Praise to VLC

Now that I can be assured to have a windows system ready at hand should I need one, I’m more and more switching over to using Mac OS X for day-to-day productivity work – at least if it’s not about doing delphi work.

Now this sounds crazy, but in the end it all boils down to (IMHO) better font rendering and a
alpha-blended terminal.

Functionality-wise and productivity-wise, MacOS and Windows are on par. Both systems have little things that suck and both have advantages in other little things.

In the end, both are OSes.

Today, I was in the position of wanting to listen to the streaming version of OCRemixes once again.

They are using an .ogg-stream which I appreciate because of two things: For one it provides a
better Bandwith:Quality ratio and furthermore ogg’s a patent-free technology.

Problem: How to listen to a OGG-Stream on OS X?

Apples arrogance in regards of QuickTime is one of those things that bother me in OSX. Apple: There’s more to the world of multimedia than just QuickTime and MP3, so make the infrastructure extendable in a sense so it actually works (Hint: DirectShow works quite well – despite being a Microsoft product).

There are some QT/Ogg-plugins available on the net, but none of them (not even one I compiled myself to be 100% sure to have an Intel build) actually worked.

Just when I thought that all was lost, I remembered VLC.

My experience with video already showed it to me: VLC just plays everything you can possibly throw at it. And yes: It managed (and still manages) to play the remixes stream.

And the UI is great on OS X (if you don’t look at the awful preferences dialog).

VLC IMHO is a really nice example how a cross-platfrom UI should be done: It looks like it’s perfectly at home on my OSX. And it ALSO looks like it’s perfectly at home on Windows XP (a bit
minimalistic, but it does it’s job).

And with feeling at home I don’t mean: “It looks the same on both platforms”. No. It’s perfectly adapting to the look & feel of the platform it’s running on. No common theme, no quasi OS-look. It looks as much as your native Mac OS X application as, say, iTunes or TextMate does.

So: Thanks guys. This is great stuff!

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