remember real player? winamp? codec’s like xvid and divx? there are addins like adobe flash and quicktime to work with certain video formats on webpages. occasionally i’ve had to go find a video codec or install one of these programs based upon content that i’ve got, but the most recent applications that i use to either gather or playback media are zune and vlc player. the zune software works great whether or not you have a zune and with a zune pass you get access to millions of songs to download (and you can keep 10 permanently regardless of whether you continue with the zune pass or not) – a great deal at $14.99/month. there’s now a discount on a year’s pass for $149.90 (two months free) – sign up at https://live.zune.net/en-us/account/buysubscription.
my windows phone 7 also functions as my 3rd personal zune. you can also access it from xbox now (including the videos that you can watch on zune players, windows phone 7, computers and the xbox).
tivo has a desktop plus application and amazon has an application for their video on demand, but in this category, netflix has to be my favorite video streaming solution to date.
the vlc player allows me to play most of the remaining video formats that i used to have to install codecs to play. there’s a windows version and a mac version (as well as others). on the mac operating system, i also have found the flip4mac windows media for quicktime download to be an invaluable install.