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DeepHour
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02 May 2019, 5:50 pm

This application seems to be installed (or installable) on a lot of operating systems and platforms, including Windows and Linux, and I've noticed it tends to get glowing reviews, often being rated the best of its kind. It's certainly pretty powerful and versatile, having many more features than the average media player, but my own experiences with it have sometimes been disappointing.

It plays dvds and video files excellently on the whole, but seems to struggle really badly with 'home-made' recordings on -R, RW dvds and the like, or files transferred from those sources. Playback tends to be badly pixellated and freezes frequently, making the material unwatchable. 'Lesser' media players, like mpv, gmerlin, MPC and others have no problems in this area.

VLC also has the capacity to do screen recordings as well, but every attempt I've made to use this facility has resulted in pictures but no sound. This seems to be a common experience, and the 'fixes' are very complicated and apparently don't work, according to most comments I've read.

It can also download material from YouTube, and I've successfully used it for this purpose myself, to test it. The process however is very complex and time-consuming, compared with straightforward applications like the excellent 4K Video Downloader.

It seems also that in the USA, VLC can't even be used for playing standard commercial dvds, because of the DMCA legislation and copyright situation, or is that perhaps a misinterpretation of the situation?

Finally, VLC's terms and conditions appear to give it the right to snoop on users' playlists and send data to the producers or copyright holders of the products. Not a great advert for 'open source' - what would Richard Stallman make of that?

Am I being overcritical of VLC? What do other users think?


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la_fenkis
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02 May 2019, 6:13 pm

I've never had an issue with commercial DVD playback using VLC. Nor have I had issues with blu-rays or ISOs of either kind of disc. When there is an issue it's with the encryption on the disc and that effects any player I've tried. I haven't tried it for homemade discs.

For encryption issues I've used AnyDVD, and a cracked version of that to boot. lol.

I've found no reason to be critical of VLC, at least for playback. But I've never seen it as anything more than a playback application that handles any input format I've ever needed it to.



DeepHour
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02 May 2019, 7:28 pm

^ I relied on a Wikipedia article for the information about the USA. Something about VLC not having a licence for libdvdcss, which is used to decode the css encryption on many commercially released dvds.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VLC_media_player

On a not entirely unrelated topic, there's a very impressive programme called Dvd Decrypter, which hasn't been developed since 2005, but still does a very good job of decoding and copying many commercial dvds here in the UK. :D


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la_fenkis
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02 May 2019, 7:49 pm

I used AnyDVD because I was looking for something to decrypt blu-ray discs at the time. And I kept having to obtain newer versions of the program as, at least at the time, the encryption on those discs was routinely being changed.



mr_bigmouth_502
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02 May 2019, 8:41 pm

It's not the best media player out there, but 99% of the time it works for what I need it for. A friend of mine convinced me to give MPC-HC a try, and that's a decent player as well, but unfortunately it's no longer in development.


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DeepHour
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02 May 2019, 9:29 pm

MPC is my default video player in Windows, excellent application.


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