VLC for Chromebook


VLCVLC is an awesome, open source local media player for Windows and Mac that plays just about any media file you throw at it. It isn’t available for Chromebook – currently, the best you can do for local media files is the built in media player.

Chrome OS itself

Chrome OS has a basic music player built into it. Really basic. It will read MP4 movies, MP3 and OGG audio files (full list here), but if you have AAC, FLAC, WMA or any other file format you’re outta luck.

The built in music player
The built in music player
The built in movie player
The built in movie player

Google Drive

It turns out that the Google Drive viewer supports a wider variety of video files (full list here), so if you’re having no luck with the built in viewer, you can upload the file to Drive and try to watch it from there. Note that if your your file is very large, the upload can take a very long time, so this option is best for smaller files.

6 thoughts on “VLC for Chromebook”

  1. It would be nice if there were some Web Apps for playing videos that are stored on the SSD. One that could go off-line and add some options for playback. The native player is kind of limited.

    1. I agree it’s a bit limited. I think that a media player would need to be based on Native Client, but I’m hopeful that the native player will improve to support more formats.

  2. Thanks. Just convinced me not to get a Chromebook.
    i do not understand why these developers would want to close out other programs that could enhance their product for free.

    1. I don’t think it’s a case of closing them out – it’s more a question of whether there’s enough pressure for someone to develop for CrOS. Given the growth of the platform, I’d totally expect apps to start popping up to fill out these spaces. I’d also say that now I’m on a Chromebook full time, I don’t really miss having VLC knocking around – I can YouTube or use the local media player for pretty much anything I need.

  3. I have an external hard drive with .avi files. Some files will play on Chrombook, some will not. All will play on a Windows box with VLC. It would be nice if Google fixed this.

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