Free DVD and VCD Players, Free Media Players (Software)
Free standalone software to play DVD movies and other video files (MPG, WMV, AVI, DivX, etc) on your computer
Free DVD, Blu-Ray and VCD Players / Free Movie and Media Playing Software
This page lists some standalone software to play DVD movies on your computers without the need to install additional codecs, plugins or software. These software can also typically play VCDs, SVCDs, as well as media files such as AVI files, MPEG (MPG) files, DivX / XVid files, Windows Media Video (WMV), ASF, RealVideo, QuickTime (QT) (etc) files as well. Some of these files with proprietary formats (apart from DVDs), like Real and QuickTime may require you to install additional decoding software (codecs).
Note that while most, if not all, of these programs can handle DVDs with encrypted CSS content, such as those found on many commercial DVD movie disks, they may not be able to handle situations where your DVD drive has a different region code from your DVD movie disk. For example if your DVD has a region code of 1 (USA) and you try to play a region 2 (UK) disk, the software may not be able to play it, since modern DVD drives itself will not permit it (older drives are region free). Of course, if you have multiple DVD drives, it is a trivial matter to devote each DVD drive to playing a different region disk, such as (say) drive D: to playing region 1 disks and drive E: to playing region 2 disks.
Other tips about playing video:
If you find that you are unable to play some video files, it's possible that you're missing some system components that support those formats. If so, get them from the Free Video Codecs page.
If you want to play a FLV (Flash video) file, you may also be interested in the Free Standalone Flash Video (FLV) Players page. Having said that, many of the players listed on this page can also handle FLV files.
Free Movie Players, DVD and Blu Ray Players, Video File Players: Play MPG, AVI, WMV, DivX, etc
- Media Player Classic Homecinema Edition
The Home Cinema edition of Media Player Classic, like the Guliverkli2 edition, is an updated version of the original Media Player Classic (which is no longer being maintained). It has numerous fixes over the original (both security fixes and other bugs) as well as new features like support for multiple monitors, FLV files with H.264 video and AAC audio, Blu Ray support, RealText support, etc. As I understand it, the Guliverkli2 version is more conservative in its addition of new features (leaning towards bug fixes and minor incremental changes) while this Home Cinema Edition implements more major changes.
- VideoLAN - VLC Media Player
VideoLAN is a cross-platform media player that supports the playing of many video and movie formats, including DVD disks (both encrypted and unencrypted DVD disks), VCD, SVCD, audio CD, MPEG, AVI, ASF, WMV, WMA, MP4, MOV, 3GP, Ogg, OGM, Annodex, Matroska (MKV), WAV, raw audio (DTS, AAC, AC3, A52), raw DV, FLAC, FLV (Flash), DivX, MPEG-4, XViD, 3ivX, H.264, H.263, H.263i, Sorenson 1/3 (Quicktime), MJPEG, Indeo Video (IV32, IV41, IV51), etc. It can also handle streaming video both as a client and as a server. Support systems include Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, BeOS, WinCE / PocketPC, NetBSD, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, Solaris, and QNX. The program is open source and is released under the GNU General Public License.
- MPlayer - The Movie Player
MPlayer is a movie player that works on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X (and possibly other systems). It handles DVD disks (included encrypted DVD disks), VCDs (not in Windows?), SVCD (super Video CDs), AVI, ASF, WMV, WMA, QuickTime MOV, MP4, Ogg, OGM, Matroska, NSV (Nullsoft Streaming Video), VIVO, FLI, Real Video, Real Audio, DivX, 3ivx, etc. MPlayer is open source and is released under the GNU General Public License. You may also be interested in SMPlayer (Windows and Linux only), a player built on top of MPlayer with some additional features. If you use Linux, there is also KMPlayer for KDE, which also uses MPlayer and Xine as backends.
- Media Player Classic (Guliverkli2 Edition)
This media player is an updated version of no longer maintained Media Player Classic, also listed on this page. It has all the features of Media Player Classic, that is, the ability to play DVDs, VCDs, SVCDs, AVI, MPG, WMV, ASF, MOV, Real video and other video files. Like its precursor, it (deliberately) looks like the old Windows Media Player 6.4. The difference between this and the original Media Player Classic is that this version contains security fixes and other bug fixes not present in its predecessor. It also contains additional features, like AC3 and Theora support, support for FLV files that contain H.264 video and AAC audio, RealText support, AMV file support, etc.
- Media Player Classic
Media Player Classic is a Windows media player fashioned in the image of Microsoft's old Media Player 6.4. However, while it may look like the latter, it boasts an extensive list of features including the ability to play DVDs, VCDs, SVCDs, video files of numerous formats (including AVI, MPG, WMV, ASF, MOV, Real video, etc) and so on. The project does not seem to be maintained any more. See the Guliverkli2 and MPC Home Cinema versions listed on this page for updated versions (by third parties) of this program.
Xine is a free multimedia player that handles DVD disks, CD disks, VCD disk, SVCD disks and a variety of multimedia file formats like AVI, MOV, WMV, MP3 and streaming multimedia (streaming audio and video). Platforms supported by this player include Linux, Solaris, and OS/2. It is possible that other systems are also supported as well. If you are interested in Xine, you may also want to check out the Kaffeine Player, an open source player for KDE built on top of Xine.
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