Best Free Media Player

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Question Whats Happening Here?

Help us! - Make this review better by providing us your sample files
Index Of Media Players - Reviewed in the article
To Be Reviewed - Media Players yet to undergo more phases of testing
Introduction to Media Players
Discussion - Reviews on our choices of BF Media Players
Tested & Not Recommended - Media players that were tested and falls short of quality and preference
Tips and Warnings - User suggested tips when trying out media players and various other warnings. Please Read
Related Products and Links - Find more similar articles that may interest you
Quick Selection Guide - Contains pro's, con's and rating for each product
Recent updates - Contains latest major updates in the article
Have Your Say - Post your comments, feedback and product suggestions. Also don't forget to rate this article yes and choose your favourite media player cheeky
Currently ReviewingMPlayer WW  winkenlightened

 
  Help Us!
Please help us to make this review better, by uploading sample files of these types on your system or do provide url's of sample files of any of these file types. Upload & share your files/links to http://bestfreemediaplayer.4shared.com . Note that all the sample files should be below 150MB (<100MB is prefered). 
3GP,3G2,ASF,WMA,WMV,AVI,DIVX,EVO,F4V,FLV,MKV,MK3D,MKA,MKS,MCF,MP4,MPEG,PS, TS,M2TS,MXF,OGG,MOV,QT,RMVB,VOB,IFO,WebM
 
Book  Index of Media Players
 NewPotPlayer | KMPlayer | VLC Media Player |NewSMPlayer |NewJetAudio Basic |NewSPlayer |NewUMPlayer | Kantaris Media Player | GOM Player | Media Player Classic Home Cinema | Splash Lite | Toolwiz Player
 
To Be Reviewed

RealPlayer | Light Alloy | QQPlayerMPlayer WW | VSO Media Player | DivX Plus Player | DA Player | Zoom Player Free | FreeSmith Video Player | ALShow | ALLPlayer | AK-Player

Re-ReviewGOM | MPC-HC

 
Introduction

Finding an all-in-one media player used to be impossible. In the past you needed to use several separate programs to play MP3 files, streaming media from Real, Mpeg files, Quicktime movies, CDs and DVD discs, but with the advent of Microsoft's Windows Media Player (WMP), all of these media types could be played in one player. Over a period of time, however, WMP for XP and Vista has become bloated and isn't compatible with all of the available file formats. WinAmp, which began as an mp3 player, now plays almost everything, although it uses a lot of system resources and may contain adware if you aren't careful on the installation. iTunes has become more prevalent on many PCs due to the almost universal reach of the iPod, but it also uses a lot of resources and is processor intensive.

So I've done some major research to find alternative media players capable of playing all of these media formats, including digital music, video, CD, and DVD, while still being light on resources. I was impressed with what I found. Not only do these programs replace WMP, iTunes and WinAmp, but they also exceeded their functionality.

The products that I've reviewed here are capable of playing multiple types of media files, including various digital audio and video formats, CDs, and DVDs. They are also easy to install and use and are light on system resources.

Note: Some of these programs may require additional codecs for expanded functionality. For more information about codecs, including what they do, legal issues and download links, see this article Understanding Codecs.

Also, this is my piece of advice for the readers of Gizmo's reviews, especially the inexperienced computer users, if you really trust Gizmo's choices and advices, please read the reviews before you try out something, so that you don't run into trouble. I try to provide practically every information, I can get from each software, and pass it on to the readers.

 
Discussion  Discussion

PotPlayer

PotPlayer-ToyStory3It's official! KMPlayer has been dethroned. PotPlayer is now our new king of media players.:-) PotPlayer is an intuitive and a powerful Multimedia player published by Daum written by the same author as The KMPlayer.  It’s feature packed, easy to use and provides awesome video and audio quality. Some may call it KMPlayerRedux with more stability and versatility. It feels similar to that of the KMPlayer having the same roots, but it is in active development, releasing around 2 updated versions every week.

Originally a Korean media player, the English version has redesigned the menus and have been almost fully translated. It comes in 2 flavours x86 and x64. PotPlayer truly stands out for supporting a wide variety of formats and having extensive configuration settings. It includes a long list of built-in audio and video codecs that enable you to play almost any media format you can dream about.

PotPlayer has a simple and sleek interface though not mind-blowing and has high quality playback. The player is light on system resources and has a very fast startup. Seeking through the video at any rate produced no blurriness. It includes ffdshow and some other stuff to connect to a Korean-only video/chat network. It is embedded with all the new decoders and filters. PotPlayer supports GPU acceleration and post-processing. It comes with hardware assisted decoders and when it comes to HD video playback, it uses the video card installed on the system to decode the video stream, hence this reduces CPU utilization, making the playback smooth no matter what the quality and size of the file are.

