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 George.J on 21. June 2012 - 19:56  (95205)

Allright now I understood what you wanted.
If you intend to use PotPlayer then you need to do a few tweaks.

1. Set PotPlayer to run multiple instances of the player
as I said in the above comment
2. Open the smaller video in one instance of PotPlayer
3. Click on "Daum PotPlayer", present at the top left of
the window.
4. In the drop down box that appears, Go to "On-Top"
sub-menu and then select "Always on top" or "On top
while playing" whichever you wish.
5. Now right click inside the interface of the smaller
video and go to Skins->Hide Skin while playing. (You can make the inner skin of the inner video transparent by going to Transparency sub-menu)
6. Open the larger video, maximize the window.
7. Now you have a PIP effect. :-)

by Anon2332 (not verified) on 21. June 2012 - 20:39  (95210)

ok I will give that a shot..thanks for the help

by xxxyz (not verified) on 1. July 2012 - 10:15  (95612)

assume if video is 720p, instal avisynth and
get ffms2 (for accurate frame reading) and
save this as an avs
---------------------------------------------------

LoadPlugin("plugins/ffms2.dll")
a = "movie1.mkv"
b = "movie2.mkv"
c = ffvideosource(a).Crop(0,0,0,322).Subtitle(a,5,5,first_frame=0,last_frame=999, font="Arial", size=15,text_color=$00BFFF)
d = ffvideosource(b).Crop(0,0,0,322).Subtitle(b,5,5,first_frame=0,last_frame=999, font="Arial", size=15,text_color=$00BFFF)
stackvertical(c,d)

---------------------------------------------------
now play .avs with potplayer/virtualdub/or y'r fav player.

by aldrio (not verified) on 14. June 2012 - 23:22  (94882)

To Gizmo or anyone: On Wiamp click file, play URL and it doesn't work. It attempts to and then it fails eliciting a message "Error syncing to the stream" Does anyone know how to configure WinAmp to do this? If so PLEASE give all the step, clicks addons etc. or whatever. I've just about worn out Google asking every variation of question with no results. So that means sumpthin's goin on, I've been at this too long it has a certain feel. I even found this http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?t=336949 Minitube isn't the same thing. I have the latest version of WinAmp but does it require a plugin or whatever? Once again please include all the steps so everyone includin th newbies can understand.

Also does anyone know if the above reviewed media players have the function? If so are they as obtuse to configure as dear ole WinAmpo, huh? On VLC media player one could replace a lua file for YouTube in Program Files but the move was obviated by the latest version which will play some URL's. Winamp would be nice with it's equalizer and possible sycning with DFX.

I find it hard to believe Winamp would offer something that offered a non functioning included feature right outta th box in the current version. That's engineering I suppose, everbody suits themselves. Thanx a zillion.

by George.J on 15. June 2012 - 5:06  (94896)

I don't understand why you use Winamp to play your video files, which is mainly a music manager. Also native video support is only available in the Pro version. The playback quality and features supported won't match any of the media players listed here for playing video files.

The top 3 media players listed here has the ability to play and stream most video and audio formats. You may try and see how it works for you.

by hYu (not verified) on 4. June 2012 - 14:26  (94387)

PotPlayer For The Win!

by salamander on 25. May 2012 - 9:28  (93935)

New stable version of Potplayer has arrived. Available in English.
Daum PotPlayer 1.5.33573 x86/x64. Not tried it out yet.

by Jaikrishna on 31. May 2012 - 3:24  (94221)

I just installed the new version and All my tool tips are in korean(?).
I've checked the settings of the program(which appears in english) and dont find any Language option. Can somebody help? Or maybe it is a bug?

by George.J on 31. May 2012 - 12:23  (94237)

By default the English version of PotPlayer from the download link given in the guide has "default.dsf" skin file which is completly in English, including all the tooltips. But I guess you might be using "Built-In skin", which is the default skin built into original PotPlayer (not english version) and tooltips appears in Korean in this one.

Right click on the interface->Skins->choose Default.dsf (which is the default skin for English version or any other skin of your choice, except [Built-in skin])

by Jaikrishna on 31. May 2012 - 12:46  (94240)

Oh. Ya! I changed it because I didn't like the default skin. Now I changed it to "PotPlayer default skin original_en.dsf" which retains my desired skin and changes tooltips. Thanks a lot :)

by C.M. (not verified) on 22. May 2012 - 19:37  (93849)

Has anyone scanned their active network connections while running PotPlayer? I've noticed (and since blocked) a persistent connection to an IP address in the Republic of Korea.

by George.J on 22. May 2012 - 22:55  (93859)

This issue had been discussed before. Check here. http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-windows-media-player-replaceme...
If you havn't set automatic updates to "Do not use ever" within the media player, its connects to the internet. Read the note below the PotPlayer review in the article

by C.M. (not verified) on 22. May 2012 - 23:00  (93860)

