from engineering students at the Ecole Centrale Paris (though it wasn’t released as an open source project until 2001).
Through many point releases before today, VLC has continued to expand its capabilities, offering support for HD codecs, a diverse set of file formats, live recording, AirTunes streaming and more.
Crazy Formats, Got Ya Covered!
VLC is based on FFmpeg, which means it supports a wider variety of codecs and file formats than your typical QuickTime or Windows Media Player can handle, such as MKV, Og, or FLAC. (There are, of course, alternatives, such as Perian and other plugins to add additional support to QuickTime, but VLC has some more tricks up its sleeve.)
Since it’s a packet-based player, VLC supports playing content that could be partially corrupted or is incomplete. This reason alone makes VLC a popular media player for torrent lovers. VLC is a great addition to your system and is a recommended download for switchers who are used to viewing AVI files on the PC, since the AVI container supports a myriad of codecs that are not all supported natively on the Mac platform.
The 1.0 release of VLC, codename Goldeneye, is available for both Intel and PowerPC platforms (though it does require Mac OS X 10.5 or 10.6) and can be downloaded here. If you’re using Mac OS X 10.4.x or earlier, you can download the previous build of VLC, version 0.9.9a, from here.