Media players, there are so many out there for Windows that it is nearly impossible to compare them all to find out which is best. To name a few popular ones, there is VLC Media Player, SMPlayer, PotPlayer, KMPlayer, UMPlayer, Real Player, Windows Media Player, Media Player Classic Home Cinema and hundreds more.
KMPlayer is a long-standing media player for Windows that is usually listed as one of the top 100 downloads on download websites. According to the player's own website, it is used by more than 300 million users worldwide.
It is popular even though it has been criticized in the past for including adware in its installer and using components that leak information to a server operated by the program's parent company.
Most issues can be avoided by using the portable version of the player. Please note that KMPlayer 4.0 portable is not available at this point in time.
As far as changes go, there are not many which is quite disappointing for a major version bump. The developers have improved the loading speed of the player, updated the main splitter, and integrated Intel RealSense support.
The feature list of the player leaves little room for improvement. It plays nearly any video and audio file out of the box (it ships with binary codecs that it uses so that you don't have to install codecs on the system to add support for those), supports 3D and 4k playback, subtitles and all that good stuff that you would expect a media player to support these days.
In addition, it ships with a boatload of settings that let you tweak the player interface and functionality. For instance, you may select decoders for playback, change priorities, keyboard shortcuts or various video filters and playback controls.
KMPlayer supports local media files and broadcasts, can play optical discs (e.g. video DVDs), supports auto-resume of videos, bookmarking, video capturing and a lot more.
The player displays advertisement on start if you run it without loading a media file right away that advertise Pandora TV and KMPlayer products (Pandora TV is the parent company). These ads are not displayed if you load media files right away.
Playback works really well out of the box but shines when you take the time to configure it extensively to match your needs. There is little incentive on the other hand to switch to KMPlayer if you are making use of a media player such as VLC already as differences are marginal (not taking into account the ads situation at all).
Now You: Which media player are you using right now and why?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.