When comparing VLC vs cmder, the Slant community recommends cmder for most people. In the question“What are the best power user tools for Windows?” cmder is ranked 4th while VLC is ranked 9th. The most important reason people chose cmder is:
Cmder builds on [ConEmu](https://code.google.com/p/conemu-maximus5) console emulator, by adding enhancements from [clink](http://mridgers.github.io/clink/) (such as bash-style completion in cmd.exe and PowerTab in powershell.exe) and optionally extending it with [msysgit](http://msysgit.github.io), that brings Unix tools to Windows.
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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 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 Tons of advanced settings
Besides basic configurations, video player has an extensive amount of adjustable settings.
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 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 Minimal and portable version available
There is a portable version of cmder available which is just 10 MB in size. It can be put on an external device, like a USB stick, and run off it. There's no installation required.
Pro Has built-in Quake style drop-down mode
This is an extremely useful mode whereby the console hides and shows on ctrl+~ similarly to a gaming console.
This feature is inherited from ConEmu.
Pro Monokai color scheme
Cmder pretties up the default look of ConEmu using Monokai color scheme out of the box and allows flexible color and transparency schemes, including custom out-of-focus opacity.
Pro File explorer integration
Cmder can be added to the right-click menu, allowing the user to start a terminal session from the selected directory with a "Cmder Here" command. The functionality can be enabled by opening up a terminal with administrator privileges, navigating to the Cmder folder and executing
.\cmder.exe /REGISTER ALL.
Pro Works nicely with command line applications
Such applications include CMD, Powershell, and MinTTY.
Pro Integrates with graphical applications
Portable GUI applications can be integrated directly into the interface of the terminal emulator.
For example, it's possible to integrate ST3 with cmder by moving the portable version of ST3 to
/cmder/vendor/ and editing alias file in
/cmder/config/aliases to include
subl="%CMDER_ROOT%\vendor\Sublime Text 3\sublime_text.exe" $1 -new_console:s75V. Now writing
subl in the command line will open ST3. The alias of subl can be changed to whatever's needed and similarly, the
-new_console option's parameters can be changed to alter how the text editor integrates with the terminal emulator. It can be horizontal or vertical splits of varying sizes or tabs, etc.
Pro Highly flexible
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 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 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 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 Issues with non-unicode characters
'ls' command can have issues with non-unicode characters such as cyrillic. As of 1.1.2, 'dir' can be used as a substitute that will properly display non-unicode characters. Unfortunately, it's an issue with msysgit that isn't being officially addressed (a workaround is available) thus no official ETA on the bugfix is available.
Con Not as portable as advertised
Even though cmder is advertised as a "portable terminal emulator for Windows", it's not adequately minimalistic to be considered truly portable. In fact, one of the dependencies required to use it is the Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015.
Con very very slow
Con Slower than ConEmu
Con The portable (mini) version does not have UNIX commands
UNIX command support is only available for the full version.