Media Player Classic - Black Edition is a lightweight video player - gHacks Tech News

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Media Player Classic - Black Edition is a lightweight video player for Windows

Media Player Classic - Black Edition has been around for a long time, and I'm quite certain some of you maybe using it. Some of you may prefer Media Player Classic - Home Cinema, which is still being updated.

Both programs are quite identical, because they are based on the original Media Player Classic. In fact, MPC - BE is a fork of MPC-HC, so it can play all video formats that HC supports. But MPC-BE has a few features which aren't available in HC. So, we'll only be looking at what's different in MPC-BE.

Tip: you can check out our SMPlayer and VLC Media Player reviews which are two popular media player options that you may want to check out as well.

A modern interface

Media Player Classic - Black Edition video player

MPC-BE has a modern GUI, with a dark theme for the main screen and all its menus, which makes it easier on the eyes.

Seek preview

While jumping ahead or rewinding a video, you don't have to hit the left or right arrow keys, hoping to stop at the exact time-stamp from which you want to watch the video. You have a preview in MPC-BE, a visual seek bar, which you can use with precision. It is quite similar to YouTube's seek preview. This is an incredible feature to have, and one which is especially useful if you missed the action on the screen.

Tip: You have to enable the preview feature from Options > Interface > Enable preview in the search.

YouTube player

Media Player Classic - Black Edition

MPC-BE can play YouTube videos by default, with no user required settings whatsoever. Copy the URL of the video you wish to play, and select the Open File/URL option in the program. Hit ok and the video should play. You can set the default resolution and format of the videos from Options > Online Media Services.

MPC-BE uses a built-in option which is based on YouTube-dl (another open-source program), to parse the video from the URL. You can even use the player to seek through the streaming video and it works perfectly. It doesn't have seek preview for YouTube videos though. It is perfectly legal to use, since it is only streaming the video, just like your web browser, and you don't need to keep a browser open in the background while watching the video.

Tip: You can enable the same in MPC-HC, but you have to download YouTube-dl manually for it to work.

Settings

The settings page in Media Player Classic - BE is quite different compared to HC's. Mostly the options are re-arranged in the same page, but some pages, for e.g. from the Output settings are broken down into their own sections, like Video, Audio, etc,.

LAV Filters

This is one area where MPC-HC is better by default, because it ships with LAV Filters, ready to use. But that's not a big issue since the LAV Filters are also open source, meaning you can download and install them on your computer. Once you have done that, go to MPC-BE's Options > External Filters > Add Filter and set the LAV Video Decoder and Audio Decoder Filters as the preferred one.

Resource Usage and Output Quality

I did not notice any major difference in the resource usage between MPC - BE and MPC - HC when playing videos. Though I have always noticed that MPC-BE is slightly faster, when it comes to opening files than MPC-HC. The latter takes quite a few seconds to start the playback. It's not a deal breaker though. The output quality is nearly the same in both, but that's probably because I use the same settings and filters for MPC-BE and HC.

I use both versions from time to time, although I will admit that I favor mpv nowadays. I have downloaded mpv.net, which Martin wrote about recently, and it seems to be good.

Summary
software image
Author Rating
1star1star1star1star1star
3.5 based on 10 votes
Software Name
Media Player Classic - Black Edition
Operating System
Windows
Software Category
Multimedia
Price
Free
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Comments

  1. sorrymartin said on July 17, 2019 at 7:33 pm
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    I like this a lot but the fact that I can’t play files while they are still compressed makes this a pass for me.

    1. Dilly Dilly said on July 17, 2019 at 8:42 pm
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      No need to compress, Video and Audio files are already compressed bro.

      MPC-BE ftw!

      1. sorrynotsorry said on July 18, 2019 at 3:14 am
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        They might mean archived. You know …rar.001-> etc. It can happen on the internet, so I’ve heard.

    2. Agent Smith said on July 17, 2019 at 10:15 pm
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      Your statement doesn’t make any sense.

    3. Panda said on July 17, 2019 at 11:20 pm
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      Are you trying to play files from something like a .zip/.rar/.iso? If so, you are doing it the wrong way…

      1. sorrymartin said on July 18, 2019 at 8:05 am
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        Ah yes, archived is indeed what I mean! Why would playing files from archieves be the wrong way? Works well with mpc-hc, mpv, potplayer and ofc vlc and has no deternible loss in quality.

      2. sorrymartin said on July 18, 2019 at 8:10 am
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        (Risk of double I guess)

        Playing from an archive is indeed what I mean! Why would playing from archive be “doing it wrong”? Works perfectly on mpv, mpc-hc, potplayer and vlc with no discernable loss in quality.

