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    VLC Media Player Alternatives

    Often described as the Swiss army knife of video players, VLC is well regarded in the video playback community as a program that'll open practically any audio/video format you can throw at it. From obscure video files to radio stream links and everything in between, VLC can almost assuredly play them back. On top of being open source and available on every major platform, there's a reason it tops as many search results and recommendation articles as it does.

    Though VLC is one of the most well known and versatile video players available, those looking for the most efficient or robust players have plenty of viable alternatives to choose from. Whether it's players that focus on low footprint like Media Player Classic and its forks, or players with more customization and variety like KMPlayer, be sure to look at alternatives and explore what would most match your use case for video and audio playback.

    This page was last updated May 3, 2022
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    VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files as well as...
    Learn more about VLC Media Player

    1. MPC-HC's biggest advantage is arguably just how lightweight it is. Not only is it small in terms of hard drive space, but its CPU and overall system resource use is incredibly small compared to other video players, VLC included.
      MPC-HC vs VLC Media Player opinions
      Almost everyone thinks MPC-HC is a great alternative to VLC Media Player.
       all • positive • negative      relevance • date
      BIr4 Run everything (with "K-lite mega codec pack" is perfect).
      Top positive comment  over 5 years ago

      13
      RootBoot Overall it just a better video player. Include basic feature such as click to pause/play, play the next file in folder, after playback task. MPC-HC also render (.ass) subtitle substantially better than any open source alternatives out there and can read .mkv better. Not to mention how light weight MPC is.
      Top positive comment  5 months ago

      -1
      In my opinion MPC-HC is the definition of perfect for normal usage. It almost does every thing one can expect from a media player. Considering its performance, its size on the hard-disk as well as its CPU consumption is unbelievably low. Besides one have: Full control of playing screen size by default or cursor-dragging options Full control of video, audio, and playlist Full control of all after-play options Thank to all people who develop the program.
      Positive comment about 2 years ago

      3
      Performance is superior to VLC.
      Positive comment over 2 years ago

      10
      mpc is best media player
      Positive comment almost 3 years ago

      2
      Extremely Light weight and better in performance than vlc
      Positive comment almost 3 years ago

      12
      this softwere play any file in best output
      Positive comment about 3 years ago

      2
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      7 of 18 comments
    2. PotPlayer is a modular video player that also works with most video file formats by default. Many of our users also find that it starts up faster and performs better than VLC, while also including small quality of life features that can be useful in specific contexts (such as support for two subtitle tracks on the same video file in order to help learn a new language).

      Bundleware

      Several antivirus detect a potentially unwanted application (adware) PUA.FusionCore in the file F.dll dropped by the installer of PotPlayer in the Temp folder. Once that file is blocked by the antivirus, the program is installed with no problems and ads.

      PotPlayer vs VLC Media Player opinions
      Almost everyone thinks PotPlayer is a great alternative to VLC Media Player.
       all • positive • negative      relevance • date
      Looks better! more customizable, easier to use and support add two subtitle files at the same time (useful for the people who learn other language while watching)
      Top positive comment  over 4 years ago

      8
      Feature rich and highly customizable, this wonderful piece of software has everything I need when I need it.
      Top positive comment  almost 5 years ago

      1
      Apollo07 It starts up faster than VLC and just works smoother for me overall
      Positive comment about 1 year ago

      0
      exactly what i was looking for.
      Positive comment about 1 year ago

      2
      humphreyhumphries It has a lot of customaization and don't forget it is the first player to have Dark mood builtin default.
      Positive comment about 2 years ago

      -1
      For Windows users, PotPlayer is the best alternative to VLC. It has so many features and works so much more smoothly than VLC ever could. The UI on it is also top-notch.
      Positive comment about 2 years ago

      1
      luissalaslastra i love the touch capabilities of this specific software, the big button, the smooth scrolling with finger left and right, double tap to pause and play, all of that in windows media player is hard to find.
      Positive comment over 2 years ago

