Best Free Media Player


Other Language?
  Read this article in Spanish
  Read this article in Chinese
In a Hurry?
  Go straight to the Quick Selection Guide
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 and choose your favourite media player
Currently ReviewingMPlayer WW

  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 . Note that all the sample files should be below 150MB (<100MB is prefered). 
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


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-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.

 Note: With the release of PotPlayer Global version 1.6 you're free to update the media player from the interface. 


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 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 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 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 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 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.
  • 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


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.
No help files, Default 'automatic' video renderer not the best.
19.5 MB
32 and 64 bit versions available
Unrestricted freeware
This product is portable.

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'.

Changelog: Read PotPlayer release notes

Forum: Daum PotPlayer Forum

Contact: ahahlive[at]hanmail[dot]net

Win XP - Win 10


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
31 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Unrestricted freeware
This product is portable.

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

Windows XP - 7

VLC Media Player

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.
25 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


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.
7.9 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Open source freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
NB: SPlayer from the developer includes OpenCandy. SPlayer Portable: (No OpenCandy) Changelog: Read SPlayer release notes


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
Not as configurable as some other players for those requiring advanced features, Shorcut keys incomplete. Bundled with OpenCandy, see here for more information.
17 MB
Open source freeware

NB: The above download includes OpenCandy Lite (No OpenCandy bundled) Kantaris Plugins: Changelog: Read Kantaris release notes

Windows 2K/XP/Vista/7

GOM Player

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
13 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Changelog: Read GOM Player release notes
Windows 98SE - 7


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)
25 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Feature limited freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
NB: Do not download from homesite->CNET installer - see our information page Forum: Changelog:


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, 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.
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

Media Player Classic Home Cinema

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.
10 MB
32 and 64 bit versions available
Open source freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.

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: 2. Real Alternative: 3. QuickTime Alternative: 4. WinAmp Alternative:

Windows XP - 7


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.
32 and 64 bit versions available
Open source freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
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. You think, it could be improved or your favourite media player is not present in the article? Please do post your feedback and suggestions in the comments section below. Also don't forget to rate this article.

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.

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.

best free media player, multimedia player, video player, computer video player, PC player

Back to the top of the article


Rate this article

If you liked this article and found it helpful, please help us by rating this article.


Please rate this article: 

Your rating: None
Average: 4.5 (240 votes)


Getting wrong subtitles is always with every player a risk. What BSPlayer does is present you with a list in a small window with all subs found and you manually choose which one you want the player to download for you. No other player to my knowledge does it. In case of SMplayer and VLC, the only two that I would ever consider as alternatives what they do is put some zip with the subtitles on your hard disk. Potplayer is in no way a solution.
I will patiently follow those 2 aforementioned to evolve as the only thing to be done unless I start a programming career. :)

1. MPC-BE (Media Player Classic Black Edition):

2. BS.Player:

3. Zoom Player:

I recommend MPC-BE and BS.Player.

Thank you for the recommendations. I'll look into them soon.

You are welcome.

Obviously, everyone values certain features or options differently (or lack there of). If one TRULY NEVER needed support of any kind - even to browse forum questions, I guess PotPlayer may be fine. Or if you need "1000 files seamless playback." Having no support or documentation in English for English users (this is an English language review site) would put it farther down the list, IMHO.

As far as Pot / KM Player & VLC's playback quality of most vids I tried (haven't played many of the more obscure formats), they were no better than SMPlayer. Don't know about 1000 seamless files, auto resume on 100's of files - I'd never use those.

I used VLC - a LOT & still do some. It's interface & settings are more difficult to customize than SMPlayer, IMO. Maybe VLC has more options ?, but some are undocumented & for SOME - or things that just didn't work, users could never get an answer on their forum. But, for the most part, beyond it's complex settings, it's generally a GOOD player.

I started using SMPlayer about 1 yr ago. I like the way the toolbars seem easier to customize (VLC is way over complicated for that, IMO). SMP's play quality for common formats I played is as good or better than VLC, PotPlayer or.

Open GL3 video output, contained in MPlayer2 (not in VLC as of v2.0.6), seems to work better than others for some formats, if your video card supports it.

If having a problem, SMPlayer / MPlayer's logging is easier to enable & use, IMO. (Problems are rare for me).

SMP has it's own Youtube browser / player built in. The player is much better than Flash Player (& I'm sure safer, not to mention more private).

SMP will store custom play & (I believe) equalizer settings for individual files.
It has settings for not storing any info what so ever about files played, directories used, etc., if you want.

You can use MPlayer2 w/ the SMPlayer front end, which I think is a bit better than MPlayer. It supports more video output formats. Switching out Mplayer2 for MPlayer is quite easy. They also maintain / distribute a Windows MPlayer2 version.

