Top 5 VLC Alternative Media Players of 2022

Top 5 VLC alternatives In this article we’re going to review the most popular VLC alternatives available on the market. Follow along to see if there are any decent media players that you might try out.

Watching movies and series or playing other random videos on our PC is something that we all do every now and then. We surely need a proper video playback software for that. One of the most popular apps for playing all kinds of video media files is VLC Media Player but more and more users try to find something that’ll be better than VLC. Why so?

It indeed has some downsides. It looks outdated and it is prone to minor bugs such as with text encoding or playback windows. Additionally, some external codecs need tweaking before they can be viewed on it.

If your experience with VLC media player wasn’t really great at some point, you may be looking for an alternative to VLC. When something is as popular as VLC media player it might be hard to find a replacement but we got you. Here is our selection of the best 5 VLC alternatives.

1. Windows Media Player – the best VLC alternative media player for Windows users

Windows Media Player

Whichever Windows you use, Windows Media Player is probably the most convenient and accessible VLC alternative. It is a preinstalled software and it’s free as well, so even though it is not the default video player in newer versions of Windows, you can set it as a default media player and use it.

Windows Media player is highly focused on connectivity and organization. This VLC alternative has its basic playback features and some advanced tools like crossfading, graphics equalizer, SRS WOW, and color calibration. It doesn’t as many video customization features as VLC does but do we really use this customization very often anyway?

One of the most amazing Windows Media Player’s features is its library. It automatically syncs with files that are stored on your PC and helps you categorize and label them. It syncs with other devices on your home network, too, and streams to them.

All the files in general and media files in particular have to be properly backed up in case you loose them if something goes wrong with your device. If you still don’t use any backup software check the best free backup software for Windows to keep your data safe.

OS: Windows
Licensing: Freeware
Our Rating: 10 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Excellent design
  • Free to use slideshow software
  • Interesting tools like previewing facility
  • Fast performance
  • Some features behind paywall

2. KMPlayer – a nicely designed feature-packed VLC alternative


KMPlayer is your perfect choice if you’re searching for a full-featured media player software tat will become an alternative to VLC. This sleek, obviously more modernly designed player is packed with lots of features and options for customization.

In terms of the number of supported formats, not only is KMPlayer better than VLC but probably is just the best. Almost any media player software can play MP4, MKV or MOV files, but KMPlayer also plays RTS, AAC, OGG and more.

Compared to Windows Media Player, KMPlayer is a VLC alternative that you’d need to install on your device and before that you have to make sure your PC has a proper malware protection. In case it doesn’t, check the list of the best free malware removal tools and choose wisely.

As stated above, this VLC player alternative has multiple great customizing options for your media files. We might need to write an extra-article only for naming all the features KMPlayer has but here’s an example of something that impressed us a lot: this media player can repair corrupted files while other players won’t even try to open them.

What’s the catch, one might ask? Well, as usual, the more features a program has, the more complicated it is to get to use them all. This media player software is very beautifully and intuitively designed, we’ve said that already, but sometimes less is better and you just don’t need it so many things to be able to do with a single player.

OS: Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS
Licensing: Freeware
Our Rating: 10 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Supports a massive number of different file formats, including some very rare ones
  • Packed with features for tuning and calibrating video and audio
  • The UI is modern and intuitive in use
  • VLC alternative that supports 4k UHD, 3D, VR, etc
  • High level of complexity for beginners
  • Might require some tweaking with codec options to get some file formats to work

3. RealPlayer – cross-platform VLC alternative

RealPlayer as VLC alternative

RealPlayer is another VLC alternative that’s available for both PC and phones. Thanks to its cloud storage, you can continue watching the video that you watched on your PC on a phone when you have no access to your computer and vice versa. It is very convenient when you are on your way to somewhere and you have some spare time in a car or train to finish a movie or just watch some funny videos to annoy a taxi driver or your fellow traveler with your laughter.

Besides that, RealPlayer can download videos from services like YouTube or TikTok and has much more special features than the vast majority of players, but there’s a ‘but’. This player’s unique features are hidden behind the paywall. RealPlayer has a premium and a free version (please see the life-time price below).

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OS: Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS
Licensing: Freemium
Our Rating: 9 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Can download and save videos from YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, etc.
  • Backs up videos on cloud storage
  • Facial recognition feature in videos
  • Can convert video file formats and trim them
  • A lot of features are locked behind the premium version
  • Advertisements and upsells in the free version and lowest-tier premium version
  • Need premium versions for Audio enhancing and control

4. PotPlayer – underestimated VLC alternative media player software

PotPlayer Media Player

Most of us probably haven’t heard of PotPlayer but it’s one of the best solutions if you’re searching for a VLC alternative.

When you just open PotPlayer it looks pretty basic. Despite that, it provides you with a great number of features for both audio and video, and its simple interface helps you not to get lost and overwhelmed. You easily scroll through the feature-rich menu of this VLC alternative and, as you can see in the screenshot, get all features at hand.

What’s more, it does not let the user customize each tool extensively. This is what differs PotPlayer from the rest of feature-stuffed players – you don’t get overloaded with information about this or that set of tools which gives you a better change to get to use everything you need with ease.

It also supports a lot of different video and subtitle formats, plus hardware acceleration. And this VLC alternative is free.

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OS: Windows
Licensing: Freeware
Our Rating: 9 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Good performance with hardware acceleration
  • Extremely feature-packed
  • Supports various rare subtitle formats
  • Most tools cannot be customized a lot
  • No official support for Windows 10 and onwards

5. Kodi – unusual VLC alternative


Kodi is an amazing open-source media player that is more complex when it comes to its features and has greater basic hardware requirements than the apps of its kind but it’s definitely worth it, as it’s a full entertainment center in one media player.

Whenever we write about open-source software we are aiming to spread the word about outstanding free-to-use tools that a lot of users have no idea about. We love open-source software so much that we’ve created an article dedicated entirely to the best open source software to get you acquainted with the services you will definitely enjoy to use, especially with no fees.

When it comes to videos, Kodi has relatively simple payback, audio editing, and tuning tools. To use all the complex features the player has you can choose from more than almost a 1000 add-ons. You most likely are getting a feature you need from a digital media player even if you’re using its in-built features but then again, the variety is so impressive that you might find a feature that you couldn’t imagine existing.

OS: Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, Linux
Licensing: Open-source
Our Rating: 9 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Add-ons can provide almost any kind of feature
  • Suitable for streaming
  • Dedicated library and file system is useful
  • Lacks many media player features out of the box
  • The learning curve is steep

As we tested and reviewed these VLC alternatives, we realized that the great majority of them is actually better than VLC itself. VLC media player is something that we are used to using but it shouldn’t mean that we don’t try anything new. This article, we hope, helped you pick the most suitable media player software alternative for your needs and preferences.

If a media player software you chose to use doesn’t support an specific format feel free to convert it to a more broadly used one. Our review of the best free video converters was created for you to choose your perfect solution for that.

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