A key feature of PotPlayer is that it supports seamless media playback where upto 1000 files can be loaded and played back to back. Advanced users can knock themselves out by using their own filters and decoders, tweaking advanced video processing settings and more.  Other features include support for all modern video and audio formats, WebCam/Analog/Digital TV devices support, built in DXVA video codecs, capture a screenshot or even record the file currently being played, powerful A-B repeat, automatic playback of similar files in a folder, live broadcasting, support for madVR /HR/EVR (latest video renderers) and Reclock, auto-resume on the last 200 played files, shutdown the computer when done, has fully configurable XML skin files and also a D3D exclusive mode. This comprehensive media player also supports TV channels, extensive list of subtitle file types, fonts, color, position and encoding types. The Player is easily customizable by color themes, logos and includes a large number of skins.

Anyone who loved using KMPlayer (but that's optional :-)), our previous best pick, would be impressed with the refined work of Young Hee. He minimized the startup time and the resource consumption, instant playback resume after seeking and added a few more features, increased the stability and versatility quotient and finally cutely naming it PotPlayer. As the development cycle of KMPlayer is becoming longer, updates only being sporadically released and if one comes out only minor fixes getting implemented, including toolbar installations, dated video renderers & codec filters, PotPlayer gets instant nod as the top pick.

Warning: DO NOT update PotPlayer from the options menu within the program. It downloads the Korean version of the player. Download it from the link given in the Quick Selection Guide only, which is the English translated version. Additionally you can toggle the Auotmatic Updates setting to 'Do Not Use' through Right click->Preferences->General menu

Tip: PotPlayer always remembers the previous settings, even when you install a new version on top of the old version. To get the settings of the newest version, go to Preferences->Click Initialize button [left-bottom].

To save your previous config (or make a new one) make use of Presets available from Preferences->Configuration[left tab]

 

VLC Media Player

VLCAnother excellent player is VLC Media Player. VLC media player has a highly portable framework and works across different platforms. It is available for Windows, Macintosh, and many Linux flavours. VLC is the swiss army knife of media playback software that marvels you with compatibilities and capabilities.

The player sports an excellent menu based interface that is strictly simple and stripped down.The toolbars are fully customizable so you get to choose the buttons needed on the interface.The media player is powerful, light, fast and features fully customizable hotkeys that makes it very easy to use. VLC has the capability to repair broken content and supports many subtitle formats. Enabling the advanced controls sets buttons to record, take a snapshot, loop and frame by frame playback.

VLC has been one of the favourites for many crazy video cognoscenti and is entirely self-contained so that it remains unruffled against any esoteric video formats to make sure that no additional codecs are required for playback..This highly versatile player not only consumes media but also is a great choice for streaming/broadcasting media of any kind and plays many media types across various local and network sources. VLC media player is one of the best in DVD playback that made it first popular among many XP users especially with the bare minimum installation of their systems.

       Click here to read interactive full review of VLC 

 

The KMPlayer

When KMFifteeneverything comes down to using a media player that is feature rich and easy to use, KMPlayer definitely stands out. Also known as K-Multimedia player or KMP, it offers many advanced features, supports a wide range of codecs and formats, is extremely customizable and is available in multiple languages.

A minimalistic, user friendly and functional interface, all the options are available to you on right click in the main window which gives access to the players extensive features. The player offers quick playback and a fully skinable interface that change upon every new playing track..Its simple enough to use for an average person but don’t be deceived by its simplicity, its offers a powerhouse of configuration options and its strong user base and its active official forum helps you out whenever you run into a problem with the player.

For media playback, it includes almost all the essential decoders required built in. Additionally KMP also supports 3rd party codecs and also doesn’t install the codecs on the computer like other codecs do. Most public codec packs+players forces codecs to register on your computer, while KMP does not. This means that installing KMP will not affect your computer at all.KMPlayer used to be my top pick until recently i found PotPlayer, but nothing stops me from using this advanced media player. KMPlayer gets special mention though, feature wise outwitting every other media player in its category. (Extract'nUse)

Warning: Uncheck Grid Network box in components to install wizard to avoid Pandora TV service. Contains OpenCandy and bundled Ask Toolbar. Take caution to hit the "Decline" button after deselecting the Ask toolbar components to avoid Ask being installed. 

          Click here to read interactive full review of KMPlayer  

 

SMPlayer

SMPlayer joins the list of impressive media players that is a front-end for award winning MPlayer, and a sure winner that might change your audio and video playback experience like never before. It differentitates itself from the rest of the competition thanks to its extensive features yet maintaining its ease of use.

It has a visually pleasing interface with colorful buttons and explorer styled menu. The compact mode lets you to shred the media player from all the explorer menu and buttons. SMPlayer remembers every media file you play after you've closed the application so that it starts from where you left off. There is an online subtitle finder to find the one that matches with your video. Also it provides room for customizability to hearts extent and has shortcut keys for almost every function.

