I downloaded the amusing video short Office Space Wars (found via Boing Boing) recently and I wanted to show it to my wife on her PowerBook. The video played fine under Fedora Core 1 with Xine, but the playback had lots of stutters and glitches under Windows Media Player on Mac OS X. The movie is a wmv file, as in Windows Media Video. I’ve never had a problem playing back a QuickTime movie on Windows, but Windows Media Player for OS X has been nothing but problems and poor quality, even with files in Microsoft file formats.
Since Xine was a no-show in Fink Commander and it was already getting late, I checked out VLC (sometimes known as VideoLAN Client), which I had always been happy with on Linux. VLC played Office Space Wars flawlessly.
Given my luck with the wmv file, I decided to try an AVI file that had not played properly in QuickTime Player. Windows Media Player refused to play it all, claiming it was in an illegal file format. With the free version of QuickTime Player, the audio was unlistenable and the video didn’t appear at all. I downloaded the 3ivx MPEG-4 toolkit, which got the video working in QuickTime Player, but didn’t fix the audio problem. VLC played the AVI file flawlessly.