The open source movement has come into its own in the most important ways. If you have programming skills, you can help to change the destiny of entire operating systems, or just add a new dungeon to Oblivion. The following are tbe best open source video players out there. They’re free, for one thing. And in most cases, for those of us who have no programming skills to speak of, they offer a robust experience straight away, without having to mess with a lot of extra details.
Jaris was designed by a couple of people who simply wanted a basic FLV player that could be used to embed videos into websites without having to worry about paying (or being sued by) someone in the process. This player doesn’t have some of the overly fancy features the larger commercial players do – it just plays videos on websites, and plays them extremely well. Of course, you can do the things you really want to do, such as altering the aspect ratio and going full screen with your videos. You might say that Jaris kept what was truly important, and scrapped the extra junk most of us have grown too used to.
In much the same way Jaris was designed to help out with playing videos on websites, f4Player was designed to go a step further with the same types of videos. f4Player grants its user the ability to play FLV files, and additionally it plays ActionScript 3 files on a website. Now, a computer user do all this without having to worry about getting entangled in copyright litigation. The interface is clean and simple enough that it doesn’t come off as frilly, or like the company was trying to imitate a large commercial program with nothing but a different named slapped onto it.
In the same that the previous two programs allow a user to embed a video into a website, VLC offers two additional functions. For one, it allows the user to simply watch videos on their computer, without having to be concerned about what file types they may be. This program plays practically everything. For another, without too much effort a user can stream video from satellite TV, the Internet or from their hard drive to their home network, or even to their smart phone. This is as powerful a function for oneself as the previous programs offer for one’s website.
Open source is a beautiful thing. The open source community is a large, individualistic group of programmers who care about making something amazing and feel strongly about making their products available to all. Because of that caring, they offer great work for the benefit of everyone – everyone but the lawyers of the world, that is. Most never even make a dime off of all the hard work they put in. It does feel pretty good to let the lawyers stew in their own boredom, though. After all, who wants to go to court over a couple of videos?