Disoriented videos can be rotated flipped, rotated, mirror imaged and the player also provides an output video driver to switch rendering quality and CPU utilization. For music buffs there is an option for stripping the voice from audio through karaoke. SMPlayer has inbuilt youtube browser and url video streaming capability for online fun. It also has the ability to navigate using traditional DVD menu's. SMPlayer was going through a rough patch in development for some time but I believe thats all over with a few updates coming in recent months.

Caution! SMPlayer is now bundled with OpenCandy. See this information page for details.

            Click here to read interactive full review of SMPlayer  

 

JetAudio Basic

As the saying goes, "Don't judge a book by it's cover" , the same applies to one's title. JetAudio Basic not only provides a good deal of music management capabilities but is also a powerful media player that can play a wide number of formats, with a heavy dose of features. There's room to expect more!
 

The media center wizard asks you, how do you want to setup JetAudio Basic on your computer, during the first time startup. Let's limit our discussion to video window only, so go ahead with that. The interface is overwhelming and not user friendly with buttons and options on mouse hover everywhere but, is very informative and shouldn't take much time to get used to it. The video quality is awesome, but the audio quality is basic but can be configured to give the best output. Subtitlte rendering is very good and can be customized to a great extent. 

There are a few visualizations available to bring your audio's to life, as well as, a good deal of skins to customize it's appearance. JetAudio Basic is more than a media player as it's loaded with features like AudioCD burning, ripping, recording, creation, converting audio and video to different formats, Internet radio and includes an Inbuilt Youtube downloader and with a timer and clock.

Note: jetVideo is an optimized version of jetAudio for playing videos
Warning: Ask toolbar bundled, free mp3 and trialpay opt-out

      Click here to read interactive full review of JetAudio Basic

 

SPlayer

SPlayer Interface

Windows media Player replacement field has become a crowded one these days and SPlayer/ShooterPlayer based on MPC-HC and ffmpeg is one of those media players that along with its open source stature has almost all the bells and whistles that you expect to find in a media player (for a techie it might not be his cup of tea) with a reasonable performance.

You might want to read the licence agreement a second time as the player includes OpenCandy in their installer. It has a minimal and stylistic interface and the controls only become visible only when you hover the mouse over the video screen near the bottom or top. It comes along with binary codecs, no worries about media file playback and has a smart subtitle matching feature. You don't have to search for the previous playback position of the file you were viewing before you went on for a break because auto-resume does this job for you.

It has two modes for display and playback, Quality and Performance, so that you can watch video's without breaking down even on your low profile system. There's a special eye care mode if you are watching videos for a long time. You should definitely give it a spin, for its great playback quality, ability to handle multiple playback formats and some neat and deep creative optimization features. (Get Portable Version)

           Click here to read interactive full review of SPlayer

 

UMPlayer

UMPlayer Interface

UMPlayer is a cross platform multimedia player that is in fact a short addition to players using MPlayer as the core.This open source player is universal, meaning that, with over 270 codecs inbuilt, it'll play a heathy number of digital formats and you don't have to worry about installing extra codecs.

The GUI is based on SM Player and has an esthetically pleasing, simple and intuitive user interface. It integrates the ultra popular video sharing website Youtube and Shoutcast internet radio service with a search form in the main interface to search and play your preferred video and the top internet radio stations of that day.Another interesting feature is that you don't have to worry about searching for the subtitles for the you're playng, the program fetches it for you from OpenSubtitles.org in your preferred language. It also reads damaged media files and scratched CD/DVD.

There's plenty of media players out there and if you are a regular user of Youtube and Shoutcast and lazy enough to search for your desired subtitle, UMPlayer could be the next reason to ditch your favourite media player. Other than quite a few bugs i have found(read cons) and being in early developmentm, UMPlayer is a nifty media player with a great future.

     Click here to read interactive full review of UMPlayer

 

Kantaris Media Player

Kantaris Interface When an open source media player offers you the video playback based on one of the most popular media players around, VLC and along with Bass audio library support with a touch of extravagance and a super slick interface more so like the modern skins of a music player you get the all new Kantaris Media Player.

The first thing you’ll notice in Kantaris is its recherché interface. At the top there are 2 tabs, one for Playback and the other Plugin Manager which gives you access to recommended plugins. Kantaris has a unique feature which detects the character encoding of subtitles by analyzing the text. Activating the full screen mode gives a movie theatre like experience while playing videos. Kantaris connects to an online subtitle database to find subtitles that are a perfect fit to the played media.

