Best Free Video Players

Video Players
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If you have a windows computer, you have certainly used the Windows Media Player already. And If you own a Mac, you are familiar with Quicktime and iTunes. However, there are still issues with these players and programs when it comes to certain video file types or codecs used in a video container file. Often times, those free or operation system native video playing programs have limitations that prevent you from watching the video you wanted.

Luckily, there are many free and open source versions all over the net that offer just as many if not even more features, and allow you to view many different video file formats without any problem. We have gathered the best or most popular video players you get on the net for free.

VLC Player

VLC PlayerOne of the best known alternatives to the Windows Media Player is VideoLAN’s VLC Player. The multimedia player is available for many different operating systems like Windows, OS X, different GNU/Linux versions like Ubuntu or openSUSE, but also for mobile OS like Android, iOS, and Solaris.

The VLC media player is not limited to play video files from the hard only, but can also open and play discs, streams, and webcams. Different codec packs can be downloaded for VLC to display all kinds of video container formats, however the player already plays most files even without an additional installation.

It is easy and intuitive to use, with options for subtitles and different audio tracks, cropping, and even for adding effects to the video.

KMPlayer

KMPlayer

The KMPlayer supports many different video and container formats as well as audio files. In addition to the desktop computer versions of the KMPlayer, there are also apps available for both Android and iPhone devices.

A very special function of the KMPlayer is the Connect feature (which is currently in beta). With the feature, users are able to watch videos and movies downloaded on a computer with their mobile device. To watch, all that is needed is a pin and a 4 digit password.

The usual options of subtitles, contrast, audio tracks, and full DVD and other disc menus is given within the KMPlayer, as well as the possibility to capture audio and video with the program.

Miro

Miro

Another great multimedia player you can download and use for free is Miro. It is available for the three major operating systems Windows, OS X, and Linux, as well as for the iPad.

Miro works especially well with audio files since it easily creates a music (and video) library by pointing the player to the respective folder on your computer. Furthermore, the player easily syncs with Android phones and offers the possibility to share videos and music on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.

No Download and Installation

However, what all of these open source players have in common – apart of being free to use – is that you have to download them and install the program to your computer, or the app to your phone. Sometimes, when your hard drive is full already, you don’t want that.

In these cases, you can still use an online video converter to convert your videos into a popular format like MP4. That way, you can make them easily playable with your computer’s native or already installed players as well.

 

Best free Office Programs

Office Programs
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Working on a computer means that you have to not only deal with the internet but different programs for writing, creating presentations, or structuring different tables in spreadsheets. Microsoft as well as Apple have their native Office programs pre-installed on a new computer, or available for payable download on their websites. And of course, they come with special features, individual design, and many different file formats (check out this article for information about native apple files).

Yet, there are open source solutions out there that work just as good as the paid versions! In this article, we’ll have a look at such open source office programs and all the different file formats for documents, presentations, spreadsheets, or drawings you create when using them.

OpenOffice

Probably best known open source program pack for working on your computer is the creation of OpenOffice. The software creation was developed by Apache and is available for Linux, OS X, and Windows – including ports to other operating systems as well.

The most important programs included in the office pack are Writer (a word processing program), Calc (a spreadsheet program), Impress (to create presentations), and Draw (a simple drawing application).

LibreOffice

Less known and yet just as strong as OpenOffice is the open source office suit LibreOffice, developed by The Document Foundation. LibreOffice is most popular among Linux users, yet the software also runs on Windows and OS X.

Linear to OpenOffice, LibreOffice includes a word processing program, a spreadsheet program, a presentation program, and a drawing application – all with the same names as their OpenOffice cousins; Writer, Calc, Impress, and Draw. What distinguishes it from OpenOffice is that it’s support of Microsoft Word files works better than when using OpenOffice’s programs. Furthermore, LibreOffice provides compatibility with Microsoft Offica via various import and export filters.

NeoOffice

Another versatile office suit comes from the developers of Planamesa Software: NeoOffice. Contrary to the software packs listed above, NeoOffice was developed to utilize almost all features of the OpenOffice software to run on OS X platforms. Popularity of these programs shrank once OpenOffice was developed to be supported by OS X as well.

Since it has been forked from OpenOffice, NeoOffice consists of the same programs as it’s predecessor; a word processing program, a spreadsheet program, a presentation creator, and a drawing application. Since it was especially developed for usage on Mac computers, NeoOffice inherits the typical Apple design, as well as native Mac OS X text highlighting and file locking.

Office Programs

Native File Formats

All three office suits save their files in the OpenDocument standard which is an XML file format. In the following, we listed the most important file formats for Writer, Calc, Impress, and Draw of all three previously names office program packs.

Word Processing

  • ODT, OTT
  • SXW, STW

Spreadsheets

  • ODS, OTS
  • SXC, STC

Presentations

  • ODP, OTP
  • SXI, STI
  • ODG
  • SXD

Drawings

  • ODG, OTG
  • SXD, STD
  • FODG (LibreOffice)