It is unnerving to see people installing thousands of codec packs in their computers and not realizing that they can get a single good media player that can play all the formats they need when they want to, say view a mkv video, or listen to some Lossless OGG. I will just state right now that YOU DON’T NEED CODECS FOR ANYTHING IN YOUR COMPUTER. You just need to leave your bad media player aside and start using these functional, useful , and purposeful media players to play your files.
The reason i am so against codecs is that they occupy space, never play your files right, and a lot of them come with plenty spyware / adware. Thus we reach the conclusion that codec pacs either don’t bring any good or bring only bad.
The exception to these might be CCCP or K-Lite, but still you could install an actually good media player that handles all the formats well instead of occupying space and wasting your time unpurposefully. Plus the media players that i will enlist here will come with extra features that you will enjoy using.
I will start with the one that i always remember to install on Windows, and that is:
1 – KMPlayer
KMPlayer is a media player that handles all the available formats today, plus like it’s cousin Mplayer, it can handle corrupted avi media files (with skipped frames) pretty well, so say, if the last 40 MB of your video is corrupted, no worries, it will play very well and will just ignore the corrupted part (albeit will give you a notice that the frames are skipped without interrupting your watching / listening experience).
Another cool thing, like in BSPlayer or Linux version of Mplayer, you can load subtitles easily (in .srt and .sub formats) and you have the option to set the second offset of the subtitles (so say, if the subtitles are 1 second late, you can set them forward 1 second to fit the conversation in the movie).
It can also be used as an advanced image viewer ( albeit i am not sure if you will ever use it as an image viewer on your computer, as most operating systems come with one at installation)
The skin is very nice (a shiny black skin), and you have the option to change them like a young girl changes shoes, if that’s your desire (you can download them from a KMplayer theme repository ).
Enough talk about KMPlayer though, now let’s talk about:
2 – VLC
Leading open-source media player, and you can get a list of the support media file formats from their official website (more details at: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/features.html ) , it supports the majority of the file formats out there today, and loads subtitles automatically onto the video you are watching (the rule to this is that you should have the subtitle files in the same folder or in the subfolders to your video)
Overall a great video player, the only thing i didn’t about it is that you can’t choose subtitle files manually.
3 – GOM Media Player
The key to everything in this article was to find media players that are able to play almost or even better, actually all the formats available, and give us the option to load subtitles for our videos. In this media player’s description, they are hitting perfectly what we want to achieve with: “Our media player can play the majority of file formats without the need to install any kinds of codecs). Bingo.
It comes preinstalled with 4 themes, has the same options as Kmplayer (Aspect Ratio, Window Resize, Load Subtitles manually, load a stream etc. ), Basically a media player up to par with the other media players we mentioned above.
4 – BSPlayer
This can be called forgotten and not loved by anyone anymore as used to be, but the BSPlayer team didn’t give up (and hell, they still have 70 million users to continue the development of the application for ). As i see from their official website, they have changed their default skin (they have a new one called ” Rafal Works “, pretty ugly in my opinion). I remember having this media player installed always around my old company. It is one of the most popular ones in East Europe.
Just like the media players i mentioned above (except VLC) is that this one loads the manual loading of subtitles, playing the majority of the media file formats without the need for installing all kinds of codec packs, thus occupying space on your storage medium unnecesarily.
It is really sad to see that the old and beautiful blue theme of BSPlayer was changed for the new ugly one called “Rafal Works”, but hey, maybe in a year, they will come up with something beautiful. If they have a sense of beauty and colors. Maybe.
Leaving the ugly theme aside, BSPlayer is the perfect media player for low-performance systems, and even better for decent ones.
Independent of the choice of media player you make from this list ( just don’t use media player classic with a big codec pack, k? ). You must realize that by installing a good media player instead of getting cheap codec packs, is that you are helping the development of the GOOD kind of media systems on the internet, plus that you are getting rid of a headache such as a faulty codec or a spyware installed by a codec.
All these media players have a good side of their own, but my only vote will still go for KMPlayer, the best media player i have seen on Windows, and of course the Linux alternative will be the Gnome Mplayer, or KDE Mplayer (that one is named KMplayer too!)
Have a great day, get rid of your codec pack, install one of these good media players, and have a nice entertainment time! See you in the next article!