VLC the handy media file player and converter

vlc logo

VLC, by the VideoLAN Organization, is a media player. It plays audio and video, but what makes it special is the amount of formats that it can cope with. Many times I have tried to play something and the built-in media players have failed to perform, sending me off on often fruitless searches for this or that codec. Apart from broken media files, VLC has always been able to play them.

VLC is also great for converting, those awkward unknown formats, to standard formats. I have used it to convert video files to formats all computers can play, and audio files. With audio files, and with various sites restricting the size of said files, VLC comes into its own. The ability to change bitrate during conversion is really helpful. Put simply, if you need a smaller file, VLC can help.

So if you have a need to play unruly media files, or need to convert them to an alternative format or size, then VLC is the best app I have found. Download the free app from the following link, http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html

I am sans my MacBook for up to a week – distraction free moments

Due to a battery fail and AppleCare I am without my MacBook for up to a week. This gives me a wonderful opportunity to think things through without the distractions of certain pieces of creative software at my fingertips.

It will also highlight how much time I am wasting, not working on projects, but just ‘browsing’ from app to app. I will use the time to be ruthless and relentless and remove apps on the iPad and iPhone. There are far too many that I don’t, or shouldn’t use.

Pen and paper

In addition I’ll have time to meander with a pen and paper. I do this a lot, but my ‘analogue’ journaling gets squeezed between those digital moments. Returning to pen and paper is as important for my creative mind as several hours lost in Logic Pro or Scrivener. I can make connections between ideas with greater fluidity on paper… is that the digital Holy Grail, or, if it ain’t broke…?

Make the most of what at first appears a productive disaster. I may have lost an important tool for the a while, but the workman can still build.