WOF: What's your favorite media player and why?

By on August 6, 2010, 11:36 PM
[Weekend Open Forum] It's rare that I'm in front of my PC without music playing, if only for ambient noise, and I watch more videos at my desktop than on TV or anywhere else. If you're anything like me, media players rank toward the top of your most used applications -- not far behind web browsers. You've probably tried countless alternatives to Windows Media Player over the years, leaving you with at least one or two favorites -- and we want to hear about them.

Despite losing popularity after AOL's acquisition, I still use a barebones version of Winamp because it's what I'm familiar with and it works well for basic music playback. I tried converting to iTunes a few years ago after purchasing an iPod, but it was simply too bulky for my needs. Meanwhile, Zoom Player handles all of my videos. Although VLC is awesome, I've found that skipping through content can be sluggish compared to Zoom, SMPlayer and others.

So, let's have it. What software do you rely on for your media playback, and why?

User Comments: 94

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Guest said:

I use Media Player Classic because it is a lot better than VLC.

Guest said:

Splayer. The best. :)

Guest said:

AIMP 2 for music,KM player for videos.

motrin said:

AH i just use the zune software for music and videos/movies. I use the windows media player because its there and when i organize music on the zune software it updates on WMP and vice versa. And VLC for strange formats like FLV 3gp the works.

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

Zune player loves me, so i love it back.

Guest said:

VLC Player, plays my 120 fps videos lol

Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

Just like Matt I've remained loyal to the good old WinAMP, the difference though is that I no longer play as much music on my PC so when I realize I don't have it installed I don't mind resorting to WMP or iTunes or even VLC, which is my preferred player for video. I like the fact it plays everything out of the box, however I've kept hearing more and better comments about Zoom and SMPlayer so I will give those a try soon.

Clrabbit said:

Media player classic for normal

Crystal player for damaged files

I hate VLC with a passion I have spent time with over 50 media players in the last couple of years, and for all normal day to day use MPC-HC always comes up as being the nicest to use.

For video for audio FB2K is #1 I've been around the audio player block dozens of times there is simply no substituted for its advanced futures and simplistic nature and customization. among that I have gotten dozens of people to lesson to lossy music on Pretty much every other music player on the market then listen to it on FB2K and the result is the same every time It's simply better.

Guest said:

I use XMPlay for music and KMPlayer for video in combination with codecs from the K-Lite Codec pack. Fast, fully featured, and extreme quality = Win for me.

tengeta tengeta said:

VLC is nice, but The Windows version kind of sucks.

howzz1854 said:

i am surprised no one mentioned MPC "HC", or Media Player Classic Home Cinema. it's about the #1 and only choice for any serious HTPC die hard.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Add me to the Media Player Classic group.

Punkid said:

Windows Media Player with klite codec pack for everything...over the years i have tried itunes,winamp and jet audio....but i find WMP the best of all...i use XBMC for TV shows occasionally cuz it maintains a good video library and its easy to find which videos are UNWATCHED..

Guest said:

I never liked WMP. I don't know why...

I (mostly) use VLC for Video playback and foobar2000 with the wasapi plugin for audio playback under windows 7, with a Musiland Monitor 01 DAC (which unfortunately has no linux drivers).

Another player I like a lot, mostly for its media library, is Songbird, however the wasapi plugin that was developed for it, doesn't work in the latest version and I get skips (plus lower quality playback) without it.

Guest said:

WMP Classic. It just plays.

HaMsTeYr HaMsTeYr said:

I use MPC-HC for videos as with the proper drivers, it plays anything under the soon right (unlike VLC with subtitles) and AIMP2 for Music.

AIMP2 = WinAmp - the bulk and promotional shit. lol

Guest said:

VLC, because it never has to go looking for a codec.

Guest said:

windows media player with shark codec works well on mine, perfect quality with hm mkv files

Guest said:

Wow, im surprised more people don't use MPC Star... Thats what I use. It makes VLC look like a kids toy. Gotta try it. I love it and will never use anything else.

stwongbad85 said:

I keep the killer trio of KMplayer, Winamp Classic, and VLC on my desktop (BS player was recently retired, but I still recommend it)

KMplayer is the heavy weight champion of media players. It has virtually the same UI as winamp, it can play any file you throw at it, is endlessly customizable, and has a bevy of features of which I keep discovering new uses for everyday. It will recognize my usb sound card/mixer, has built in screen/vid capture, and even when I try to play a poor quality file, I can usually correct it to make it viewable in KM.

