Windows Media Player (abbreviated WMP) is a digital media player and media library application developed by Microsoft that is used for playing audio, video and viewing images on personal computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system, as well as on Pocket PC and Windows Mobile-based devices. Editions of Windows Media Player were also released for Mac OS, Mac OS X and Solaris but development of these has since been discontinued.
In addition to being a media player, Windows Media Player includes the ability to rip music from and copy music to compact discs, build Audio CDs in recordable discs and synchronize content with a digital audio player (MP3 player) or other mobile devices, and enables users to purchase or rent music from a number of online music stores.
Windows Media Player replaced an earlier piece of software called Media Player, adding features beyond simple video or audio playback.
Windows Media Player 12 is the most recent version of Windows Media Player as of October 2009. It was released on October 22, 2009 along with Windows 7.
Windows Media Player 11 is available for Windows XP and included in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. The default file formats are Windows Media Video (WMV), Windows Media Audio (WMA), and Advanced Systems Format (ASF), and supports its own XML based playlist format called Windows Playlist (WPL). The player is also able to utilize a digital rights management service in the form of Windows Media DRM. Read more about: Windows Media Player
QuickTime is a multimedia framework developed by Apple Inc., capable of handling various formats of digital video, media clips, sound, text, animation, music, and interactive panoramic images. It is available for Mac OS classic (System 7 onwards), Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows operating systems. The latest version is QuickTime X (10.0) and is only available on Mac OS X v10.6. Read more about: QuickTime
VLC media player is an open source, free software media player and multimedia framework written by the VideoLAN project.
VLC is a portable multimedia player, encoder, and streamer supporting many audio and video codecs and file formats as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It is able to stream over networks and to transcode multimedia files and save them into various formats. VLC used to stand for VideoLAN Client, but that meaning is now deprecated.
It is one of the most platform-independent players available, with versions for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, BeOS, Syllable, BSD, MorphOS, Solaris and Sharp Zaurus, and is widely used with over 324 609 909 downloads for all versions as of 07 November 2009.
The default distribution of VLC includes a large number of free decoding and encoding libraries; on the Windows platform, this greatly reduces the need for finding/calibrating proprietary plugins. Many of VLC's codecs are provided by the libavcodec library from the FFmpeg project, but it uses mainly its own muxer and demuxers. It also gained distinction as the first player to support playback of encrypted DVDs on Linux by using the libdvdcss DVD decryption library. Read more about: VLC media player
Flash Video is a container file format used to deliver video over the Internet using Adobe Flash Player (initially produced by Macromedia) versions 6â€“10. Flash Video content may also be embedded within SWF files. There are two different video file formats defined by Adobe Systems and supported in Adobe Flash Player: FLV and F4V. The audio and video data within FLV files are encoded in the same way as they are within SWF files. The latter F4V file format is based on the ISO base media file format and is supported starting with Flash Player 9 update 3.
The format has quickly established itself as the format of choice for embedded video on the web. Notable users of the Flash Video format include YouTube, Google Video, Yahoo! Video, metacafe, Reuters.com, and many other news providers. The standards documentation for BBC Online deprecates the use of other formats previously in use on its sites such as RealVideo or WMV.
Though the Flash Video container format itself is open, the codecs used with it are patented. Flash Video FLV files usually contain material encoded with codecs following the Sorenson Spark or VP6 compression formats. The most recent public releases of Flash Player also support H.264 video and HE-AAC audio.
Flash Video is viewable on most operating systems, via the widely available Adobe Flash Player and web browser plugin, or one of several third-party programs. Read more about: Flash Video
Adobe Flash Lite is a lightweight version of Adobe Flash Player, a software application published by Adobe Systems. This version is intended for mobile phones and other portable electronic devices like Chumby and iRiver, and allows users of these devices to view multimedia content and applications developed using Adobe's Flash tools, which had previously been available only on personal computers. Read more about: Adobe Flash Lite