My school colleague Arlette recently sent me a link to “the best cool video software ever” after a brief that’s-not-possible discussion. She swore that she was able to watch all of her North American and European DVDs on her laptop without cracking the DVD driver or Region settings. I doubted that such software existed in a free (and legal) form and am happy to announce that I was totally wrong!
VLC is in fact real FOSS, currently released under GPL 2. That little hurdle being cleared, I am also thrilled with the dreamlist of features that this software offers. It will play and encode almost anything (except Real formatted files for some insidious reason) and works on any platform I can think of.
This is great news for Apple users because Flip4Mac seemed to be the only option for playing non-Apple media files after MicroSoft pulled the plug on the Mindows Media Player for OSX. This truly levels the playing field for all computer users, allowing access to almost any kind of media file regardless of OS. A truly great piece of software!