There are many challenges when sharing and displaying audio or video for ministry purposes. One of the biggest issues isn’t always the sound or display equipment but the software. You may invest in very good equipment, only to realise that budget is making it tough to get the right software. You may even have ministry partners with smartphones and tablets in a more rural setting in Africa, Asia or South America – and they need some good software to help them display the audio messages or video teachings you may have for them.
The good thing about the world-wide-web is that makes available free software solutions that were once only a dream. These software solutions are often superior to some paid turnkey solutions today. It is just a matter of choosing what will work for you and your team!
In this article we consider ministry teams who need a good video player and audio player for ministry. There are two considered as some of the best software available today. We have tested some of the claims that they make and have seen some wonderful results. There may be many other products out in the WWW. But we must also consider that not all of them have large, skills-contributing communities that develop the products. Often times “after installation support” is very much lacking with alternative products. VLC and K-lite are discussed as we have seen good support or community forums that can give you some advice when things go wrong when you don’t need them to.
VLC Player is also regarded as a universal must have in Media player software. It is very similar to the K-lite system in the sense that it has a universal media player called the VLC Player. This free little beauty has useful features such as:
- The compact size of the program is a very nice advantage for those who run small hardware systems such as Atom powered netbooks, some smartphones and tablets. However there are certain video files that do not render so well and there are some file versions that are not playable at all.
- It is also a wonderful feature to use it on all platforms from Android, Unix, iOS, Mac OS X to various versions of Windows.
- It is also free with the added benefit of no nagging advertisements nor is there any tracking software to track your activity.
- Finally, it plays most media such as optical disks, stand alone files on storage media, LAN and Internet streaming is also viable.
- VLC Player is also enjoys the modular conveniences such as adding skins, creating your own skins as well as adding extensions to increase user satisfaction.
THE NOT SO GOOD
- Some users did experience video playback issues. However many of the issues can be sorted out with a little patience and a visit to the FAQ page which could help with some of the playback related problems. Keep in mind, it may help to have someone technically able, to assist in handling the problems if you feel unsure of what to do.
K-lite Codec library offers one of the best comprehensivee collections of CODECS libraries around. With 4 different size options to choose from based on your needs. It is best to use K-lite library of codecs with the media player known as Media Player Classic Home Cinema (MPC-HC) – but can be comfortably used with many other players. K-lite is free like the VLC Player counterpart.
There have been some claims of K-Lite working with MPC-HC that we have seen in action which include:
- You get better video quality when you use MPC-HC in combination with madVR (an advanced video renderer).
- The pack provides additional functionality that is not directly related to playback. For example video thumbnail generation in Windows Explorer, and display of MKV file properties in Windows Explorer.
- The pack provides additional hardware acceleration options: NVIDIA CUVID and Intel QuickSync.
- Better support for MKV files.
- Better performance for rendering SSA/ASS subtitles.
- MPC-HC loads much faster than VLC.
- MPC-HC provides a better user interface.
- Codecs are available to other applications.
We have also seen that some partially downloaded video and audio files or files that may even have slight corruption – still are functional through the MPC-HC player.
The Not So God
- While K-lite runs comfortable on most windows based environments for 64-bit and 32 bit systems – it cannot be run on many other platforms. (Unless you are a wizkid with a windows type enumerator on your non-windows platform). So there are some major limitations to this wonderful technology. However for those with window’s systems – it is still considerably the best around.
While the debate concerning these two software freebies can get a little heated since some parties are dedicated to VLC while others prefer K-lite. What we recommend is that you download each of them and see which works for your system in the best possible way.
** Consider sending us links to other interesting Audio / Video software solutions EAR2HEAR HERE