The next time your computer complains about missing codecs or plugins when trying to play a video or audio file, give VLC Media Player a try. Unlike almost every other media player available for Windows, VLC doesn’t rely on just the right mix of audio and video codecs being installed to do its magic. Instead, it has support for just about every file format you’ll likely run into on the Internet built right in. It also supports DVD movie playback–an important feature that was missing from Windows Media Player on Windows XP.
Like most of the software we recommend, VLC Media Player is simple to use, free and open-source. It’s also highly portable and available for MacOSX, Linux, and Windows XP, Vista and 7.