When comparing VLC vs ffmpeg, the Slant community recommends ffmpeg for most people. In the question“What are the best combined audio & video transcoders?” ffmpeg is ranked 1st while VLC is ranked 3rd. The most important reason people chose ffmpeg is:
There are multiple GUI implementations of ffmpeg for ease of use. Among the most commonly used [WinFF](http://winff.org/) (Windows, Linux), [Avanti](http://www.avanti.arrozcru.org/) (Windows) and [Miro](http://getmiro.com/) (cross-platform) are worth taking a look at.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Simple to setup and use
VLC is an incredibly robust application but very simple on the surface. It makes playing music simple, yet still manages to give the user all the tools he/she wants in a music player.
Pro Tons of advanced settings
Besides basic configurations, video player has an extensive amount of adjustable settings.
Pro Doesn't require additional codecs
Everything VLC needs to play media files is contained within which means no outside codecs are needed. This makes it one of the most hassle-free music players as it can play virtually anything as soon as it's installed.
Pro Free, open source, and cross-platform
VLC is licensed under the CC-SA v3.0+ and available on Windows, OSX, and Linux with source code available here.
Pro Doesn't manage your music library for you
You organize your music into folders any way you want. Want to play an album? Drag and drop. No tags, no confusion, no fluff. Easy.
Pro Can play every format video available (as of 2017)
Pro Can be almost completely keyboard-driven
VLC includes keyboard shortcuts for most actions. The video player can be controlled with simple and customizable keyboard commands.
Pro Supports a GUI interface and an ncurses terminal interface
Pro Very versatile and easy to use
Pro Large amount of extensions
VLC has a large amount of extensions.
Pro Can easily stream music across your home network from any device on the network
Using sftp/ssh music (and videos) can be streamed from any server on the network to any device running VLC. VLC can also be used as a webcam for streaming and snapshots. Amazing all in one package
In addition to having great flexibility over demuxer, decoder, processer, encoder, muxer choice and settings, ffmpeg can crop, stream, merge audio and video from different sources and perform many other tasks.
Works on Linux, OS X and Windows.
Pro Extensive list of formats supported
Among the more common formats ffmpeg can handle are h.264, HEVC(h.265), mp3, AAC, mpeg-4, wmv3, ProRes, QuickTime, SWF, Speex, FLAC, VP9 and many more. To get a full list in terminal type: ffmpeg-formats
Pro Free and open source
Licensed under LGPL.
Pro Screen capture
You can use ffmpeg to record your desktop along with audio.
Pro Excellent streaming support
Because ffmpeg allows transcoding on the fly and supports multiple streaming protocols such as rtmp, rtsp, http, ftp, hls, you can use it to stream to services such as twitch.tv or set up your own streaming solution.
You can use both local realtime recordings or another stream as a source, transcode it if necessary, and output it to a different stream.
ffmpeg -i rtmp://server/live/originalStream -c:a copy -c:v libx264 -vpre slow -f flv rtmp://server/live/h264Stream
Con Not really meant to be a music player
VLC is made to be a video player. Therefore, it won't carry out actions such as managing your music library.
Con Lacks libraries and advanced music player features
VLC is a media player first and foremost. There is no library management (aside from playlists), limited usage of tags, and no rating system. VLC is best at playing a file directly from a folder, but falls behind when it comes to helping you manage or find good songs in your music library.
Con Contains some insignificant but irritating flaws
Despite all keyboard shortcuts, the width of the picture can't be controlled by trackpad. Besides that, the VLC start-up window doesn’t open at the same place or the same width at which it was previously closed.
Con Absence of personalization
VLC Player has only one basic interface in white or black, and overall personalization opportunities are quite narrow. Unfortunately, you're pretty much stuck to the default look.
Con Steep learning curve
Unless you use a front-end (that has reduced functionality), ffmpeg might be intimidating at first.