Broadcast Basics Leveraging a Free Media Player Platform
At OStatic, we've noted before that VLC Media Player, available for Windows, the Mac and Linux, is one of the best open source applications of any kind. The application is known for handling nearly any kind of video file format for playback; you can use it as a video transcoder for converting video file formats; and you can listen to and manage podcasts with it.
But what a lot of people don't realize is that that it's definitely not just a media player. You can use it to stream and broadcast video, podcasts and other media content, and that includes streaming content to mobile devices of all kinds. Some organizations are integrating these streaming features with their networks and cloud deployments, embracing shared multimedia content. Here is our collection of guides for streaming with VLC, including guides for integrating it with your organization's publishing strategy. This updated collection includes some very valuable new, free documentation.
Streaming 101. The key thing to understand is that VLC Media player can can be used as a server and as a client to stream and receive network streams. VLC is able to stream all that it can read. To get a good sense of how you can integrate streaming content with your network or cloud deployment, start on this page.
Cloud Integration. Many longtime users of VLC Media Player may not have registered yet that it integrates with the cloud. The VLC interface for mobile lets you stream your media files without having to download them to your phone or other mobile device. You can access your files from your Dropbox account and play them directly from cloud storage. You can also access your Google Drive account directly from the VLC player. Cloud integration vastly improves the utility of the media player.
Broadcasting Basics. While the vast majority of VLC Media Player users use the application for watching video, it is also a fantastic video streaming server. There are many easy tutorials online that show how to do this if you're interested. CNet U.K. has a very visual, easy-to-follow tutorial on VLC streaming, available here. This tutorial is also a particularly simple, screenshot-driven guide, and video tutorials are available. You can find many more non-obvious uses for VLC Media Player in this post.
Don't Ignore the YouTube Lessons. YouTube has a number of creative and telegraphic videos on using VLC as a streaming engine. You can find ones on creating your own broadcasting channel, and a simplified tutorial here.
A Beginner's Guide. FLOSSManuals, which offers many free manuals on open source applications and platforms, has a good, concise, free online guide to installing and using VLC Media Player on Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux, found here. The instructions are good for introducing you to VLC Media Player's main functions. You'll find individual "chapters" on how to perform various functions along the left rail of the guide.
Tips and Tricks. ThinkDigit has a very good collection of tips and tricks on VLC Media Player, found here. You'll find tips on how to do non-obvious things like taking snapshots of video, streaming video across a network, overlaying logos and adding effects, and using VLC as a video transcoder.
Skin It. Not everyone realizes it, but you can skin VLC Media Player to look much more slick than it typically does. Check out this tutorial for step-by-step instructions on making the application look great. Finally, note that there is ample documentation and there are tutorials available from the VLC Media Player site.
Spend a little time getting to know aspects of VLC Media Player that you may not be used to. It will be worth your while.