Splash is a video and audio player for Microsoft Windows that is developed by Mirillis, makers of the screen recorder Action!.
The media player vertical is quite crowded on Windows. You got dedicated audio or video players, as well as media players that support both audio and video formats.
Programs like VLC Media Player, SMPlayer, KMPlayer, PotPlayer, and yes, even programs like Plex that are highly popular. A new program has to compete against those established programs, and that is no easy feat.
Splash is available as a free and premium version. The free version is limited, and while you may not need all the premium only features, there are some that may be a deal breaker for you. Let us take a look at the free version first though.
Installation of the player is straightforward, and comes without any surprises. You can associate it with some or all of the supported audio or video formats if you want. Note that this is not possible later on, as the settings does not include that option. You can still use the operating system's controls to do so though if you want.
If you check out the supported files, you will notice immediately that most but not all popular formats are supported. While you can play avi, mkv, or mp3 files among others for instance, you may notice that other formats such as flv are not supported. The same is true for audio files: while mp3 and m4a are supported among others, flac or ogg are not.
Windows users who have audio or video files with unsupported formats won't be able to use the player efficiently because of that.
Formats that are supported play well in the player however. You can load them either by moving the mouse cursor to the top of the Splash interface to bring up the top toolbar, by using drag and drop operations, or by associating media files with Splash to load them directly from Explorer.
The playback controls at the bottom of the interface are hidden by default, and are visible only when you move the mouse cursor over the area.
All standard controls, play, pause, forward and backward are supported. You can use the slider to jump to a specific position right away, or click on the playback options icon to display those (a premium feature).
These enable you to change things such as contrast, brightness, volume, or enable certain features that Splash supports such as detail boost or motion². The last option is only available in premium versions of Splash. Note that this is not really indicated in the interface, but that you cannot activate the option if you click on it and run the free version.
You may create presets of playback options, and switch between them using the menu. This is excellent if you need different playback properties for different media.
You may capture a frame using another icon, or use the playlists feature. Both of these features are limited to the premium version though.
As far as technical features are concerned, Splash supports a good range of these features. The media player supports hardware accelerated decoding and software decoding, multi-core processors, an auto-resume feature, and DVB-T playback support.
Some of these core features are limited to the premium version though.
The full comparison between Splash's free and premium version is published on this page on the developer website.
Free does not support AVCHD playback, PGS subtitles, and SPDFI/HDMI bitstreams. You cannot use playlists, the capture frame feature, frame by frame view mode, the playlist options, or smartseek either.
Additionally, ads may be displayed on the welcome screen when you use the free version of Splash.
Splash is a well designed media player. The free version is quite limited however: it lacks support for common media formats, and support for standard features such as playlists. Add ads to that, and it becomes quite difficult to recommend the media player because of the excellent alternatives that are available.
The premium version does not have most of these limitations, but it is a commercial product starting at $19.95 US Dollars.
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