Kantaris plays most file formats without additional codecs and will also play RAR archives without first extracting the media as well as multisection DVD’s and audio CD’s and stream online videos. Apple movie trailers and a local Video library both giving you cool 3D effect along with Last.fm are also incorporated. Lastly, if you like visualizations, Kantaris has some of the best I've seen. If you're an average computer user who prefer to just enjoy the videos and their songs without going much into the configurations then Kantaris could be your next choice for an intuitive all-in-one polished media player.(Get Lite Version)

            Click here to read full interactive review of Kantaris

 

Media Player Classic Home Cinema

Media Player Classic Home CinemaFor a long time, I have been a fan of Media Player Classic due to its ease of use, simple installation, and powerful features. Unfortunately, development on this particular project has stopped, but there is a great replacement: Media Player Classic Home Cinema.

Like its predecessor, it is an incredibly small program but has a vast feature set. Available only for Windows (NT - 7), MPC Home Cinema looks like the old Windows Media Player v6.4, but that's where the similarity ends. Under the hood, this program packs a lot of features, including codecs for viewing DVD discs, MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG 4 and x.264 movie files, MP3 and Ogg files. It can also use the QuickTime and the RealPlayer architectures (if installed on the computer) to play their native files. To further extend its functionality while avoiding the installation of RealPlayer, WinAmp and Quicktime, you will have to download some codec packs. (We recommend ffdshow, Real Alternative, QuickTime Alternative and WinAmp Alternative packages). They will make sure there will be almost nothing you won't be able to play. MPC Home Cinema is the only product reviewed here that requires no installation on your PC. This means that it can be run from your USB flash drive as well as your hard drive. (Note: there is some dispute over the legality of Real Alternative and QuickTime Alternative codec packs. ffdshow is open source, completely legal, and should cover almost all of your needs.)

MPC Home Cinema has many additional functions above and beyond the original MPC including: The option to remove Tearing, better support for Windows Vista and 7 (including a release for 64 bit platforms), support for E/aVR (Enhanced Video Renderer) and playback and recording of television if a supported TV tuner is installed.

 

 GOM Player

GOM PlayerAnother good alternative is GOM Player. Available only for Windows (98Se through Vista), it also will play most media files, including flv files with its own internal codecs. If, however, you come across a file it cannot play, it will direct you to the appropriate open-source codec to install.

The program is a little quirky, though. I tried to play a DVD disc on two different PCs using GOM... On one it would not play it at all (and this was a machine I've been able to play DVD discs on before), while on the other PC it played it fine. One very noteworthy feature of the GOM player is its ability to play broken media files.

According to subscriber Ash, "GOM Player's claim that it can play broken avi files is very true. We have a file sharing network on campus which uses DC++. Usually avi files which are being downloaded stop partway due to too much traffic. GOM Player was able to play every one of those files on my system up to the point where they stopped downloading.

Caution! GOM Player is now bundled with OpenCandy. See this information page for more details.

Please help us by rating this article

 
 Tested & Not Recommended
 Splash Lite: The Bad: Capture frame, Playback resume and Basic video controls & audio controls only available in the PRO version. Splash Lite just feels like an advertising for its commercial version. No support for URL playback. Doesnt play many files properly
The Good: HD videos playback quality is good, certain broken files plays well. 
 
Toolwiz Player: The Bad: Nearly everything. No seeking, no right click context menu, a waste of time!
The Good: Plays certain files!
 
Tips and Warnings
  • DO NOT DOWNLOAD media players from links other than the download links given in the Quick Selection Guide below. Many websites are offering fake versions of the player.
  • Read PotPlayer Update warning here.
  • USE CODEC PACKS AT YOUR OWN RISK (especially Mega Codec packs). They are capable of producing software incompatibilies,system crashes and sometimes doesn't let your new media player to play your files properly. In case you want to use one, I recommend using lightweight ones (CCCPWindows essentials). Read Why Codec Packs Are Bad , Codec Packs Are Evil , Microsoft Caution .
  • NOTE ON VIDEO RENDERERS: This option is useful especially for PotPlayer and KMPlayer. They include a number of renderers and switching between these renderers may give you better image quality.
  • Personally i find that EVR and VMR9 renderless works great for most systems especially for Vista/Win7 (Microsoft.Net 3 framework should be pre-installed in XP to use them).
  • For older systems Overlay Mixer might give better performance and clarity.You need to have Haali Media Splitter installed to use Haali Video Renderer. It doesn't work for old video cards though.
  • MadVR (Madshi) is a newly released renderer and to use this renderer you should install MadVR filters first and have a fairly powerful GPU.
  • Stay updated: Get beta and stable updates of your favourite media player through e-mail using Altert me! tool at Videohelp.
 