Yeah, I know the auto update "feature" and made sure not to activate it. That's why I was surprised to see that there was still a connection being made regardless of having the automated updates enabled.

by George.J on 22. May 2012 - 23:46  (93864)

I believe this is the ip address that it connects to 114.108.157.233. The domain is that of daum.net, and url's pointing to tiara.daum.net/* and start.www.daum.net/* . The responses are either dead or closed. It happens when you play a video in PotPlayer and not while starting, it lingers for around 10sec, checks whether there is internet connectivity and then goes down. You may decide to block or not.
The url is safe: http://support.clean-mx.de/clean-mx/viruses.php?sort=firstseen desc&review=114.108.157.%

by C.M. (not verified) on 23. May 2012 - 0:30  (93866)

Interesting. The IP address I'm concerned about is 110.45.229.148. I believe it's owned by one of their ISPs "LG DACOM KIDC." This needs further looking into.

by George.J on 23. May 2012 - 0:46  (93867)

Their ISP's (hosting company) are all LG DACOM KIDC. The url you have given (110.45.229.148) points to get.daum.net

by C.M. (not verified) on 23. May 2012 - 0:56  (93869)

Thanks. I found the IP address on a handful or RBL lists. I have it blocked but I'm going to keep an eye on it. I don't want to toss out PotPlayer since it's a pretty good app but I'm not quite ready to give it a free pass.

by George.J on 23. May 2012 - 1:26  (93870)

The url has been listed 0 times out of 35 popular known blacklists.
http://www.mxtoolbox.com/SuperTool.aspx?action=blacklist:110.45.229.148

I don't understand what you meant by, that you found the ip address on a handful of RBL lists. It appeared only once in advanced scanning in 1/105 blacklists and that is deemed to be a false positive.

by C.M. (not verified) on 23. May 2012 - 3:44  (93876)

I found the address on five blacklists listed on this site.

http://dawhois.com/rbl_check/

by George.J on 23. May 2012 - 5:27  (93878)

5/122 there can be safely ignored. This is because:
Out of the 5 that has been blacklisted
-spambag.org is long dead blacklist, no longer in operation.
-Redhawk which blacklists in this site, but not on mxtoolbox
-korea.services.net is untrustworthy site as per WOT scorecard.
-ok.relays.nthelp.com lists it as safe whereas relays.nthelp.com blacklists it.That's a contradiction and the latter host is not found.

I advice you to rely on http://www.mxtoolbox.com/ which gives more accurate results

by MidnightCowboy on 23. May 2012 - 7:00  (93879)

In general terms, am I right in thinking that inclusion on an IP blacklist can be a bit like heuristic detections from AV programs, in that they are often likely to me "maybe" and not necessarily "definite"? My own dynamic address for instance is on four blacklists, one of which lists these as the possible reasons.

"virus-generated spam, poor server configuration, dynamic IP Addresses previously used by spammers, bulk mail sending that does not comply with the CAN-SPAM Act".

Certainly where I come from the last three are rife, so it's little wonder the addresses get blacklisted. The second and last will also apply to a lot of fixed addresses here, the owners of which are not rogues or hosting malicious content.

by George.J on 23. May 2012 - 12:52  (93885)

The intro paragraph at domain-blacklist.e-dns[dot]org explains it well. (link broken because the site is red rated by WOT (Web Of Trust).
You may also read the Wikipedia article, especially the criticisms
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNSBL

It's quite something like what you told, about heuristics. Sometimes even similar to VirusTotal results.
How many blacklists did it compare with to get an aggregate of 4? Something 4/100 can be regarded as false positive and 4/50 is quite ok.

by MikeR on 19. May 2012 - 14:32  (93709)

Well, that's more than an hour of my life I'll never get back again . . .

Seeing as how my VLC app is out of date, I thought, after reading this review, I'd try KM Player.

As distinct from the ASK TOOLBAR, which was specifically NOT checked at the time of installation and specifically NOT authorised when Firefox itself warned that Ask was trying to add itself to the browser. And yet here it is.

That aside, trying to even fathom what this player is supposed to do is an uphill struggle: even some of the main 'buttons' on the player aren't in English but Korean. And as for KM Player performing even the simplest of everyday tasks that VLC manages without a hiccough, well. . .

My sister in law has just returned from a walking holiday in the English Lake District and made a really good amateur video. I wanted to slow it down a bit to enjoy the scenery, a task I could've done in less than 2 seconds on VLC by clicking on the playback speedback control.

