Digital video has become common in the workplace. At work, I often create promotional videos, training videos and videos of company events and distribute them to my colleagues.
Have you ever received a video file from a colleague that you can't play? Try downloading VLC (http://www.videolan.org), the free open-source video player for Windows, Mac and Linux. It plays almost any video file, including AVI, MOV (QuickTime), FLV (Flash Video), MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4.
VLC even plays video files encoded with the new MPEG-4 H.264 AVC codec, which is most suitable for compressing large high-definition video files. On my notebook, VLC plays high-definition H.264 video files much more smoothly than QuickTime.
For advanced users, VLC offers a feature to convert videos from one format to another, also known as video transcoding. VLC is a prime example of a very useful free open source tool.
Note that the use of MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 codecs (including H.264) may be subjected to licence fees, even though the codecs may be part of an open-source tool like VLC. If you're thinking of using VLC in a product or commercial project, contact MPEG LA for licensing details.