      0
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      7 of 22 comments


    3. MPV is an MPlayer-based video player that is available on all major desktop operating systems. Linux users in particular cite MPV as one of the best alternatives to VLC. Its interface is extremely minimal, though with that comes extraordinary stability.
      MPV vs VLC Media Player opinions
      Almost everyone thinks MPV is a great alternative to VLC Media Player.
       all • positive • negative      relevance • date
      MPV is the best alternative to VLC on Linux. It plays just about anything you can throw at it while working much better than VLC does. Once you get used to the minimal interface and stability, you won't want to use anything else.
      Top positive comment  about 2 years ago

      3
      InsaneFromEarth Reliably supports more newer encodes + minimal
      Top positive comment  almost 6 years ago

      6
      awvalenti Very minimal, indeed, and very fast. Has many keyboard shortcuts and displays album art for songs. I decided not to use it because I need global hotkeys (play/pause, next, previous) to work, and they didn't (at least on Windows).
      Comment 6 months ago

      0
      Shuunen finally seeking in a video is smooth <3
      Positive comment 12 months ago

      1
      vanzkiiee Best player for entertainment language learning as it can display 2 subs at a time and can be synched with Anki, the best tool for learning. ?
      Positive comment about 1 year ago

      0
      collorfrisie it integrates with syncplay
      Positive comment about 1 year ago

      0
      xvhpqg Changing playback speed doesn't cause audio dropouts.
      Positive comment over 1 year ago

      0
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      7 of 20 comments
    4. Like MPV, SMPlayer is based off of MPlayer, but unlike MPV, it's more focused on accessibility with its user interface. Out of the box, users cite SMPlayer as having the versatility and stability of MPV with the ease of use of players like VLC. It also supports add-ons such as a YouTube search.
      SMPlayer vs VLC Media Player opinions
      Almost everyone thinks SMPlayer is a great alternative to VLC Media Player.
       all • positive • negative      relevance • date
      On Linux systems is much better than VLC, faster, with no bugs and read every kind of video file.
      Top positive comment  almost 6 years ago

      6
      faster, better quality, no distortions in the videos like vlc.
      Top positive comment  almost 4 years ago

      4
      awvalenti Highly configurable, but lacks stability, at least on Windows. Freezes sometimes, even after switching between back-end players.
      Top negative comment  6 months ago

      0
      It is the best mpv frontend in my opinion. having such powerful media player engine such as mpv + a user friendly ui. built-in subtitle search engine makes you like a lot easier too.
      Positive comment 29 days ago

      0
      danydube Remember the configuration of each file (audio track, subtitles,). Remember position in time Storing a subtitle from a video including support for automatically forced subtitles. Lightness of the program and high reactivity.
      Positive comment 2 months ago

      0
      AnisBarghouthi All the benefits of MPV plus user-friendly reskinnable GUI ("Black" skin is clean and neat). You can customize everything (Subtitles, audio, video) from the GUI which is fairly easier than editing config files in my opinion.
      Positive comment 6 months ago

      0
      armyn It has beautiful skins and is suitable for weak systems.
      Positive comment 10 months ago

      0
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      7 of 17 comments
    5. Though MX Player only supports Android devices, it is often cited as one of the platform's best video players. Featuring extensive customization options, an Android-optimized design, and plenty of supported video formats, MX Player is worth checking out on your Android phone or tablet if you're looking for a simple, optimized video player.
      MX Player vs VLC Media Player opinions
      Most users think MX Player is a great alternative to VLC Media Player.
      Powerful, Support lots of formats. Easy to use
      Positive comment almost 6 years ago

      6
      HurDugggio Really does a good job of playing a video with maximized settings. Looks gorgeous.
      Positive comment over 5 years ago

      4
      aalooksth Fully customisable, very easy to use interface, modern design, very powerful
      Positive comment about 2 years ago

      1


    6. MPC-BE is another fork of Media Player Classic (specifically of the Home Cinema fork) with a focus on bug fixes and for automatically mounting ISO images. It is actively updated and performs really well for video playback. Users do not recommend it for music playback, as it lacks support for playlist looping and includes odd behaviors for shuffling media playback.
      MPC-BE vs VLC Media Player opinions
      Almost everyone thinks MPC-BE is a great alternative to VLC Media Player.
      rapheal21 I haven't tried it until now but will try it soon and will update the reviews too. thanks!
      Positive comment 4 months ago