But where, precisely, is that in KM Playerng?? I've no idea. I know where the User Guide *says* it is, because I've downloaded 33MBsworth of that via the KM Player English language forum. But the guide's illustration of the speed control in the playback panel doesn't relate to anything I have on screen -- and this is the latest version of KM Player, via the DL link given in this article, which leads to Softonic and then a Softonic download and install.

Sorry, but. . . KM Player is useless for the average (and I'm one) punter who merely wishes to have a decent quality, easy to operate, media player on her / his computer. Not some overly pretentious badly presented app with confusing Korean on-screen control buttons and a help facility that takes you straight to the 'Net where the biggest search panel is that of asn ASK toolbar that was specifically and repeatedly denied installation.

Never mind singing KLM Player's praises. TSA should be de-listing it: any software developer which *deliberately* shovels crap onto a user's computer so as to rake in the commission from toolbar purveyors has all the integrity of a brick.

Ah well. Now it's going to be yet more time spent, Revoing out this Korean junk, and its manual, and its toolbar, and going back -- with a sigh of grateful thanks -- to VLC.

by George.J on 20. May 2012 - 2:19  (93725)

Thank you Mike for pointing out about Softonic link in the download section, I've now changed it to Filehippo's website. This change might have been made recently when KMPlayer joined hands with Softonic.

About Ask toolbar, you might have mistakingly hit the "Accept" button instead of "Decline" after unchecking the boxes related to Ask toolbar installation (effectively accepting their terms and conditions for it's install), this should have led to installation of Ask toolbar. I know this is crazy, how it forges itself to make people believe that you've to "Accept" this change to continue with the installation. Anyway I've added it as a note under the review.

But that's how it goes. Freeware's these days are turning into Adware's, when their software authors fail to bank in enough cash for their efforts, so that their products stays afloat as a freeware to their users. When donations becomes an all time low, the cost of settting up a website, and hosting their freeware products, I guess they need something back in return, also for their efforts for creating wonderful freeware's back to the users.

About the main button's not in English, could you specifically mention which were those button's that you found as Korean? Also as for you mentioning about "playback speed control", I believe the newest version of VLC doesn't have playback speed controls "on" in it's interface by default. The latest version is 2.0.1. For KMPlayer you have hotkeys for controlling the speed (Shift + "+" ->increase speed , Shift + "-" ->decrease speed).

Finally, out of the so many media players out there, you could decide which one suits you the best, your tastes as an advanced or intermediate user. If VLC seems fine to you, you're free to choose it :-) but KMPlayer is still the choice of preference for many geeks out there, because it has the largest and widest features amongst any media player out there.

by MikeR on 20. May 2012 - 20:20  (93753)

George: Sincere thanks for your comment -- much appreciated: it's hell on wheels, sometimes, trying to review software, and when reviewing a sector that's particularly crowded / competitive, even more so. A helluva lot of time and effort goes into not only the assessment but then the writing and compilation. So -- and this applies to others on TSA who give so much of their time to reviewing here -- sincere thanks!

As for KM Player, we-ell. . . I believe you're right. Yup. Bang on. I'm running Vista here, with Avast and Billy P's invaluable WinPatrol Pro. I did *exactly* as you said, and of course, of course, clicked on 'accept' after making sure the check boxes for the Ask Toolbar, and -- I think? -- the start page change were not checked.

After installation of the Km Player app with *all its add-on options unchecked,* I was a mite surprised to see, and hear, Scotty suddenly woofing: the Ask Toolbar Updater wished to load on start-up. Eh? How was such possible?

But of course, when I came to Revo out KM Player, it most certainly was. (Though by then I knew that, having clicked on KM Player's help and the Firefox browser then opened with the Ask toolbar installed.)

The issue, of course, isn't the toolbar. It took no more than 5 minutes for Revo to find it, get rid of it, and mop up the left-overs.

The issue is: *it should never have been there.*

As you rightly say: the installation was *forged*. That is: the KM Player installation is. . . *a forgery.*

On which basis, I couldn't honestly care less how superb, how technologically advanced, how am-az-ing a software is. . . if its publisher is prepared to forego all ethics, and all integrity, so as to grasp greedily the commission payments from add-on suppliers like Ask.

KM Player falls straight into that category. No integrity. No ethics. It wants money from a third party source and it couldn't care less if it cons the prospective user into facilitating that payment. In other words: KM Player holds you, me, and everyone else, in complete contempt.

And that's exactly how I view KM Player.

With contempt.

I have standards, and though I'm not claiming any kind of nobility here, I absolutely loathe it when others come along with none and think they can get away with it. (It's not for nothing that after the Malwarebytes scandal, I stripped every iObit product off my computers and haven't touched 'em since. I've also made darn sure I tell everyone else I deal with never to deal with iObit -- to which I've now added KM Player.)

