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The 5 Best Desktop Media Players in the World

The 5 Best Desktop Media Players in the World

Watching video on your computer sounds easier than it is sometimes. There are so many options to perform so many functions, and it can all get a little confusing after a while. To help guide you through the slew of options, here are the best desktop media players I use for a variety of needs…

1. Best All-Purpose Video Player: VLC Media Player (Free)

 

Gangnam style = full penetration for 15 minutes, followed by obscurity...

    Gangnam style = full penetration for 15 minutes, followed by obscurity…

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    VLC Media Player isn’t the lightest video player around – the interface is clunky, and it can move like molasses or get otherwise glitchy sometimes. Still, there’s no better player for watching every video in every format on every OS. VideoLAN, the company that makes VLC, is a non-profit, so they don’t spend as much money on marketing as other desktop media players. Still, the dedicated user-base of this open-source multimedia player (myself included) hail it above all else for its extensive codec library.

    I’ve used VLC for over a decade now, and it’s rare that I find a video format it isn’t capable of playing. Pirates and video editors are especially aware of how much of a pain it can be working with a variety of video codecs, and even if you have a different media player you prefer for normal usage, VLC is handy to keep around for those times you come across a video you’re not capable of playing. Plus it’s free and doesn’t occupy much space on your hard drive.

    2. Best Media Player for Tweakers: PotPlayer (Free)

    I bet you'd take me more seriously if this shirt showed more cleavage...

      I bet you’d take me more seriously if this shirt showed more cleavage…

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      Daum PotPlayer has just enough features to separate it from the rest of the VLC clones around the web. Most of it are the bells and whistles VLC trimmed down to stay slim, but PotPlayer manages to stay slim as well. These features include the ability to tweak your video to look absolutely pixel-perfect on whatever monitor (or monitors) you’re playing it on. Videophiles will drool over the overlays, filters, and adjustments you can perform to the brightness, hue, noise reduction and more. It’s the desktop equivalent to adjusting your TV antenna.

      The downside is PotPlayer is only available for Windows. It’s not surprising that it’s not on Apple since most tweakers hate iFruit, but there’s no reason Linux users should be left out. Despite their market segregation, PotPlayer is a great choice for anyone looking to replicate the experience of setting up an HDTV.

      3. Best Media Player/Editor: Vegas Pro ($400)

      Master Chief's face failed, so it was hid behind a mask...

        Master Chief’s face failed, so it was hidden behind a mask…

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        Both audio and video pros hail Avid as the holy grail of professional editing software makers. This is because it mimics the analog editing experience taught by the major studios that produced all the great mass media we consume. Sony, however, provides all the same options in their editing solutions, but packages them in a much friendlier user interface (UI). Basically, they reinvented the wheel, and it’s much more efficient now.

        With Sony’s Vegas Pro software, you cut, paste, edit, and record a Hollywood-style film of your own with a few flicks of the wrist. This isn’t the type of program you’d use to watch a movie with your girlfriend or some video clip you got emailed, but it’s a great place to slice and dice those movies, overdubbing them, changing the soundtrack, or playing Bob Ross all over it.

        4. Best Nostalgic Media Player – MPC–HC (Free)

        World Cup > Superbowl...

          World Cup > Superbowl…

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          Back in the day, Windows Media Player was basically your only option to watch movies on your computer (although RealPlayer and Quicktime did their best to keep up with their proprietary file formats). Then the tech community met the regulatory and legal communities – soon Microsoft was sued, and development all those basic features of Windows were either abandoned (Media Player) or sold separately at ridiculous prices (Office). For all its flaws, Media Player Classic is still one of those nostalgic players that’s worth keeping around.

          Thankfully, the original MPC development team branched off from Microsoft to develop MPC-HC (Media Player Classic – Home Cinema). Not only does it maintain that classic Windows look, in its stripped-down form, it’s one of the fastest-loading video players around. What it lacks in functionality can be included via additional add-ons and if you’re introducing your older parents, an inmate who missed the last 20 years of software innovation, or a geeky kid and a scientist to a computer, MPC-HC is the way to go.

          5. Best Multimedia Player: Winamp (Free)

          I don't wanna sound like a queer or nothin, but this band kinda sounds like Depeche Mode...

            I don’t wanna sound like a queer or nothin, but this band kinda sounds like Depeche Mode…

            No, you didn’t fall into a time warp back to 1999, Winamp is still whipping the llama’s butt, whether you’ve been paying attention or not. With customizable skins, intuitive playlists, and a variety of plug-ins (including some of the best visual equalizers ever made), Winamp had better features a decade ago than most players do today. Nullsoft understood utility, but struggled to maintain relevancy as its user-base hide in the shadows of iTunes after being beaten back by the MPAA.