I used VLC for a long time & spent a good bit of time on their forum. It's pretty decent & some advanced users often have answers / suggestions, but the VLC devs sometimes seem crabby - for no apparent reason (not to me directly; from reading other posts) or seem non existent. They sometimes give "half answers" - not enough info for avg users (which is better than none, for Pot Player). Some questions go unanswered for a good while.

SMPlayer now has versions that include Open Candy AND versions that don't. At least, they did a few mo ago.
Their own PORTABLE (Windows) versions DON'T have Open Candy or any such things. Even so, Open Candy can be avoided, following instructions on O.C.'s site.

Any question I've ever posted on SMPlayer's forum is usually answered that day; often in an hr or 2. More often by a dev than by users. They're not crabby & will explain things in detail if you need it. It's QUITE different than most forums.

SMPlayer devs fixed several bugs / UI issues I brought up w/in a day or 2 - several times (in a dev build, made available).
They issue update versions far more often than VLC, so bugs don't drag on for many months or longer, as in VLC.

I am not, nor ever have been affiliated in any manner what so ever, with any media player software.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts Misty, and your review of SMPlayer. It's in fact a great media player. ... PotPlayer while being an advanced media player was still pretty light on resources. When comparing quality (handling different media file formats) and quantity (options available under the hood), the clean nature of the installer, and it's active development with lots of new features and bug fixes done every fortnight, it was hard to give a second thought of what could be the top pick here. As far as the output quality of the video is considered, it doesn't depend on individual media players. The combination of video renderer being used, and the video controls (brightness, saturation, color and contrast) is basically what determines the output. But the biggest deciding factor is the quality of the video file itself. If you have a 1080p video and 720p one, the quality will be better for the former. PotPlayer sets every option to automatic (by default), so that most system can play videos without a hitch. So if you want better quality for the video you've still plenty of video renderers available which you can switch to, until you find one that works best for the video and the system. The best renderer available currently is MadVR (supported by MPC-HC, Zoom Player, J.River Media Center 16, PotPlayer and KMPlayer) and it beats most other renderers by a pretty good margin. But the tradeoff is that you need to have a high end system, with a graphic card as this renderer is GPU assisted. Moroever PotPlayer had excellent scrub/navigation bar response time for all media containers, in fact the best. However fast you seek an 1080p HD video, the output never blurred for me. It ran really smooth on a low end PC that I had, compared to MPC-HC, which is considered to be the lightest, but not really. You can also store your settings to a .ini file, so that configuration can be exported to other systems. I know it's a shame that the support thread at Doom9 is closed. There is a new site constructed, Doom10, and it may have a support thread on PotPlayer. PotPlayer functions quite similar to KMPlayer so you could use the link to the Guide that I've given given for KMPlayer for PotPlayer too..

PotPlayer no longer has any support at least not in English One used to be able to post bugs at Doom no longer supports PotPlayer over the issue of "legal software".

PotPlayer as good as it is has issues. I've noticed that the lips and voice don't sync in some movies. However VLC and Smplayer have no issue. Also the video/ audio quality is just slightly richer for these latter players.

PotPlayer still remains my fav player but for how long? I guess until I get tired of the bugs.

Please update this link so the users can still get support if you can.


Latest versiof Media Player Classic Home Cinema released - 1.66.69.

"Highlights of this release:
•Uncompressed RAR files can now be played directly in MPC-HC, drag any .rar or part file (.r00, .r01, etc.) into the player to play it (thanks to RARFileSource)
•The Subtitle menu now shows all available subtitle tracks including the tracks offered by the splitter
•“Now playing” information can now be sent to Skype’s mood message, MSN support has been removed
•VSync is now turned off by default due to playback issues, if you have Aero on you already have VSync and will not notice the difference
•The hotkeys related to D3D Fullscreen and Frame Time Correction have changed to avoid accidental activation
•The external filter list has been split for the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the player,your current filter list will automatically be corrected

Latest version of MPC-HC released V1.70

Lots of intersting changes, particularly replacing internal filters with LAV filters. More info on their web site. I like and use PotPlayer (new verion just out there as well) but if I was allowed only one media player it would be MPC-HC. Everyone to their own, of course.

Highlights of new version
Security advisory: Due to known buffer overflows in the internal filters of v1.6.8 and below, it is strongly recommended that you update to the new version. More information on which filters are affected will follow soon.
•Replace the internal filters with LAV Filters. LAV Filters are modern open source DirectShow filters based on FFmpeg. They are known to be reliable and fast and overall should be more stable than the old filters. MPC-HC integrates LAV Filters directly and no extra installation steps are required. The embedded version of LAV Filters doesn’t interfere at all with other installed DirectShow filters (including the standalone versions of LAV Filters).
•Support loading HTTP/RTSP/UDP/RTP streams using embedded source filters
•Windows 8.1 support.
•Many more bugfixes and improvements, check the changelog for details.

