I honestly hadn’t given much though to VLC for a while, but recently someone pretty well informed with computers suggested that it might be better than Media Player Classic.

It seemed like the right thing to do to go out, install VLC, and give it a good checking out.

Honestly, I was sort of unimpressed.  The parking cone icon was cool, but all around VLC failed to deliver in a few key ways.

Full screen interface

The first thing I noticed was that VLC is completely without any controls in full screen.  It has a bunch of hot-keys you can learn that will control it in full-screen, but seriously.  We all have enough to memorize without having to remember which letter means “next track.”  Sometimes I like to just use my mouse because it takes very little thought.

I didn’t like having to take movies out of full screen to do stuff.

Media control buttons

Windows has some sort of system, I forgot what it’s called, but what it does is define a standard for communicating media player controls.  The purpose of it was to make those sweet “play,” “pause,” and whatnot buttons on your keyboard work with whatever sort of program you want to use them on.  It’s a cool idea, but for it to work people have to make their programs pay attention.

My media control buttons didn’t do a thing in VLC, and I assume that will be true for everyone.

Shell integration

This is one place where MPC outdoes VLC in an unexpected way: by not even trying. Media player classic doesn’t do shell integration, but that’s fine, because VLC’s shell integration is annoying.  It made the right click menu way too big with all its options, and they didn’t seem to work quite right, and I always wound up with more windows open than I wanted.

Let me tell you, too: having like eight cartoons playing at once is not a pleasant sound.

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