While studying for the VMware VCAP5-DCA exam I’ve been watching a number of the ProfessionalVMware.com #vBrownBag session videos relating to the VCAP5-DCA (and also VCAP5-DCD videos previously) exams.

These are great resources and worth spending some time watching if you are planning on sitting the exams. Notice that, due to time constraints, some of the sessions ended without covering all the scheduled exam objective points. Be aware of this and ensure you cover all the topics included within the blueprints.

That said, I’ve been having some issues watching the source .mp4 files. My normal player of choice is the VLC media player. While watching some of the videos, I noticed that there were often green blocks and patches on the screen. I also noticed some sync issues between the audio and video. I tried changing some VLC settings but this did not help. I switched to the Window’s media player which helped with the green screen issues but did not fix the audio sync problem. I figured it must just be something with the recording itself.

Anyway while watching Josh Atwell’s PowerCLI episode I become very frustrated with the delays and thought I would do something about it. I re-encoded the .mp4 as a .mkv file. This resulting file played perfectly in VLC: no audio-video sync problems, slide transitions worked as expected and the video was perfectly watchable. So- it seems that the source file is OK (possibly slightly corrupted or using some “different” encode settings resulting in odd player behaviour?).

I did some Google-foo and came across UMPlayer. Using this player, the source file plays fine. So, has my default choice of VLC met its match? Only time will tell if UMPlayer can usurp VLC’s role on my PC. It turns out that UMPlayer is not up to the job! See the EDIT: below.

Now, these playback issues might be related to some video driver or other issue on my PC. In which case you can safely ignore this post – unless of course you happen to have the same issue. Anyway, UMPlayer MPC-HC is another tool to consider if having video playback issues 🙂

EDIT: Since using UMPlayer a little bit more, it started to have jittery audio. Sigh! Anyway, I switched to the tried and tested favourite (which I used previously in my tinkering with a media centre PC) of MPC-HC. This little player seems to be working flawlessly so far. I don’t know why I didn’t just use it right away yesterday!

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