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Best media players for Windows

Media players make it possible to watch videos, listen to audio files, configure the audio-visual output and even open the files of DVDs, CDs, Blu-rays and other disks with media content. This list combines the most popular and most functional media players currently in use.

Price  
Trial period  
Video download  
Playlist support  
3D, Ultra HD, DVD and Blu-ray support  
Vast codecs support  
Custom navigation options   ? Quick skipping, automated chapter assignment, etc.
Plays damaged files  
Multi-platform synchronization   ? Plays media across all of your devices
Audio export  
Supports streaming devices  
Customizable controls  
Platform  
Overall rating
Free
Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
6/10
Free
Windows, macOS
5/10
$79.99
30 days
Windows
5/10
Free
DVD, Ultra HD, 3D
Windows, macOS
5/10
Free
Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
5/10
Free
Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android
5/10
Free
Windows
3/10
VLC Media Player
VLC Media Player
3 (75%) 1 (25%)
download
VLC is the jack of all trades among media players as a software category. It lets you view, navigate files, adjust their rendering, watch media on any mobile device and synch the playback, create screencasts, access live feeds, etc. Naturally, the player is available on most popular platforms, including Windows, OS X, Android OS and iOs, for free.
Features
  • Supports all popular platforms.
  • Has modifiable modular design.
  • Integrates with other media playback software.
Advantages
  • Works from a USB stick.
  • Plays incomplete or damaged files.
  • Plays media files from ISO disk images.
  • Edits videos by splitting, mirroring and rotating them.
  • Ignores DVD region coding.
Disadvantages
  • Non-intuitive interface due to modular design.
Official website:
videolan.org
QuickTime
QuickTime
1 (100%) 0 (0%)
download
QuickTime is the freeware media player for Windows and Mac originating as part of an entire media framework and supports the rarest formats, including its native ones like MOV. It also works with images and provides detailed navigation and viewing options.
Features
  • Displays video, auido, images and presentations.
  • Supports audio export.
  • Encrypts and exports codecs.
  • Records, edits and shares multemedia files.
Advantages
  • Compatible with Apple Loseless.
  • Supports video and audio transcoding.
  • Converts to source and Quicktime formats.
  • Multiple official plugins.
  • Records video from PC camera or an attached one.
Disadvantages
  • Playback may be slow and freeze occasionally.
Official website:
support.apple.com
CyberLink PowerDVD
CyberLink PowerDVD
1 (100%) 0 (0%)
download
PowerDVD is one of the few commercial media players able to compete against their free counterparts. It supports HD video and disk playback with the option for correcting and enhancing the rendering of files. It is also one of the first players to support streaming. Despite being rather expensive ($79.99), it's quite useful and provides a 30-day trial.
Features
  • Works with DVD and Blu-ray disks seamlessly.
  • Supports a wide variety of native decoders.
  • Supports audio effects.
Advantages
  • Supports 4K UHD Blu-ray drives.
  • Supports 360-degree camera feeds.
  • Supports chromecast, AppleTV and Roku streaming devices.
  • Supports motion enhancement filters.
Disadvantages
  • Only available commecrially.
  • Restricted to the newer versions of Windows.
Official website:
cyberlink.com
5KPlayer
5KPlayer
1 (100%) 0 (0%)
download
This media player is created for 8K Ultra HD movies on Windows and Mac, supports AirPlay, deals with music formats like AVI, MKV, HEVC, MP4, MOV, WMV, etc., plays region coded DVDs as well as 3D and HD videos. It is distributed for free.
Features
  • Plays 4K/5K/1080p HD videos, DVDs and radio.
  • Plays MP3, AAC, APE, FLAC music.
  • Creates a personal multimedia library.
Advantages
  • Works with Airplay and DLNA.
  • Downloads videos from online streaming services.
  • Detects and plays RStereo, Dolbys, DTS multi-channel surround sound in MP3, AAC, AC3, WMA, FLAC and ALAC lossless audio format.
  • Has Built-in Radio Player.
  • Hardware acceleration.
Disadvantages
  • Installs additional unwanted software without permission.
Official website:
5kplayer.com
The KMPlayer
The KMPlayer
1 (100%) 0 (0%)
download
Works both with external and internal Codecs. Supports playback of MPEG1, MPEG2, AAC, WMA 7, WMA 8, OGG and other files. It is available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, has Cloud-view connection and Mobile VR on beta stage. It is free to use.
Features
  • Supports high-resolution movies (3D, 4K, UHD).
  • Provides diverse format support.
  • Localized to over 24 languages.
  • Is constantly improved and developed.
Advantages
  • Provides complete control over DVD selection, movie and audio menus, brightness/contrast, etc.
  • Captures audio and video from the PC screen.
  • Is bundled with Codecs and supports ffdshow ones.
  • Matrix and normalizer functions for audio.
  • All versions are connectable via cloud, providing access to the media collection from any of them.
Disadvantages
  • May have sound issues when is run on old Windows versions without the admin rights.
Official website:
kmplayer.com
Kodi
Kodi
1 (100%) 0 (0%)
download
This media player was formely named XBMC, is open source and works under Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Android and Raspberry Pi. Use it to listen to music, to watch videos, TV Shows, photos. It supports playing MP3, FLAC, WAV, WMA, DVD.
Features
  • Variable skins available.
  • Records live TV.
  • Plays audio, video and photo files.
Advantages
  • Works with MediaPortal, MythTV, NextPVR, Tvheadend.
  • A vast library of user-created Add-ons.
  • Uses JSON-RPC remote interface.
  • Supports TV show viewing with complete info provided.
  • Play slideshows for your guests.
Disadvantages
  • Needs files to be tagged to compose libraries.
Official website:
kodi.tv
Media Player Classic
Media Player Classic
2 (67%) 1 (33%)
download
Media Player Classis was originally the tool working with the K-Lit e Media Codec Pack for Windows but has since become one of the most popular free standalone tools for watching videos. It supports all types of HD formats and receives regular updates to incorporate the latest codec versions.
Features
  • Includes built-in codecs for VCD, SVCD, and DVD playback.
  • Provides interface customization options.
  • Opens functional disk menus of DVD and Blu-ray images.
Advantages
  • Supports multiple media decoders and encoders selectable in real time.
  • Includes a MPEG splitter for VCD and VSCD playback.
  • Supports hardware acceleration for playback.
  • Plays and records television via TV tuners.
Disadvantages
  • Only plays single files.
Official website:
sourceforge.net

Conclusion

For this comparison, it's hard to define a clear leader, as what some players lack in the abundance of features, they compensate for with the thoroughness of their compatibility and the presence of unique tools and functionality. VLC seems to be the agilest, but there are many more media players worth checking out. Which media player do you usually use? Why did you choose it? Share your experience with us.

Comments

K
K 14 days ago

What about Pot Player? And what of GOM Player? These two are also widely used.

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