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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 June 5, 2020

            Best 10 Keyboards Under $90 on Amazon

            Best 10 Keyboards Under $90 on Amazon

            There are different reasons why you might need to buy an extra keyboard. Your keyboard may be wearing out and one can only imagine the frustration you get each time you type ‘O’ when you actually wanted to type ‘P’.

            Apart from your keyboard wearing out, desiring more comfort and flexibility and reducing pain in your wrists and fingers as you type might be your main reason. You may also want to maintain the recommended minimum distance of 40cm away from the screen[1] or just want to have some additional functionalities on your keyboard which are not available on most keyboards.

            Whatever the reason, we all want to have the best keyboard that will suit our needs.

            Here are the 10 best keyboards under $99 available on Amazon. They were picked based on their ergonomic design and extra functionalities.

            Why You Should Trust Us

            We checked Amazon to find the keyboards that have multiple functionalities, promises comfort, have received several reviews, and rated at least 4-star from real users. At a price below $100, we believe that you can find the best keyboard for you on this list.

            1. Logitech MK550 Wireless Wave Keyboard and Mouse Combo

            4.3-star, 8950 Reviews

              The Logitech MK 550 keyboard has a constant curve layout and integrated palm rest to reduce stress, eliminate lower wrist fatigue, and help you type more naturally.

              If you want something that allows easy navigation, then this might be the best keyboard for you. It has 18 programmable keys that you will find pretty useful if you frequently use apps that require rapid navigation.

              It also has an accompanying precision laser mouse that makes screen navigation much easier and faster than using your touchpad.

              One of the things that set this keyboard apart from the rest is its long battery life. You can continue to use your keyboard and mouse for 2 years without thinking of changing the battery; the keyboard’s battery can even last up to three years.

              If you are a programmer, secretary, writer, or you do something that requires typing a lot, this is a product you might want to consider.

              Pros:

              • Long battery life
              • A combination of keyboard and mouse
              • Wireless keyboard
              • Integrated palm rest to reduce wrist fatigue

              Cons:

              • Only compatible with Windows-based PC. Additional set up might be required to use with Mac or Linux.
              • The keyboard can be a little noisy when typing

              You can buy this from Amazon for $46.99.

              2. Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Wired Keyboard 4000 for Business

              4.3-star, 5388 reviews

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                This is an ergonomic keyboard with a cord (about 6ft long). It has a comfortable design that enhances your natural hand, wrist, and forearm positions when in use. It also has a cushioned palm rest which helps maintain a neutral wrist position, eliminating wrist pain.

                The keyboard has 5 customizable buttons that you can assign specific commands to make your work easier and faster. This may be the best keyboard for you if you love ergonomic keyboards.

                Pros

                • Works on Windows, Mac, and Linux
                • Relatively quiet
                • Sturdy, doesn’t swivel around

                Cons

                • The keyboard is a little bulky
                • Spacebar might be sticky at first
                • It doesn’t have a wireless version
                • Not good for gaming
                • Some letters and characters might begin to wear off with use

                You can buy this from Amazon for $59.95.

                3. Razer Huntsman Gaming Keyboard

                4.6-stars, 1442 Reviews

                  If you are looking for a superfast keyboard, the Razer Huntsman gaming keyboard is one to consider. Its new Razer Opto-Mechanical switches utilize optical technology for unmatched speed.

                  The keyboard’s Razer Chroma syncs fully with popular games, and its Razer hardware supports 16.8 million colors on backlit keys. It has fully programmable macros that allow for the execution of complex commands through all keys and keypress combinations.

                  This keyboard is originally made for gamers, but many users choose it for its super-fast speed rather than for gaming itself.

                  Pros

                  • Works for Mac and PC
                  • Stiff enough to avoid typos
                  • Superfast and customizable

                  Cons

                  • Because it’s clicky, it might be disturbing in an office environment
                  • The Synapse software is bad and might not install on Windows 10

                  You can buy this from Amazon for $89.99.

                  4. Corsair K55 RGB Gaming Keyboard

                  4.5-stars, 3115 Reviews

                    This is a membrane keyboard for enhanced performance, whether you are working or gaming. It is designed to give you pleasant gaming experience with three zones of tweakable RGB backlight.

                    One of the features that make the Corsair K55 keyboard stand out is its dust and spill resistance, so you don’t have to worry about wiping off spills. It also has a detachable palm rest to reduce wrist pain when you are gaming or on a prolonged work.

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                    It has multi-key anti-ghosting features so those keypress combinations are executed without hassles. You also have direct control over your audio with the dedicated volume and media control keys.

                    Pros

                    • Competitive at its price
                    • No software needed for RGB lighting
                    • Quiet keys
                    • Programmable keys
                    • Media buttons are included

                    Cons

                    • Caps Lock and Num Lock indicators might stop working intermittently
                    • Game hangs for about 30 – 60 seconds whenever you use a controller

                    You can buy this from Amazon for $49.88.

                    5. Apple Magic Keyboard

                    4.6-stars, 1328 Reviews

                      The most remarkable thing about the Apple Magic keyboard is its rechargeable batteries and the fact that it can be used to enhance your typing experience on smaller devices such as the iPad and iPhone.

                      This keyboard can pair with any apple device that runs on IOS 9.1 and up. Therefore you can use the keyboard to type long text messages and emails on your iPhone. This may be the best keyboard for Mac.

