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The 5 Best Desktop Media Players in the World

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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…

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            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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            Last Updated on December 18, 2020

            Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

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            Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

            Technology has taken a vantage leap in providing solutions for man. Before now, technology used to appear complex and would require a great deal of expertise to handle solutions available. Today, we have technology applicable in the simplest human activities as smart products with intelligent algorithms powering them as they make error-free judgments and provide intelligent and analytic solutions.

            Does technology have all the answers?

            This article from Credit Suisse, tells us that technology does not have all the answers because it has been found to exhibit “similar biases,” as humans. No one can discredit the impact of technology, but it is not totally free of human input and this is the reason we experience these biases in many areas we have technology holding foot.

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            Creating technological solutions transparently

            This article suggests that the process of creating technological solutions be made transparent and subject to contribution from many people who would end up as users of the product – male, female, young, old, learned, unlearned and all other preferences as we have them. It also underscores the importance of having women on product development teams. This approach is not sure to eliminate all forms of bias, but it is a good way to start in order to appraise the full benefits of technology.

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            Technology as the connecting tool

            Technology so far has been a major connecting tool amongst us humans. It is used and appreciated by all regardless of race, language and sex. In order to keep it less subjective to these arguments about human biases. I believe we should gather opinions on products and solutions before making them available to the public. This could be done by gathering input from intended target users and receiving feedback across the stages of production.

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            “Recognizing the problem is a start…success will depend on inclusive technologies that meet this vast untapped market.” This cannot be more apt especially at a time when we look up to technology for solutions. We should not muzzle our progress with technology by battling algorithm bias. The first way to avoid this battle is by reading this article here.

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