So the default video player audience I am confused about! How can I get it to be useful? Out of the box it isn't able to play public videos or even my go pro videos! If I download VLC that seems to work well but videos isn't working right? What do I do to make it work? Can you make it work out of the box a little better or is that part of the open source media law?
Due to US patent law, elementary is not able to freely distribute codecs for many popular media formats. You will likely need to purchase a license for the codecs from Fluendo on their website.
However, if you're in a country where you are not affected by this patent law, you can install a set of codecs provided by Canonical with the following command in Terminal:
sudo apt install ubuntu-restricted-extras
VLC is outside of US jurisdiction, so they are able to distribute codecs in accordance with French patent law.