Advertising
Advertising

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…

    Advertising

    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…

      Advertising

      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…

        Advertising

        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…

          Advertising

          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.

            More by this author

            How to Live Life to the Fullest Say Goodbye to a Skinny Body: How to Gain Weight Fast 20 Things Life Is Too Short to Worry About (+ How to Ditch These Worries) 24 Easy Ways To Make Money On The Internet What 500 Calories Really Looks Like in Different Foods

            Trending in Technology

            1 5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun 2 10 Best Task List Apps Out There for Getting Stuff Done 3 20 Google Search Tips to Use Google More Efficiently 4 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast 5 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2018 Updated)

            Read Next

            Advertising
            Advertising

            Last Updated on August 29, 2018

            5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

            5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

            Journaling is one of the most useful personal development tools around. Not only does it help us process emotions and experiences, work through internal conflicts and improve our self-awareness, it also provides us with a way to keep a day-to-day record of our lives. Traditionally an activity limited to pen and paper, the expansion of consumer technology has enabled journaling to go digital.

            Saving your journaling entries online enables you to access them from anywhere, without having to carry a notebook and pen around, and provides you with digital features, like tagging and search functions.

            Here are a list of five online journaling tools you can use to bring your practice into the modern age:

            1. 750words

            Advertising

            750 words

              750words is a free online journaling tool created by Buster Benson. The site is based on the idea of “Morning Pages”; a journaling tool Julia Cameron suggests in her creativity course The Artist’s Way. Cameron advises aspiring creatives to start each morning with three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing to clear away the mental clutter, leaving you with a clearer mind to face the day.

              750 words is the three-page digital equivalent (assuming the average person writes 250 words per page) and lets you store all your journaling online. Each morning, you’ll receive a prompt asking you to write your 750 words, and the site keeps track of various statistics associated with your entries. The site uses a Regressive Imagery Dictionary to calculate the emotional content from your posts and provides feedback on features like your mood, and most commonly used words.

              750 words is simple to set up and is ideal for anyone who finds it challenging to maintain a consistent journaling practice. The site uses a number of incentives to motivate users, including animal badges awarded to journalers who complete a certain number of days in a row, leader boards, and opt-in monthly challenges.

              2. Ohlife

              Advertising

              ohlife

                Ohlife is designed to make online journaling as easy as possible. Once you’ve signed up for your free account, the website will send you an email each day asking “How did your day go?” Simply reply to the email with as much or as little detail as you like, and your response will be stored on your account, ready to view next time you log in.

                Ohlife’s appeal lies in its simplicity: no stats, no social sharing, no complicated organisational systems—the site is designed to provide you with a private, online space. Simply respond to the email each day (or skip the days you’re busy) and Ohlife will do the rest.

                3. Oneword

                oneword

                  OneWord is a fun online tool that provides you with a single word as a prompt and gives you sixty seconds to write about it. The concept’s aim is to help writers learn how to flow, and the prompts range from the everyday mundane to the profound.

                  Advertising

                  Oneword is not a private journaling tool: if you sign up, your answers will be published on the site’s daily blog, which contains a stream of users’ answers, and might be used by Oneword in the future. If you’d rather keep your answers to yourself, you can still use the tool for fun without giving out any personal details.

                  4. Penzu

                    Penzu is a journaling tool that allows you to store your journaling notes online. The service also offers mobile apps for iOS, Android and Blackberry, so you can journal on the go and save your notes to your account. The basic service is free, however you can upgrade to Penzu Pro and get access to additional features, including military-grade encryption and the ability to save and sync data through your mobile, for $19 per year.

                    With either version of Penzu, you can insert pictures, and add tags and comments to entries, as well as search for older entries. You can set your posts to be private and viewable by you only, or share them with others.

                    Advertising

                    5. Evernote

                    Evernote isn’t a purpose-built journaling tool, however its features make it perfect for keeping your journaling notes in one safe place. With the ability to keep separate “notebooks”, tag your entries, include pictures, audio and web clipping, Evernote will appeal to journalers who want to include more formats than just text in their entries.

                    Available online within a web browser, and as a stand-alone desktop app, the service also comes with a series of mobile apps covering almost every device available. These allow you to make notes on the go and sync between the mobile and browser versions of the app.

                    For additional features, including text recognition and the ability to collaborate on Notebooks, you can upgrade to Evernote’s premium service, which costs $5 per month.

                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                    Read Next