                      Pros

                      • Comes with rechargeable batteries
                      • Though made for Mac, it’s also compatible with PC

                      Cons

                      • The keys are not lit
                      • Some keys, especially the arrow keys are quite small
                      • Be careful, refurbished items might be sold as new

                      You can buy this from Amazon for $94.

                      6. Logitech MK270 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo

                      4.1-stars, 20,735 reviews

                        This is another great product from Logitech, especially for people on a tight budget. Like MK550, this keyboard also comes with a paired mouse and does have a long battery life as well.

                        Although cheap, Logitech still maintained the connectivity signal of 2.4 GHz, so you can use the keyboard within a 10m range and there won’t be dropouts. It also has 8 programmable hotkeys to boost your productivity when you type.

                        Pros

                        • Long battery life: the keyboard battery lasts up to a year while that of the mouse lasts for two years.
                        • Programmable hotkeys to boost productivity
                        • Budget-friendly
                        • Optical mouse included
                        • Wireless keyboard

                        Cons

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                        • Build quality is low
                        • The paired mouse looks cheap
                        • There might be random keystrokes delay

                        You can buy this from Amazon for $24.99.

                        7. Redragon K552-RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

                        4.6-stars, 1482 Reviews

                          This is a mechanical anti-ghosting gaming keyboard with RGB backlighting and lettering and conflict-free keys (n-key Rollover) to provide ultimate gaming experience.

                          This keyboard has adjustable rear feet to give you a typing angle to work fast and comfortably. It also has 12 multimedia keys to enhance gaming.

                          You won’t have to worry about your keys in tough gaming conditions as this keyboard is built with metal alloy and ABS with plate-mounted clicky mechanical keys and switches. It comes with a high-speed USB cable and a connection to establish a firm connection so you can enjoy gaming without hassles.

                          Pros

                          • Sturdy and compact; saves space on your desktop
                          • It has swappable switches
                          • A good buy for its price

                          Cons

                          • Clicky keys and loud switches. It may not be suitable where some level of silence is required.
                          • Some LEDs might break with continued use
                          • Support for Mac is limited, only Windows PCs are fully supported.

                          You can buy this from Amazon for $44.99.

                          8. Havit Mechanical Keyboard and Mouse Combo

                          4.4-star, 1116 reviews

                            This is an RGB lighting keyboard and mouse. It’s an all-metal panel mechanical keyboard with a floating design. It has 104 keys and each of the keys has individual switches with full n-key rollover.

                            The keyboard is ergonomic and has a detachable wrist rest to reduce stress and pain on your wrist. The mouse is also programmable and has DPI levels adjustable up to 4800 DPI. You can even customize your own lighting layouts on the keyboard and it stores and retains your configurations.

                            This keyboard is compatible with Windows, MAC, and Linux. If you like mechanical keyboards, this might be the best keyboard you’re looking for.

                            Pros

                            • Impressive build quality
                            • Great buy for its price
                            • Universal compatibility

                            Cons

                            • The blue switches in the keys are pretty noisy.
                            • Some keys might begin to malfunction with prolonged use.

                            You can buy this from Amazon for $62.99.

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                            9. Havit Mechanical RGB Gaming Keyboard Mouse Headset Combo

                            4.4-star, 6772 ratings

                              This is a complete gaming kit with an RGB lighting keyboard, mouse, and headset, all combined and synced together to give you that ‘rave’ feeling when you are gaming.

                              The headphone’s breathable soft fabric earpads and memory foam provide exceptional comfort. It also has a 50 mm sound driver and virtual surround sound for precision audio as you game.

                              Keyboard and mouse are plug and play and has universal compatibility. The headphone is also compatible with different devices and games, such as PS4, PS4 Pro, Xbox, Xbox ONE, Nintendo, mobiles, tablets, and laptops.

                              Although the value for money lies in using it for gaming, it works well for just any other thing that other keyboards can do.

                              Pros

                              • The keyboard is well built and looks great
                              • Keys are solid and clicky
                              • Bright LEDs are bright and come pre-configured with lots of different lighting patterns.

                              Cons

                              • The keys are light but loud
                              • The headset is a bit bulky

                              You can buy this from Amazon for $90.99.

                              10. Logitech MK710 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo

                              4.2-star, 3101 Reviews

                                You already know that Logitech produces wireless keyboards and mouse combo with batteries that last up to three years at an estimated two million stroke per year of office use. You also know that their keyboard has a cushion palm rest for the comfort of your wrist.

                                What you may find interesting in this particular model is its LCD dashboard that displays the icon status of your battery, caps lock, scroll lock, and number lock all at a glance. This might be the best keyboard and mouse combo by Logitech you can find.

                                Pros

                                • The keyboard is sturdy and does not wobble on a work desk.
                                • Keys are solid and soft, making typing comfortable

                                Cons

                                • Letters might start wearing out after some months of use.
                                • Only compatible with Windows operating systems

                                You can buy this from Amazon for $49.99.

                                Bottom Line

                                You will always find a keyboard with good functionalities for a price of less than $100. It is advisable, however, to choose one that is compatible with different operating systems and can connect to different devices.

                                Find the Best Keyboard for You

                                Featured photo credit: Gilbert Pellegrom via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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