Just a general comment, I am really pleased with the new version of smplayer.
Also, check out Zoom Player

Thanks for the heads up.. Direct play of video files inside RAR seems pretty useful.
VLC also has that ability. Just open the lowest numbered rar file with VLC and it will play through the whole video within the rar. (#18 on this list) Steve
Few specialized media players has this ability like VLC, PotPlayer, KMPlayer and other media players like Kantaris etc. If your default media player cannot play RAR archies, using RARFileSource which installs itself as a DirectShow Filter can let any media player to play inside RAR contents.
Interesting update for PotPlayer. The latest version (beta) displays video thumbnail previews on the navigation bar. To activate it, check "Display thumbnail previews on" option in F5 > Playback If you are having a low-end system, I recommend you not to turn this feature ON, as it consumes a fair share of CPU. Either wait for the next stable version or apply the beta version on top of the latest stable version.
Latest stable version (1.5.36205) fixes slow opening of video files when thumbnail previews enabled. Update to this version.
"... JuceVLC is VLC with a simple MediaCenter-like fullscreen User Interface ..." (1/45 in Virus Total - possible false positive?): Features: * Big fonts and no system popup dialogs * Browse files and adjust settings using On Screen Display (O.S.D.) * Non mandatory keyboard. The "space-key" allows your relatives to play/pause your video ;-) * Subtitles selection via O.S.D. and synchronization using slider * Keep last and favorite video folders * JuceVLC application uses regular VLC core libraries/plugins * Portable application
MPlayer 2013-02-22 Build 108 is out:

how to do automatic volume leveling

you said its not good to install codec but some media playrs posted include codecs

in kmplayer there is
kmplayer external codec when installing

will installing this change other programs use as codecs

I apologize if i missed it, but i did not see where you listed any mention of blu-ray compatibility, just curious if you tested any of these players for blu-ray playback, and if so which seemed to best suited?

Since I don't have a Blu Ray disk, I wouldn't be able to test the capability of the media players here. Although this article says that PotPlayer has the ability to play Blu-Ray disks natively. This thread shows how to play Blu-Ray disks on VLC 2.0 with a few tweaks.


I've been using The KMPlayer for a couple of years now.... a nice media player that does everything that I require. Every now and again, I get the pop-up window advising me that there's a newer version available.

Yesterday, I followed the latest up-date prompt and downloaded the latest version. What a BIG mistake that was !... Despite unchecking all the nasty boxes that invited me to install a lot of crapware, it just went along anyway and dumped it all on my PC without my permission. It took me quite a while to uninstall The KMPlayer and then painstakingly, get rid of all the stubborn bits that were hiding in the registry.

I then downloaded and installed my old friend from a few years back, VLC media player. All running sweetly now.

This is another good reason why you should be using Sandboxie. I'll test the latest version of KMPlayer soon.

Saw good reviews for potplayer, decided to try it, installed,tried using it twice and it completely froze my recently rebuilt machine. Had to power off to regain access. I understand there is some conversation regarding what is the latest stable version, but what you download should not cause such a drastic issue.
Will probably go back to VLC or GOM.

The latest version is working fine for me and for most others here. So if your system hangs up, then the cause of the problem is internal to your system. It's (PotPlayer 32bit) running fine on my WinXP (32bit) and Win7 (64bit) systems. 1. Did you download PotPlayer from the Quick Selection Guide given in the article? You should install only the 32bit version as the 64bit version is fairly optimized. 2. One of your security programs like your antivirus, firewall etc might be interrupting the program. Try disabling them one by one to see which one is interrupting and whitelist the program. 3. Do not perform updates within the program. Only download it from the links given here.
If you like KM Player, you can give a try to PotPlayer. It's from the same person who developed KM Player. But, PotPlayer is devoid of any such extras, and is excellent.

Media Player Classic Home Cinema has no Repeat/Random Mode.

To randomize, just turn on the playlist (Right Click->View->Playlist) and then right click within the playlist items and hit Randomize or Shuffle. For repeat, go to Options->Playback and select the number of times to repeat or select repeat forever.

Oh, I see. Thank You.
But it still too complicated and uncomfortable. :-(

I admit that, the repeat function is a little cumbersome in MPC-HC, but you should note that this category is mostly for playing videos, and these functions are mainly used only while playing songs. We've a separate category/software here for music management on the site: Best Free Music Player and Organizer