Related Products and Links
 
Quick Selection Guide

PotPlayer
5
 
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Very fast updates and fixes, supports almost all media formats, 1000 files Seamless playback, supports GPU acceleration, built in codecs, extensive configuration options, light on system resources and fast startup, autoresume for 200 files,configurable xml skin files.
Professional web representation in Korean, No help files, Inbuilt update installs Korean version, Default 'automatic' video renderer not the best.
1.5.33556
14.4 MB
32 and 64 bit versions available
Unrestricted freeware
This product is portable.
Win 9x - 7

Making PotPlayer Portable: Store the PotPlayer settings to a .ini file after extracting the installer using 7-zip. Right click on the interface->Preferences->General->Enable the option 'Store settings to .ini file'.

NB: Do not use update function within the player: read more.
Beta Update (optional): Download here (Install latest stable version first) Read changelog below.

Changelog: Read PotPlayer release notes
Official forum: cafe.daum.net/pot-tool
Contact: ahahlive[at]hanmail[dot]net

VLC Media Player
5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Available on multiple platforms, media converter and streaming capabilities, excellent playback quality and stability, plays Internet radio and TV, great choice for DVD playback, GPU and DSP decoding, support for extensions.
Large download size, Uninstalling can be problematic as it integrates into WMP components, seeking real media files causes short time glitches, many options can be confusing to non-technical types.
http://www.videolan.org/
2.0.1
21 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Open source freeware
A portable version of this product is available but not from the developer.
Windows 98 - 7 , OS X, Mac, Various Linux distros
SMPlayer
5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Great playback quality, Pleasant and colorful interface, Remembers playback position and customizations on close, Online subtitle search and Youtube browser, Light, portable and stable, Karaoke effects, Highly customizable, Shortcuts for nearly every function, Supports nearly every format.
Installer is bundled with OpenCandy. DVD menu's seems experimental, No icon library for supported file formats, No Win7 playback controls.
http://smplayer.sourceforge.net/
0.8.0
15.73MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Open source freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
Win 95 - Win 7, Linux
KMPlayer
4.5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Play damaged AVI files, locked media files and compressed audio albums,Live URL broadcasting support,User friendly interface,Good picture quality and playback,Extensive configuration options,Apply user defined external filters apart from built-in,Plays almost all media files,Strong user base and active forum,Multi-language support
Lacks a professional web representation, Slower than some media players like VLC, Contains Opencandy, Ask toolbar, Pandora TV Service
3.2.0.19
27.5 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Unrestricted freeware
This product is portable.
Windows 98 - 7

NB: KMPlayer from the developer includes OpenCandy
Downgrade to : KMP 3.0.1442R2 (No OpenCandy) or unzip latest release.

Portable version available: Check how to make PotPlayer portable above and read last step as 'Store settings to KMPCfg.ini'

Documentation (Offline & Online): Pantuflo's KMPlayer Manual
Forum: www.kmplayer.com/forums/index.php
Changelog: Read KMPlayer release notes

Media Player Classic Home Cinema
4.5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Very fast and lightest, no installation required, extremely easy to use, 64 bit versions available.
No support for syncing music, no picture quality controls.
http://mpc-hc.sourceforge.net/
1.6.2.4902
5.84 MB
32 and 64 bit versions available
Open source freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
Windows XP - 7

Portable version available: Click zip link from download page.
Changelog: Read MPC-HC release notes

Additional software to enhance Media Player Classic can be found here:
1. ffdshow: http://www.free-codecs.com/download/FFDShow.htm
2. Real Alternative: http://www.free-codecs.com/download/Real_Alternative.htm
3. QuickTime Alternative: http://www.free-codecs.com/download/QuickTime_Alternative.htm
4. WinAmp Alternative: http://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/Winamp-Alternative-Download-23376....

JetAudio Basic
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Supports all major file formats, customizable interface, good subtitle rendering and video quality, floating bar mode, various extra tools packed inside, music management capabilities, auto-resume all files, internet broadcasting.
Big download, Interface not very user friendly, Registered encoders, decoders and filters on system, Need to tweak for hearing AC3/AAC sound(due to licencing restrictions; method given in full review), Offers 3rd party applications during installation (which you can choose to ignore)
http://www.jetaudio.com/
8.0.17
34.23MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Feature limited freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows (all versions)

NB: Do not download from homesite->CNET installer - see our information page
Forum: http://forums.jetaudio.com/forum.php
Changelog: http://www.jetaudio.com/download/jetaudio_rn.html

SPlayer
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Smooth and excellent playback, many options to enhance display, H/W acceleration support, includes audio and video equalizer, low on system resources, played almost everything, best for non-techies.
Open Candy installation, didn’t get sound out of a video in rare situations, too simple, confusing and clunky interface, non-ethical marketing: compares various media players on their homepage, some Chinese left in main interface & only Chinese documentation available.
3.7.2437
7.9 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Open source freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
WinXP/2003/Vista/7

