The MKV container format is widely recognized as being a pioneering development of open source in the realm of multimedia. Makroska’s video and audio stream container format, though constantly being updated and developed by many audiophiles around the world, is not used a lot because of the amount of work required to play one of these files.
First of all, a DirectShow based codec is necessary for these files to play and in some cases also some splitter software. Though this is needed by the majority of players, and since only technophiles use the MKV format, it is generally obscured from main public view.
However, VideoLAN’s VLC player – touted to be the best open source media player in the entire world – is also the only free MKV player that supports “out of the box” support for MKV files. This means that there is no hassle of finding and installing the DirectShow drivers and other accessorial software and files – just install VLC media player, and open an MKV file using it and it will work! No frills attached.
The best part about VLC media player is that it does not use a single proprietary source format for its production – the entire player is created and maintained by professionals to whom open source is the key to a successful product. This means that this wonderful player is completely free! And their ideologies have paid off in this fantastic player that not only supports the mostly obscure MKV format, but plenty other audio, image and video formats leading to the general tech-savvy public saying that there is nothing at all that this free player cannot play.
This player can also stream multimedia to and from its base – meaning not only can you watch an MP4 file being played on a streaming server, you can also broadcast your stream using a wireless network, an input and of course, VLC media player to other supporting operating systems or even a set top box able to receive VLC-formatted signals! More geeky information is available on their website. More about VLC Media Player
This nifty little player is also a cross-platform solution, i.e. you can use this player on a PC running Windows, Linux (including all its flavours), UNIX or Mac OS and completely deliver the same multimedia experience available in all the other systems. This makes the VLC media player a one-stop solution for all your multimedia worries once and for all!