            Despite its shortcomings, Winamp is still the best choice for collecting and watching a variety of media. You can even stream video and audio feeds from around the globe, adjust file metadata, and manage playlists across a variety of channels. Keep on that llama, guys. We still love you.

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            Published on November 19, 2020

            15 Great Macbook Accessories To Improve Productivity

            15 Great Macbook Accessories To Improve Productivity

            When looking to improve your workflow, you need to have a proper computer. And one of the most appealing computers out there is macbooks. These sleek transportable computers allow you to work anywhere at any time and provide a lot of functionality to their users.

            But sometimes, that’s not enough. In so many cases, you’re looking for more.

            While you could go for some productivity apps, there are actually a lot of macbook accessories available that will make your life easier in many ways. These extra accessories will allow your macbook to charge faster, hold more data, or keep it safe and protected while you travel around.

            Beyond that, there is a wide variety of accessories to pick from as many companies have jumped onto the bandwagon of supply to macbook users. Below we’ve listed off some of the greatest macbook accessories that’ll benefit your computer.

            What Makes For Great Macbook Accessories?

            Before getting into the list, we wanted to go over the criteria for what makes for great macbook accessories. The items that we’ve picked from this list will have the following criteria:

            • Reasonably priced – Accessories themselves shouldn’t break the bank compared to the large initial investment of a macbook.
            • Usability – All these accessories are practical in various situations, however, they also have extra features that make them useful in a few situations beyond their obvious functions.
            • Compact – Workflow is also about space in most circumstances. As such, anything that’s too bulky doesn’t help much. These accessories are either large on purpose – for storage of other items – or are nice and compact so they won’t get in the way.

            A USB Drive To Store Files Quickly Without Accessing The Cloud

              While you can always access the Cloud at any time, sometimes accessibility can be cumbersome or it takes time. Instead of trying to access files that way, getting a USB flash drive can save you plenty of time. Especially if your work entails providing presentations.

              The SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive is great as it offers USB-C and USB-A connectors allowing you to plug into virtually any device and transfer files and more between computers. Also, USB drives boast several hundred gigabytes these days making them solid storage devices.

              Buy SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive here.

              Compact Charger That Does More Than Charge

                Your default charger that comes with your MacBook is a good option for a charger, but these days chargers can offer so much more. This can help you speed up your workflow as you can be charging other devices or using the charger for other uses beyond charging.

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                In the case of the Anker PowerPort charger, it is more compact than the default charger. It also offers another USB-C connector allowing you to rapidly charge another gadget with it.

                Buy Anker PowerPort charger here.

                Port Adapter For Those With Multiple Devices

                  One of the hard restrictions with a macbook is that it only has two USB-C ports. This is manageable for people with fewer gadgets but if you’re the kind who has several, it can interrupt your workflow if you need a particular device and you can’t charge it or access it.

                  In this situation, a port adapter from Satechi can help. It offers multiple USB-C ports allowing you to use multiple devices. This can also help in organizing cords which we know can disrupt work. If the USB-C ports aren’t enough, it also comes with an SD card reader and ethernet cable port too.

                  Buy Satechi Multi-Port Adapter here.

                  A USB Cable That Isn’t As Intrusive Or Cumbersome To Use

                  The USB-C cable that comes with Macbooks is small and is used to hook to an external monitor. By adding more length to them, you can have better cable management. One option that we found to be ideal was the Nomad Kevlar cable which offers enough length to do what you want while giving you more space to work with.

                  Buy Nomad Kevlar USB-C Cable here.

                  Screen Cleaning Your Laptop To See What You’re Doing

                  Dust, particles and splotches are to be expected on laptop screens after a while. While you can work around these, sometimes they can obscure your vision at times. The same can apply to all devices these days.

                  The only problem with many solutions on the market is that they can damage screens. Fortunately, we found a screen cleaning solution that doesn’t harm screens. ScreenDr Professional screen cleaning kit comes with a spray that’s safe for screens and an antimicrobial microfiber cloth to ensure you make the most of the spray.

                  Buy ScreenDr Professional Screen Cleaning Kit here.

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                  Card Reader That Speeds Up Photo Transfer Time

                    If you’re looking for a standalone card reader for your work, getting a device designed for photo transferring and reading is essential. One of the best macbook accessories in this category we found was the Vanja card reader.