NB: SPlayer from the developer includes OpenCandy.
SPlayer Portable: http://codecpack.co/download/SPlayer.html (No OpenCandy)

Changelog: Read SPlayer release notes

GOM Player
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
No extra codec packs are needed, capable of playing broken avi files
Bundled with OpenCandy (see information link in review text). May not play DVD discs on some systems
http://www.gomlab.com/eng/
2.1.40
9.8 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows 98SE - 7

Changelog: Read GOM Player release notes

UMPlayer
3.5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Sleek Interface, light on resources,Plays any kind of media file, Automatic subtitle download from opensubtitles.org, Built-in support for YouTube and Shoutcast,Record files and reads damaged files,Plays online TV and Radio.
Problems with HD media playback (.h264 mkv files), quite a few bugs: setting equalizer and certain menu's pauses video for a moment, files with asian characters doesn't play , associates media files aggresively,Time incorrect sometimes,Help file needs improvement.
http://www.umplayer.com/download/
0.98 (Windows), 0.95 (Linux & Mac OS X)
13.1 MB
Open source freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
Windows XP to 7, Linux, Mac OSX
Kantaris
3.5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Awesome interface, Colourful visualization effects, Plays video files inside RAR archives, Online subtitle matching, Organise video library in 3D, watch and play latest movies and songs from Apple movie trailers and Last.fm.
Not as configurable as some other players for those requiring advanced features, Shorcut keys incomplete. Bundled with OpenCandy, see here for more information.
http://www.kantaris.org/
0.7.7
16.75 MB
Open source freeware
Windows 2K/XP/Vista/7

NB: The above download includes OpenCandy
Lite Version: http://codecpack.co/download/Kantaris_Media_Player.html (No OpenCandy bundled)

Kantaris Plugins: http://kantaris.org/pluginspage/
Changelog: Read Kantaris release notes

 
Recent Updates
27Jul'12- SMPlayer review added
07Mar'12- Splash Lite review added
20Jan'12- JetAudio Basic review added
07Sep'11- PotPlayer warning added, Tips & Warnings updated
04Sep'11- Kantaris Review updated, VLC portable added
11 Aug'11- SPlayer Review added
30 Jul'11- UMPlayer Review added, QSG updated, VLC documentation added
27 Jul'11- VLC Review updated
15 Jul'11- PotPlayer review added: New Top Pick, KMPlayer Help added
10 Jul'11- KMPlayer review update
 
Have Your Say

Thank you for reading the article. blush You think, it could be improved or your favourite media player is not present in the article? surprise Please do post your feedback and suggestions in the comments section below. Also don't forget to rate this article yes

Now its your turn to choose what your favourite media player is and what others think about various media players. Drop into our forum and choose your favourite in the poll. angelAbout

 
Editor
This software category is maintained by volunteer editor George.J. Am a software engineer just graduated and working in Software Development and Testing unit. Reviewing and writing articles on softwares are one of my passions. Registered site visitors can contact me Here.
 
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Comments

by kevinhome on 18. January 2013 - 9:20  (104611)

Many thanks for the heads up on the new update, much appreciated. I don’t know that you think and I would like to know, but I’m finding that PotPlayer in comparison to Media Player Classic which I use to use is heavy on the reassures when being used. The memory takes a big hit when I use PotPlayer.

Have a great day and thanks once again.

by Anupam on 18. January 2013 - 10:19  (104613)

What's your system configuration?

by kevinhome on 15. January 2013 - 17:21  (104496)

Thanks for taking the time and providing so much great info. The review was great to read. Following on from the review I have one question to ask. That is can you open 2x Potplayer media players at the same time? I have tried it with other media plays and I have managed to do this.

Your help is very much appreciated.

Many thanks.

Kevin

by George.J on 18. January 2013 - 3:53  (104601)

Please read this post. There are certain bugs in the latest stable version, so you might have to install the beta update version on top of it.

by George.J on 15. January 2013 - 17:30  (104497)

Thank you for your kind words :)

For opening multiple instances of PotPlayer, Right click on the interface and go to Preferences. In the General tab, find the entry for "Multiple Launching", and then click the drop down button next to it and select "Launch Multiple PotPlayer". That's all

Have a nice day :D

---George.J (Editor)

by kevinhome on 15. January 2013 - 21:18  (104504)

Thank you so much for coming back with the answer, very much appreciated.
Following receipt of your reply and using the link where it says (Download here) I have downloaded as advised the latest stable version first named PotPlayer1.5.35161Upd.EXE.

However there is one small problem. It doesn’t provide the option for a 32-bit file. When I install my pc asks me to find the 32-bit option.

The link above named (http://www.dvbsupport.net/download/index.php?act=view&id=230) provides you with a file called PotPlayer1.5.35238.EXE. I have installed this but when you install the program it shows as Beta option.