      -1
      thumbnail view, available on MS store
      Positive comment 6 months ago

      -1
    7. Though it's been discontinued and almost entirely superseded by successors like Media Player Classic Home Cinema, some users still swear by it as a sort of "old reliable" video player that can play most files people throw at it with no issue. However, it's been 10 years since its last release, so it's highly recommended to look at MPC-HC and other forks actively in development.

      Discontinued

      The project is no longer developed. The currently active fork is MPC-HC . Latest version, 6.4.9.1, released in April 2011, can be still downloaded from FreeCodec.com

      Media Player Classic vs VLC Media Player opinions
      Most users think Media Player Classic is a great alternative to VLC Media Player.
      It doesn't feature an online streamer...
      Negative comment over 5 years ago

      4
    8. Though Kodi can function as an alternative to VLC, its strengths lie in its robust cataloging of media and robust sorting and organization options for TV shows, movies, and music. Its media server capabilities are front and center, its playback functionality is nothing to sneeze at, and it can be used for that exact purpose.
      Kodi vs VLC Media Player opinions
      Some users think Kodi is a great alternative to VLC Media Player, some don't.
      Kody is more oriented to being a fullscreen video/music cataloguing application, but it has an internal video/audio/iptv playing system with very good decoding capabilities like VLC and can be windowed as well
      Top positive comment  over 6 years ago

      4
      Can also play many formats, and can organize video libraries, playing over UPnP, FTP, and many other protocols
      Top positive comment  about 3 years ago

      -3
      Kodi, formerly XBMC, is a software media center.
      Top negative comment  over 6 years ago

      16
      LesterCovax Kodi is a media server first and foremost. It's like comparing Google Docs to Microsoft Office.
      Negative comment over 1 year ago

      2
      Kodi is a fullscreen media library manager, a whole home theater frontend. Slower for the purpose, with more complex navigation.
      Negative comment almost 2 years ago

      4
    9. Though it's exclusive to macOS, IINA's users swear by it for being lightweight, efficient, and performative. Minor annoyances such as performance-based audio-video-subtitle desyncs that can be found on VLC are not a problem when using IINA. Additionally, its interface is neat clean, with clearly labelled settings. This ease of use combined with its excellent performance makes it an easy recommendation for macOS users looking for a media player.
      IINA vs VLC Media Player opinions
      Almost everyone thinks IINA is a great alternative to VLC Media Player.
      POX Great alternative to VLC if you're on macOS. It's lightweight, the UI is very clean, and has even more functionalities than VLC.
      Top positive comment  over 4 years ago

      4
      Hansaplast The best alternative for macOS users who like a small, fast and minimalistic (yet very functional!) media player.
      Top positive comment  over 3 years ago

      3
      nicolaspatate IINA is the best modern player out there
      Positive comment almost 2 years ago

      2
      Lean (simple), mean (versatile) player, void of the bad audio-video-sub sync as in VLC of late (i.e. at least for me).
      Positive comment about 2 years ago

      1
      Great integration with Mac touchbar & gestures, PiP, and looks like a native app instead of something cobbled together.
      Positive comment about 2 years ago

      1
      Best video player for macOS. Lightweight, clean user interface, many features...
      Positive comment over 2 years ago

      2
      VarunMohapatra The best video player for mac!
      Positive comment over 2 years ago

      0
    10. KMPlayer is often praised for its interface, which has been described as more functional and user-friendly than VLC or Media Player Classic Home Cinema. Its playlist manager is more akin to WinAmp's than it is to VLC or other video players, which makes it desirable for those with vast multimedia catalogs. It also includes very granular customization options.

      Bundleware

      Be careful during installation. Forum

      Most users think KMPlayer is a great alternative to VLC Media Player.
    Showing 10 of 270 alternatives