I started using Winamp about ten years ago and still keep it around because I am just so familiar with the User Interface. I also love using Winamp to convert FLAC files to MP3s and rip CDs

VLC has a garbage UI and is light on features/extras, but it will play everything and will often play large MKV files smoother when running on a weaker system. VLC gets a spot on the team for being light weight and playing anything.


Every now and then a file will be formatted in such a way that one player(VLC and KM included) will not play and it is good to have options, but at least one player will always work.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Media player classic obviously ...Gom players ok aswell.

Leeky Leeky said:

I use VLC on both Windows and Linux. I find it nice and simple, but very powerful and it offers really good codec coverage too.

For music, I use iTunes, mainly because it docks my music collection with my iPhone.

Guest said:

I use MPC HC for video, ffdshow when required. For music I use a PHP and Flash library/player combo I wrote for myself. Tried lots, VLC was the only other player I liked but has some quirky features/performance.

spikester48661 spikester48661 said:

windows media player and AMP2 for music.

Guest said:

CCCP with MPC-HC for videos and winamp for music , i do use WMP from time to time

63Jax said:

k-lite codec pack and mpc, very good

MarkHughes said:

Winamp Mostly, But I will use VLC or Mediaplayer if its a file winamp cant play...

The main reason is the ease of its playlist system, just drag stuff in and let it go....

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

WMP for music and WMC for video so I can stream it to my 360. When I can find a HTPC case I like I'll be using XBMC.

Regenweald said:

SPlayer recently won me over, and for music, good old winamp lite

Captain555 said:

I'm still clinging to my MusicMatch Jukebox.

I hate Yahoo for killing it.

Recycle said:

SPlayer for videos and foobar for music.

Love love love SPlayer's minimal UI and foobar is just deliciously customizable in every way. I have a few issues with the way playlists are handled but I don't tend to use them anyway.

Yad Yad said:

MPC HC all the way

Winamp for music.

Guest said:

VLC. It's easy, simple and it plays everything.

Chazz said:

Well, I rarely listen to music nowadays but back when I did I used core media player.

For video I use Media player classic and vlc. I use MPC for the really big mkv files(typically 1080p) but when it comes to anything 720p quality or lower I default to vlc. It's extremely lightweight and there's no need to post process and jazz up low quality videos.

Guest said:

The KM Player for Windows. VLC Media Player for Linux.

Classic Rock said:

VLC, plays everything I have thrown at it, and I never had to go searching for a codec. Although to be honest, I have not tried anything else aside from WMP, which I hate with a passion.

GonchuB GonchuB said:

iTunes. Best media player ever. Although i'm on Ubuntu, and can't use it ='(

Guest said:

the KMplayer has more controls than most - both audio and video fine tuning is a delight

Modena said:

VLC it never lets me down, plays anything I throw at it.

Guest said:

foobar2000 for music, MPC-HC for videos, Dziobas Rar player for rared movies, Cyberlink PowerDVD for DVD's.

Guest said:

VLC. Plain, simple, and plays everything. Doesn't need all kinds of make-up to look pretty like other players. Just plays baby!!

Guest said:

XBMC for video

Zune for music

ebriatic ebriatic said:

KM Player for the large variety of supported formats and window media player for music and some video formats because of the hardware acceleration.

ussyless said:

media player classic, its not that i dont like any others, its just that it was bundled with the k-lite kodec pack and it suits my needs, its small and it dosent have stupid useless crap around it that i cant get rid of like in the modern windows media player

also like divx player but i dont use it anymore

Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

Media Player Classic Home Cinema

Nothings beats the DXVA support offered by this, I do use it together with CoreAVC on certain media files, and before the built in codecs of MPC-HC became so good I used it together with CCCP (Combined Community Codec Package) but nowdays it handles most files just fine on it's own

For the odd/corrupted file that MPC-HC wont play I use VLC

For music playback it's Winamp, tho just like Julio much less so nowdays, I also use Spotify allot for music

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I've been using Media Player Home Cinema (x86/x64) for a very long time now, its simple, easy to use familiar interface, almost all the codecs/formats are covered, and it has GPU centric filter enhancements for years; and importantly it doesn't drain system resources.

There was a time when I used winamp, but not anymore. Never used VLC except for one time trial, didn't like the interface.

Guest said:

foobar for music, loads instantly even with thousands of mp3s , VLC for vids

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