MPEG (which stands for Moving Picture Experts Group) is a family of standards that is used for coding audio and visual information like movies, videos, and music into a compressed digital format. The reason MPEG has become popular is that compared to other video and audio coding formats, MPEG files provide the same quality but are much smaller. The fact that MPEG uses a sophisticated compression technique to allow such high quality content is a huge advantage over other players. There are several MPEG players out there. Here is a look at three of the most popular.
Apple offers a popular MPEG player, QuickTime that can be downloaded for free and works on both a Mac and PC. QuickTime 7, the latest version, offers advanced video with pristine quality, the ability to resize the picture while keeping the quality of the picture, improved playback controls, and surround sound. QuickTime Pro lets you export content to your iPhone, iPod, and Apple TV. You can capture movies and share them easily and encode with them the new H.264 video codec for exceptional quality. An upgrade to Apple Pro is only $29.99 including shipping cost or download the free version here.
Another popular MPEG player is the VLC media player. The VLC media player is a portable multimedia player for multiple formats including MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, and ogg) VLC can also play DVDs, VCDs, and several streaming protocols. You can use it as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network. You can download free versions of VLC for both MAC and PCs. The player gets excellent reviews and has absolutely no limitations. The editors at CNET said “Because of its open-source foundation, VLC Media Player evolves quickly, with new features and fixes released frequently.” The only complaint we could find is that the Windows version is quite sparse and it can, in some cases, be confusing to open a file but the fact that you can open any type of file with this player overrides the downfalls.
Probably the most common player is Windows Media Player. The latest version, Windows Media Player 11, is meant to be used with Windows XP but there are components you can add for QuickTime if you have a Mac. The player gets good reviews, its interface is attractive, easy to use, and offers excellent performance. It is a great choice for Windows users.
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