Can you also help with this please, all I’m looking for is an up-to-date 32-bit stable version file.

Thanks again for your previous advice and help.

Regards,
Kevin

by George.J on 15. January 2013 - 21:59  (104505)

PotPlayer has 2 versions of itself. The latest stable version and the beta update version. At the top of posting the latest stable version is 1.5.35238. Daum still considers that the product is still in beta stage, hence all versions of PotPlayer has "beta" tag attached to it.

You don't have to install the latest beta (update) if the version number is smaller than the latest stable version. 1.5.35161 is the beta version update for the previous stable version 1.5.34665.

For now just install v 1.5.35248 and that's enough.

by kevinhome on 16. January 2013 - 9:57  (104516)

Hi, Thank you so much for your help. I will install as you say v 1.5.35248.

Many thanks.

by sbford313 on 30. December 2012 - 0:31  (104092)

Well, on my completely wiped computer (it only contains google chrome, some music files, and pictures) this POTPLAYER recommendation crashed twice. Also, unless I'm missing something, it doesn't sort out artists and albums or even show the file tree. Which means, all your songs show up with no sort of organization at all. I HATE ITunes... but I think I might as well just keep using it until someone makes something better.

by Anupam on 30. December 2012 - 7:23  (104098)

PotPlayer is basically a video player, and not a music player/organizer. For music players, please look at this review :

http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/best-free-music-players-and-orga...

by runbei on 24. December 2012 - 5:15  (103913)

Have had horrible experiences with most media players. MPC plays videos upside down, PotPlayer has an odd UI, VLC fails to play certain vids that play fine in Linux Mint's Player, same for the Starbuck's version of MPlayer. And on and on...

by George.J on 24. December 2012 - 11:51  (103921)

These are the shortcut commands to rotate the video in MPC-HC
Rotate around X+ : Alt + NumPad8
Rotate around X- : Alt + NumPad2
Rotate around Y+ : Alt + NumPad4
Rotate around Y- : Alt + NumPad6
Rotate around Z+ : Alt + NumPad1
Rotate around Z- : Alt + NumPad3

PotPlayer has different skins that you may try out if you find the UI to be odd. Right click on interface->Skins

VLC handles a lot of video formats well and if you find that it doesn't play certain ones you can try switching to a different video output renderer.

by Mike Holland on 23. December 2012 - 11:05  (103885)

I'd be interested in knowing how you'd rate Starbuck's FreePlayer which I was an happy early tester and I consider to use it on a regularly basis with my favorite VLC.

Starbuck's FreePlayer: http://www.labdv.com/freeplayer/

by Panzer on 21. December 2012 - 8:58  (103828)

" ...Fusion is the smallest fully-featured media player available! It is based on DirectShow© and features all the latest audio and video formats, if the appropriate codecs have been installed ...":
http://www.fusionmedia.org/

by salamander on 17. December 2012 - 17:44  (103692)

New version of Media PLayer Classic Home Cinema 1.6.5 just released. Many updates; bug fixes and new additions/improvements. It's just getting better snd better. I now use it as often as PotPlayer and it may become my Number One. Of course, there are a lot of variabes involved, but on my PC, it gives a clearer image, partularly on older videos/films, than PotPlayer.
Incidentally, contrary to George's (rather outdated) review above, it DOES suuport color controls, as long as you're using VMR-9; EVG or madVR as your renderer.I did have some problems getting this to work previoulsy, but that seems to have been corrected. Go to "Options/Miscellaneous" and you'll find it.

by George.J on 17. December 2012 - 18:12  (103693)

The reviews are conducted within a span of 1 year, but I havn't updated the review that was already made by the previous editor on MPC-HC and GOM as highlighted at the top of the page, and are listed in the "To be reviewed" section under Re-review.

by salamander on 18. December 2012 - 12:24  (103717)

Apologies, George
My comment wasn't intended as put-down - just to make it clear to people who just give a quick glance at a review and don't read further.

by Chetan (not verified) on 26. November 2012 - 8:52  (102920)

Will you able to provide me the details regarding the best media player either professional or free?
Also, please tell me about the difference between media player and media center?

by Anupam on 26. November 2012 - 9:03  (102921)

What details are you asking for? Enough details have been provided regarding free media players in this review.