                    This one is able to read SD and MicroSD cards while also transferring the pictures to a computer with ease thanks to its USB-C and USB 2.0 port options. It’s also small making it easy to carry around and is cheap to buy making it a great choice to pick up if you deal with plenty of pictures.

                    Buy Vanja Card Reader here.

                    Protective Sleeves To Protect Your Laptop From Harm

                    For those who are travelling the last thing that you want is your laptop to get damaged for whatever reason. Even though you’re not likely to drop it as frequently as your phone, having a sleeve for a laptop to be in can save you time.

                    One sleeve that we found interesting was the Native Union sleeves. They are made of tear-resistant material with genuine leather accents. Its interior is soft as well preventing scratches from your laptop. It also offers a pocket area where you can store cables and other macbook accessories easily.

                    Buy Native Union’s laptop sleeve here.

                    Car Charger For Charging On The Go

                      For the person always driving around, a car charger is always a helpful tool to have when you’re on the go. The one from Anker is particularly helpful in a number of ways. Not only can this charge your macbook, but it also has an additional port for you to charge your phone if needed.

                      It’s not the fastest charger out there when compared to the Macbook Pro adapter but it’s the highest in the market with an output power of 30 watts. For comparison, the second-fastest charging connector offers an output of 18 watts. Aside from that the charger has an illuminated LED ring for you to see it and the connectors late at night. It also has a function that ensures devices don’t experience surges or overheating from the charger itself.

                      Buy Anker PowerDrive car charger here.

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                      USB-C to USB-A Adapter Grants Access To Older Models

                      If your older macbook still works but has files you want that you didn’t back up that you want this makes it easier to access them. It also allows you to access devices that have USB-A slots only. This can save you a lot of time if you are moving between older and newer devices.

                      Buy Thunderbolt Adapter here.

                      A Hardshell Case For Added Protection

                      A sleeve is good for travel, but when you’re using it, having an extra layer of protection can be nice. Beyond that this hardshell case can also serve as additional protection from scratches and bumps too.

                      Buy Incase Textured Hardshell case here.

                      Alternative Sleeve For Those With Tighter Budgets But Want Protection

                        If you are looking for an appropriate laptop sleeve but aren’t looking to spend too much, AmazonBasics brands are a good alternative. Their sleeves are elegant and still offer good protection from scratches as well. It also has a few pockets for small essentials too.

                        Buy AmazonBasics laptop sleeve here.

                        A Hub That Accommodates Several Ports At Once

                        We’ve already mentioned a port before being a huge time saver thanks to it having various ports for different devices. This one is a great alternative as while it doesn’t offer as many USB-C ports, it offers more variety. Paired up with the design being the same color as the MacBook Air, it offers two USB-C connectors, two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port and SD and microSD card readers.

                        Buy Satechi Type C Pro Hub here.

                        Earbuds To Deal With Fewer Headphone Cords

                          Cords are a common problem when boosting productivity at the desk and one way to mitigate them is to go wireless. If you are thinking about that, one option to consider is the Soundcore earbuds. These are cheaper than the traditional AirPods from Apple which can save you money.

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                          Furthermore, they deliver great sound and are connected via Bluetooth. The beauty of these earbuds is they can also cancel sound despite them being so compact. They also offer touch control allowing you to pause, play, skip music and answer calls.

                          Buy Soundcore Wireless Earphones here.

                          Desktop Stand To Save Desk Space

                            Desk space is another crucial part of productivity as things can get in the way and obstruct your work. In cases where you don’t need your laptop at the moment, having a stand where you can set it aside can be helpful.

                            In those situations, we recommend the Twelve South Book Arc. This neat Macbook accessor can save a tonne of space since it requires you to close your laptop in order to insert it into the stand. It also keeps it elevated from the surface which can protect it from spills

                            Buy Twelve South BookArc desktop stand here.

                            A Comfortable And Easy To Use Mouse For Faster Working Speed

                            The last of the macbook accessories we’ll talk about is a proper mouse. Logitech offers fantastic mouses and their Logitech MX Master 3 is one of the greatest wireless mouses out there. It’s ergonomic design, customizable buttons and insanely precise movement is fantastic. It also comes with a scrolling wheel for precise scrolling.

                            The battery power can last for months between charges and like all Logitech devices, it comes with a USB-C connector for charging.

                            Buy Logitech MX Master 3 Wireless Mouse here.

                            Bottom Line

                            There are many macbook accessories out there to improve your workflow. Taking the time to do research and invest in some of the best ones though will save you plenty of time, money and energy in the long term. At the same time, all of these accessories can help you with specific needs for whatever you are doing.

                            Featured photo credit: Viktor Ritsvall via unsplash.com

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