Publishers / developers like KM Player need to realise there are three ways, and only three ways, of dealing with consumers: (1) go freeware, fully and completely, and build from there like Irfanview did; (2) go freeware but hope for donations -- and I've happily donated to many in my timep; (c) go commercial ware

But don't -- *don't* -- ever abuse public trust by being so contemptuous of a consumer as to finesse the T&C accept / not accept terms and forge your way into installing on someone's computer material that they never wanted and specifically *said* they didn't want.

I'm back with VLC. I'm happy with it. Even the slow motion / fast motion is superior to KM Player's (not that I could even find out how KM Player's works, it's only thanks to you that elucidation has been forthcoming.) Press plus to go more qwuickly in VLC and minus to go more slowly. And that's it. One finger. (Though I still prefer the earlier version of VLC's motion control, which was on-screen rather than via the keyboard.)

As for those KM Player buttons. . . darn it, I wish I still had the blasted software here, but it's gone. Anyway. I seem to remember, clicking on settings brought up a re-sizable controls panel, with various buttons for (I think!) audio, video, and maybe some other stuff. The buttons are identified in. . . Korean script.

In closing, I do appreciate your point about KM Player satisfying the geeks out there.I've no quarrel with that. Or with any geek. But even were I a geek, I'd not have Km Player on any computer of mine because of its provenance:

* a developer with an obvious contempt for me;

* a developer quite prepared to finangle and finesse and -- let's face it -- be downright dishonest about its installation procedure.

iObit, it seems, lost a lot of its support because of phony reviews *(like its famous Forbes Magazine review of iObit 360, a fiction from beginning to end) and the Malwarebytes scandal. And deservedly so. KM Player, equally deservedly, should be losing, not gaining, a user base for exactly the same kind of absence of ethics.

A perfect world in software publishing is never going to be possible any more than it is anywhere else, but that doesn't mean consumers can't say, enough is enough. And really: they should. After all: we only get what we're prepared to accept. And the more we lower our level of acceptance, the more outfits there'll be out there -- like KM Player -- only too willing to take advantage of that.

* PS: I should say, how good it was to install VLC. No add-ons. No forgery. No toolbars. No trickery.

by Ghost_Archer (not verified) on 9. May 2012 - 22:38  (93275)

Just a personal experience.

I install the potplayer on xp, vista (32 bits both) and windows 7 (64 bit version). They appears to start very slow, especially on vista and windows 7, when compared to MPC-HC or UMPlayer.

Another thing I notice about pot player is the aspect ratio problem, by default, it fits to the window, so strench a window will create "amazing" result.

by George.J on 10. May 2012 - 7:26  (93292)

MPC-HC was the fastest to startup among all the media players that I have tested, and while all the other media players falls behind in this respect, MPC-HC doesn't have a fancy interface to boast about. It's tweaked specifically to use minimum memory and have fast startup.
But PotPlayer isn't slow to startup on my Win7 system contrary to WinXP.

By default I believe, the aspect ratio is set to free, which is recommended by PotPlayer, but you can easily switch to Fit to Video or whatever you feel comfortable with, by right clicking on the interface->Aspect Ratio

by George.J on 9. May 2012 - 9:46  (93252)

I don't have a Blu-Ray disc to test whether any of these media players actually plays it. However these articles: PotPlayer, the new king of multimedia players shows a screenshot of PotPlayer playing Blu-Ray video & the PotPlayer Wikipedia article also mentions that PotPlayer is a blu-ray playback suite.

by George.J on 16. May 2012 - 9:32  (93547)

The latest version of VLC 2.0.1 also supports playback of blu-ray discs.
http://www.videolan.org/news.html
Even though the article that I pointed to was from 2010, it also meant that those media players had the capability to play blu-ray discs since a long time. Updates to a software is made mainly to extend their capabilities and to fix certain features. It's not going to affect their capabilties. Ones that already supported blu-ray discs still continues to do so.

In the above article that you pointed to, FreeSmith media player is considered to be only a basic player with little or no options to it's credit. It also did not play some formats on my system too. VSO and DA media player (of course I havn't tested them too much yet), cannot be considered as advanced media players like KMPlayer, PotPlayer or VLC. Finally PotPlayer had the most number of updates than any other players since then, so there's definitely a lot of improvement. I wonder whether you actually tested them on your PC? Seems like most of the media players now does play of Blu-Ray movies, and if these media players that you pointed out to, actually plays them, so will most of them mentioned in the article including MPC-HC.

Here's a link to a recent article that shows how a person played Blu-Ray disc on PotPlayer straight away.
http://www.sevenforums.com/music-pictures-video/182779-yet-another-media...

by erk (not verified) on 29. September 2012 - 15:12  (99962)

I tried VSO player it did not play blurays but it did trash my Firefox Browser to the extent that I had to uninstall it!!
BE WARNED!!

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