This being a freeware site, we won't be able to provide help with commercial software.

by lordquilton on 26. November 2012 - 1:25  (102903)

Potplayer is very good for video, but for high quality audio it's got nothing on JRiver Media Jukebox 14.

by BillyBear Jarrett (not verified) on 23. November 2012 - 22:20  (102819)

I saw that real player was in the "needs to be reviewed" section, so I thought I would put my 2cents in. It is nice to have a player that will detect and offer to download video files at a click, but it doesn't play "all media" files like it says it does. It completely ignores any media it doesn't have a codec for, when it has the codec it wants an update, and after the update it wants a quick player plug in (it's easier to use quick player). It does give you a lot of options for screen size and style, but I've seen a lot better.

by BryM (not verified) on 30. October 2012 - 3:23  (101583)

In my search for a good media player, I've tried every one that you've reviewed here [some of them, unfortunately, BEFORE I found this website] and you are spot on with the pro's and con's of each! Thank you for that! Personally, I think that VLC is the best, with the only feature that could be improved on is being able to re-size the equalizer box when a video or mp3 is playing. Keep up the good work on the reviews!

by johh (not verified) on 6. October 2012 - 13:46  (100369)

cheers! great review!
PotPlayer is the one!
but i'm having a really weird problem with PotPlayer on my other laptop (Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Notebook PA 3553), it keeps freezing up my whole system randomly (watching a movie, changing preferences etc) and i have to reboot to get things running again.
this never happened on my other laptop - HP ProBook 4525s.
i'm using v1.5.34115.
also tried the beta update, still kept getting random system freezups.
updated my video card drivers but to no avail.
can't figure it out...
any ideas?
any help would be greatly appreciated!

by George.J on 7. October 2012 - 5:44  (100409)

If you're using the 64bit version of PotPlayer then switch to 32bit version as it is more stable. When does PotPlayer actually freezes the whole system? What types of files were you trying to play and is it present for all the file types? (eg: mkv, wmv, avi)

Try playing the same file on any other media player (like VLC) on your system except for WMP. Do you experience any similar freezes?

Try resetting all preferences to default in PotPlayer. Right click on interface->Preferences->Initialize (bottom left of the window)->OK. If you have security softwares on your system (eg: Firewall), allow PotPlayer in their filters section.

If you have installed any codec packs on your system, there's little that you can do here, except you have to uninstall it completely as it can ruin the playback of media players and even your system at times. Use codec packs at your own risk.

by johh (not verified) on 7. October 2012 - 10:42  (100422)

i'm using the 32bit version.
as far as i can tell, it mostly happens when i'm playing mkv/mp4 files.
i have tried VLC player and it hasn't crashed but VLC can't really handle mkv/mp4 files imho and is using a lot of cpu (no matter what settings i have).
i haven't installed any codec packs.

ps! i was playing around with PotPlayer settings.
i changed under "Video" --> "Full-screen exclusive mode" --> "Use (Fast)" and haven't had any crashes or pixelating video.
weird...

thanks for replying!

by johh (not verified) on 6. October 2012 - 13:51  (100370)

ps! i'm using Windows 7 (build 7601, sp 1)

by Prajeet Mewar (not verified) on 4. October 2012 - 7:39  (100229)

Kudos !!! Keep it up. After going through a lot of reviews about media players on the internet i found your article as the best.Really superb.Your article is also complete and yur reviews are absolutely fantastic.Please keep to it as it helps our society.And thanks for the same.Expecting a lot of articles from you in future-thanks

by George.J on 7. October 2012 - 5:45  (100410)

Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. :)

by Yaron (not verified) on 2. October 2012 - 15:20  (100117)

Thanks for the article. I've installed PotPlayer after reading it.

I have 2 questions:

*
Is it possible to set the A-B repeat buttons (Start, End, Undo) in the main screen
(i.e. without the need to open the Control Panel)?

*
I've been using for a long time 'Media Player Classic' with k-lite codecs full.
The picture I get with MPC/k-lite is much better (especially in flv files).
How do I set PotPlayer to use k-lite codecs?

(I'm not a pro. A detailed reply would be appreciated.)

Thank you.

(Win xp sp3).

by George.J on 3. October 2012 - 7:14  (100157)

Yes you could use the keyboard shortcuts for that purpose. For exampe, hit "[" button to start A-B repeat, "]" to stop and Shirt + "[" to Undo. For more shortcuts, right click on interface->Playback->A-B repeat.

I don't recommend using Codec packs because of various problems that can occur after their installation. Check Tips and Warnings section in the article. For best playback quality, if you having a pretty fast computer with a decent graphics card, you could use MadVR renderer in PotPlayer along with Haali Media Splitter and LAV filters which is the setup that I use.

Here's a guide for configuring PotPlayer for this purpose: http://imouto.my/configuring-potplayer-for-gpu-accelerated-video-playbac... .

This is a similar guide for MPC-HC for best playback quality: http://coalgirls.wakku.to/faq/playback/setup-guide-for-mpc-hc-madvr

If you don't have a very good computer you could use other video renderers like EVR Custom Preset. Switching between different video renderers can give you better playback quality. Also you may use Color controls for better image quality like adjusting the brigtness, saturation etc. But most of all, the quality of a image depends on the quality of the video file. You get better quality with 1080p video than 720p one.

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