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Battle of the Media Players: Windows Media Player 12 vs VLC media player 2.2.4

Having a hard time deciding between Windows Media Player (WMP) and VLC? The best solution would be to know what makes one better than the other, then take into account where you will install it. If you want to use it on a mobile device, it could go either way, depending on the gadget you own.

Built by Microsoft, Windows Media Player (WMP) was first released to the public in Nov 1992, which gave them almost a decade of a head start than VLC. For some reason, however, WMP didn’t have as much improvement over the years. Its compatibility with operating systems (OS) other than Windows is also very limited.

VideoLAN’s VLC, on the other hand, has gone through a series of developments, catering to a wide range of OS. From the stable version it released for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux 7 months ago, it continued to roll out other versions for Windows (UWP), Android and iOS. This means it is compatible with Windows, Windows Mobile, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS, and Android. Whereas WMP only works with Windows and Windows Mobile. Using it on Mac OS would require codecs.

Surely, WMP has made improvements on Windows Media Player 12, right? On the features, yes. But not so much with its compatibility with other OS.

Windows Media Player 12 vs VLC media player 2.2.4 Features

Windows Media Player 12

  • Now plays more types of media than previous versions, what with its built-in support. These include AVI, DivX, MOV, Xvid, 3GP, AAC, AVCHD, MPEG-4, WMV, WMA and other popular audio and video formats.
  • No need to install codecs.
  • Comes with a “Play To” feature that lets you stream videos and music to other PCs and compatible devices, such as a TV or a stereo, within your home network. For example, you can stream music from your PC to your TV.
  • Remote Media Streaming lets you access your WMP 12 library online, even when you’re outside of your home network. As long as you’re connected to the internet, you can stream your own playlist.
  • Now Playing Mode is a taskbar thumbnail with controls for playback.
  • Jump list for fast access
  • 15-second song previews
  • DVD playback

VLC Media Player 2.2.4

  • Supports Blu-ray playback on Mac, crashes in media information panel and disable screensaver option
  • Fix WMV regression on Demux
  • Fix hardware decoding with libvdpau-va-gl and crashes with libvpx
  • Repair green lines on Direct3D output
  • Fix a variety of issues on Qt – resizing issues when switching to/from the minimal interface, resume where you left off, infinite recursion in the customize dialog, and size after resume toolbar is displayed.
  • Build fixes for Hurd
  • Updated translations for the following languages: Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), German, French, Italian, Marathi, Norwegian (Bokmål and Nynorsk), Slovak, Spanish (Mexico), Portuguese, and Swedish.
  • Corrected overlay creation on Windows XP for DirectDraw video output on Win32
  • Fix crashes in decoders for G.711 wav files and mp3 files in libmad.

Although WMP 12 is still in the competition even without updates, there’s no denying that VLC has overtaken it. If you own an Android or iOS device, VLC is your only option.


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