On occasion I’ll try to watch a video on my computer and I will run into problems. Often the issue involves the codec. The word codec represents either code/decode or compress/decompress (depending on who you ask.) Basically the codec enables the video player software to read and play your video.
Over the years I have tried numerous video players and the one that I have found with the fewest problems that plays the most video formats is called VLC. The program downloads quickly, installs easily and updates frequently. This matters because codecs are constantly changing as is video technology.
VLC offers both a windows and mac version. The software is free and open source. Donations are taken on the site.
If you decide to try out VLC, please be sure you get it from the official site. As with many types of software that are popular and free, unofficial downloads often include malware.
The official sites is http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
Speaking up updates
Here is a real world example of the importance of keeping software updated. Especially in frequently changing areas such as video.
Recently I ran into a problem with a friend at a seminar. He wanted to run video on a third person’s computer and it wouldn’t work. I ran it on VLC on my computer and it worked just fine. He told me he had tried VLC but it didn’t work. Turned out the version of VLC on the third computer was very out of date. A quick update and the problem was immediately resolved.