Top 10 Media Players for Windows
VLC MEDIA PLAYER
If you want to play video or music files and not worry about format, VLC is the best application for the job. With a plethora of media formats out there, VLC is a catch-all player that will handle anything. VLC Media Player is simply the most stable, flexible and lightweight audio and video players around today. While other media players will play unusual formats after downloading a codec, or simply refuse to play things, VLC will not complain. In addition to this, you can also use it to preview files you are downloading, because it will play parts of files. It takes no time to start up either, so opening it up to preview something is no trouble at all. VLC Media Player has great hotkey support, if you take the time to learn the shortcuts, so can be controlled without touching your mouse. The interface is functional, but by no means attractive.
WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER
Windows Media Player is a proprietary digital media player and media library application developed by Microsoft that is used for playing audio, video and viewing images on personal computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system, as well as on Pocket PC and Windows Mobile-based devices. Editions of Windows Media Player were also released for Mac OS, Mac OS X and Solaris but development of these has since been discontinued. In addition to being a media player, Windows Media Player includes the ability to rip music from and copy music to compact discs, build Audio CDs in recordable discs and synchronize content with a digital audio player (MP3 player) or other mobile devices, and enables users to purchase or rent music from a number of online music stores. Windows Media Player replaced an earlier piece of software called Media Player, adding features beyond simple video or audio playback. Windows Media Player 12 is the most recent version of Windows Media Player as of October 2009. It was released on October 22, 2009 along with Windows 7 and has not been released for previous versions of Windows. Windows Media Player 11 is available for Windows XP and included in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. The default file formats are Windows Media Video (WMV), Windows Media Audio (WMA), and Advanced Systems Format (ASF), and supports its own XML based playlist format called Windows Playlist (WPL). The player is also able to utilize a digital rights management service in the form of Windows Media DRM.
Winamp is a proprietary media player written by Nullsoft, now a subsidiary of AOL. It is skinnable, multi-format freeware/shareware. Besides MP3, Winamp supports a wide variety of contemporary and specialized music file formats, including MIDI, MOD, MPEG-1 audio layers 1 and 2, AAC, M4A, FLAC, WAV and WMA. Winamp was one of the first common music players on Windows to support playback of Ogg Vorbis by default. It supports gapless playback for MP3 and AAC, and Replay Gain for volume leveling across tracks. In addition, Winamp can play and import music from audio CDs, optionally with CD-Text, and can also burn music to CDs. It should be noted that it is necessary to buy the “Pro” version to be able to rip or burn discs at maximum speeds.
iTunes Player is a free application for your Mac or PC. It organizes and plays your digital music and video on your computer. It syncs all your media with your iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV. And it’s a store on your computer, iPod touch, iPhone, and Apple TV that has everything you need to be entertained. Anywhere. Anytime. When you download music and video from iTunes, it’s immediately added to your iTunes library. There you can view your media collection any way you like. To find something specific, type the title or artist’s name in the search field and iTunes quickly reveals results as you type. In your library, anything you want to watch or hear is only a click away. You’ll enjoy the album art in your music collection even more in iTunes. Use Cover Flow to flip through your digital music. Grid View lets you browse all your music, movies, and TV shows by their cover art. With Cover Flow and Grid View, you’ll quickly find exactly what you want to hear and watch.
Real Player is a proprietary audio format developed by Real Networks. It uses a variety of audio codecs, ranging from low-bitrate formats that can be used over dialup modems, to high-fidelity formats for music. It can also be used as a streaming audio format, that is played at the same time as it is downloaded. In the past, many internet radio stations used RealAudio to stream their programming over the internet in real time. In recent years, however, the format has become less common and has given way to more popular audio formats. It is used heavily by the BBC websites, though its use on the site is being phased out.
This one is a personal favorite for me. I always use this to play each and everything either its Audio or Video whether its VCD, DVD, AVI, MKV, Ogg, OGM, 3GP, MPEG-1/2/4, WMV, RealMedia, QuickTime or any other format etc. It lets you play almost everything seamlessly. I haven’t ran into it not being able to play any format of media files.
It got too many options letting you adjust everything you could ever think of starting from Equalizer, Subtitles, audio settings, Video settings, 3D Surround sound, Audio/video Synchronization and much more. Just think of something and you can change it just by your right click.
Mplayer basically is a command line Video/Audio player. Yes you read it right, Command line. This player is without any Graphical user interface. You can just download all the required standalone files in a folder and you can play your files straight away.
For playing the files , the simple way is to just drag and drop the file on the MPlayer executable file. The codec files reside inside a folder within. And with all the codec files downloaded there, it plays everything you can imagine of. There may be just a few exceptions to this though. Developers of Mplayer recently though developed a GUI though and its available for Windows version. Previously GI was available only for Linux.
MEDIA PLAYER CLASSIC
By seeing this, you will be reminded of the very old Windows media player which used to be bundled with Microsoft windows till Windows XP came out. Dont go by the looks. It will beat Windows media player by miles in performance in playing media files. The interface is too simple but when you go in settings, it got loads of stuff to tweak on if you like them to be hanged or tweaked. Great for playing anything but you will need to install all codes e.g. using K-Lite codec package for playing non standard media files.
This is another great player. It got just few features less compared to KMPlayer and plays almost all the files except a few. Check it out. It supports most of the condecs (AVI, DAT, MPEG, DivX, XviD, WMV, ASF more) by its own embedded codec system that you won’t have to look for appropriate codecs everytime when you can’t play a certain video format.Also it is able to play incomplete or damaged AVI file by skipping the damaged frames. And it can also playback Locked Media Files while downloadingor sharing (with real-time index rebuilding under certain condition: AVI downloading in consecutive order).
This player from COWON even though having “Audio” added in its name , can play both audio and video files. It can also be used to convert Audio, Rip CDs, Record or even burn Cds. It lets you even brodcast your music over the web. You can have different skins changed at will. With some great configuration options in both Audio and Video , its a great player to have.