VersusVLC vs Windows Media Player: which one is best media player?

VLC vs Windows Media Player: which one is best media player?

VLC (VideoLAN Client) is a popular open-source media player that can play a wide range of audio and video formats. It is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS, among other operating systems. VLC is known for being flexible because it can play multimedia files, DVDs, CDs, and even content that is being streamed. It has an easy-to-use interface, advanced customization options, and extra features like support for subtitles, video filters, and streaming.

On the other hand, Windows Media Player is a media player made by Microsoft for the Windows operating system. It comes pre-installed on Windows devices and has an interface that fits in with the rest of the Windows ecosystem. Windows Media Player can play a variety of audio and video files, as well as other types of media. It has basic playback features, can organize your media library, and can sync with other Windows devices. Even though it doesn’t support as many formats or have as many advanced features as VLC, it’s easy to use and simple for Windows users.

VLC vs Windows Media Player Comparison Table

AspectVLCWindows Media Player
Cross-platformAvailable for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and morePrimarily available for Windows
File Format SupportWide range of multimedia formats, including popular and obscure onesSupports common multimedia formats
Codec SupportSupports a vast array of codecs and can play media files without additional installationsRequires additional codec installations for certain file types
InterfaceSimple and straightforward interfaceFamiliar interface consistent with the Windows operating system
Customization OptionsOffers advanced settings and customization optionsLimited customization features
Playback ControlsExtensive playback controls and features, including playback speed adjustment, audio and subtitle synchronizationBasic playback controls and features
Streaming CapabilitiesCan stream online content and network streamsLimited streaming capabilities
Advanced FeaturesVideo and audio effects, equalizer, playlist management, and moreMedia library organization and syncing with other Windows devices
Resource UsageLightweight and resource-efficientRelatively heavier on system resources
Open SourceVLC is open-source software with an active communityWindows Media Player is proprietary software
Official linkVisit WebsiteVisit Website

VLC vs Windows Media Player User Interface

VLC vs Windows Media Player

The interface of VLC is simple, but not as pretty as the customizable interface of Windows Media Player. You can’t control a minimized window directly in VLC; you have to bring it back up first. Windows Media Player, on the other hand, has a small window that you can control without having to open the main one.

For instance, VLC might be a better choice for people who care more about how easy it is to use than how it looks. Windows Media Player would be better for people who like to change their interface and want to control their media player without opening the main window.

VLC vs Windows Media Player Cross-platform

Both VLC and Windows Media Player can be used on different platforms, but in different ways. VLC is proud of how well it works on many different platforms, which means it can be used on many different operating systems. It works on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and other systems. Users can enjoy their multimedia content on different devices, no matter what operating system they are using. VLC works the same on Windows PCs, Macbooks, Android phones, and iPhones. It works on many different platforms, which makes it a good choice for people who want a media player that works well on many different devices.

On the other hand, Windows Media Player is mostly made for computers that run Windows. It is part of the Windows operating system package and is already on desktops and laptops that use Windows. It has a familiar interface and works with the Windows ecosystem, but it can only be used on devices that run Windows. This means that people who use operating systems like Mac or Linux can’t get to or use Windows Media Player directly. There are, however, other media players for these platforms that can be used to play media.

VLC vs Windows Media Player Installation

VLC is free and open source, while Windows Media Player comes with Windows but some of its features may require extra purchases. Let’s take the ability to play DVDs as an example. Windows Media Player can play DVDs, but it needs extra software like the Windows DVD Player app, which costs a few dollars, to do so. This can be frustrating for users who want a media player that comes pre-installed to work well without having to pay extra. VLC supports a wide range of media file types and codecs right out of the box, so users don’t have to buy extra software or codecs to play their media files.

Even though Windows Media Player is already installed, some of its extra features can add up to a lot of extra money. VLC’s out-of-the-box support for a wide range of media files and codecs makes it a more cost-effective choice for those who need a media player that can play many media files without having to purchase extra software.

VLC vs Windows Media Player Customization

VLC vs Windows Media Player

VLC is known for its advanced customization options, which let users fine-tune their playback experience. It has a lot of settings and preferences that can be changed to fit the needs of each person. Users can change things like video and audio effects, equalizer settings, the timing of subtitles, and how the playlist is managed. VLC also lets users install “skins” from third-party developers, which change the look and feel of the media player interface to match their own tastes. With this level of customization, VLC users can make it fit their needs and create a unique multimedia experience.

Windows Media Player, on the other hand, doesn’t let you change things as much as VLC does. Users can change basic settings like the quality of audio and video playback, but there isn’t much room for customization. Windows Media Player has a familiar interface that matches the Windows operating system. This means that users can change some things about the way it looks, like the color scheme or the size of the player window. But there aren’t as many ways to change things as there are with VLC.

VLC: Pros and Cons


  • Cross-platform availability.
  • Extensive file format support.
  • Advanced customization options.
  • Lightweight and resource-efficient.
  • Open-source software.


  • User interface may feel less polished compared to some other media players.
  • Advanced customization options may be overwhelming for casual users.
  • Limited integration with other platforms or devices.

Windows Media Player: Pros and Cons


  • Familiar interface consistent with the Windows operating system.
  • Seamless integration with Windows devices and ecosystem.
  • Easy to use, suitable for beginners.
  • Offers basic playback features and functionality.


  • Limited cross-platform availability (primarily for Windows).
  • Limited file format support compared to VLC.
  • Limited customization options compared to VLC.
  • Not as actively developed or updated as some other media players.

Which one should you consider?

Both VLC and Windows Media Player are well-known media players, but each has its own strengths. VLC stands out because it can be used on multiple platforms, supports a wide range of file formats, has advanced customization options, and is very light. It is a flexible media player that works with different operating systems and has a lot of features and settings to improve the way you watch or listen to media.

On the other hand, Windows Media Player is great because it works well with Windows, has a familiar interface, and is easy to use. It comes installed on Windows devices and works well with everything else in the Windows ecosystem. In the end, the choice between VLC and Windows Media Player depends on each person’s preferences, the needs of their operating system, and the features they want.


Is VLC still the best media player for Windows?

As for our suggestion, if you want a simple and easy-to-use media player, we think you should go with the most popular one, which is VLC Media Player. It may also be the best video player for Windows 10.

Is there a better player than VLC?

Wondershare UniConverter is one of the best VLC alternatives for Windows and Mac. It supports over 1,000 file formats and has many useful features, like a built-in player that can play any video file in 4K or HD quality.

Amy Hinckley
Amy Hinckley
The Dell Inspiron 15 that her father purchased from QVC sparked the beginning of her interest in technology. At Bollyinside, Amy Hinckley is in charge of content editing and reviewing products. Amy's interests outside of working include going for bike rides, playing video games, and watching football when she's not at her laptop.
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