      3. Anonymous said on July 20, 2019 at 3:43 am
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        Those players only extract the video first to temporary location in the background before playing it. It means for 4GB video in archive will cost 8GB in your storage. Is there any reason why you don’t want to extract the video first before playing?

      4. Sorrym said on July 20, 2019 at 7:48 pm
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        Yea so they use the same amount of space but one takes one heck of a lot less to manage/administrate.

      5. Sorrymartin said on July 20, 2019 at 11:45 pm
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        Yea, so they take up the same amount of space but the ones playing directly from archives save you a lot of time and inconvinience.

  2. Last said on July 17, 2019 at 7:47 pm
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    I wouldn’t call that a modern GUI :(( is there a better skin available?

    1. Jeff said on July 17, 2019 at 10:01 pm
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      You can customize the UI a lot: https://i.imgur.com/YC4gw2p.png And it uses the same decoder for the next-gen AV1 as VLC as LAV Filters uses it.

      This is the best player using new Windows-specific technologies introduced after Vista like DirectX Video Acceleration (DXVA-HD), Windows Audio Session API (WASAPI Shared and Exclusive Modes), DirectShow’s Enhanced Video Renderer (EVR) or the older Video Mixing Renderer (VMR) in YUV mixing mode.

      It supports DirectX Pixel Shader-based resizing and processing (e.g it can de-interlace/denoise video on-the-fly using shaders).

      The UI is awesome, it supports global hotkeys and the usability is far superior to VLC.

      It even has a GPU acceleration indicator if your graphics chip has a fixed-function hardware decoder for H.264/HEVC/AV1 etc).

  3. Emanon said on July 17, 2019 at 9:04 pm
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    >Some of you may prefer Media Player Classic – Home Cinema, which is still being updated.

    It is not being updated the project was dropped, only the filters are maintained by third-parties.

    1. Anonymous said on July 17, 2019 at 11:28 pm
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      MPC-HC still does get updated, in fact it was updated just today: https://github.com/clsid2/mpc-hc/releases

      1. sorrymartin said on July 18, 2019 at 8:07 am
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        It’s not being updated, read the comment from Emanon and the release notes.

      2. ilev said on July 18, 2019 at 8:34 am
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        Yes, MPC-HC is being updates :

        1.8.7
        @clsid2 clsid2 released this 13 hours ago

        Changes from 1.8.6 to 1.8.7:
        Updates:

        Updated LAV Filters to v0.74.1-20-gc76c1
        Updated MediaInfo DLL to v19.07
        Changes/additions/improvements:

        Added option for looping folder when playing next/previous file
        Added option for specifying the preferred video format when selecting a stream from Youtube-DL results
        Global Media Keys option is now disabled by default on Windows 10, because Windows sends a Play/Pause event in certain cases (e.g. when notifications appear).
        A few other minor changes
        Fixes:

        DVD region code bypass didn’t always work

      3. Anonymous said on July 20, 2019 at 3:50 am
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        It’s still being updated with fixes and improvements. It just means that there will be no major features improvement. If you read the changelog notes, filters are not the only one being updated. MPC-HC is already mature software, what do you need more from it? I’m just curious.

      4. Emanon said on July 18, 2019 at 9:40 pm
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        At least take the time to read the same link you quoted, which pretty much confirms what I said.

        > Due to a lack of active developers, the player is currently in maintenance mode. This means that there no plans for adding any new features. Development is limited to small bug fixes, MPC-HC will be updated periodically with the latest codecs.

      5. Anonymous said on July 20, 2019 at 3:46 am
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        @Emanon
        At least read the release notes first before commenting. Aren’t fixes and improvements means not being updated?

        —————————–

        clsid2 released this 2 days ago
        Changes from 1.8.6 to 1.8.7:

        Updates:

        Updated LAV Filters to v0.74.1-20-gc76c1
        Updated MediaInfo DLL to v19.04

        Changes/additions/improvements:

        Added option for looping folder when playing next/previous file
        Added option for specifying the preferred video format when selecting a stream from Youtube-DL results
        Global Media Keys option is now disabled by default on Windows 10, because Windows sends a Play/Pause event in certain cases (e.g. when notifications appear).
        A few other minor changes

        Fixes:

        DVD region code bypass didn’t always work

  4. Ron said on July 18, 2019 at 12:01 am
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    I really like MPC-BE. Too bad it’s not available for Linux; I’m stuck with SMPlayer.

    1. Kommenter said on July 19, 2019 at 2:23 pm
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      Try the barebones MPV, you can make a custom config file with shortcuts and codec setup. Way better than that SMP mess. It requires some reading though.

      Does VLC give you problems or do you just not like it?

      1. Ron said on July 19, 2019 at 11:24 pm
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        I just don’t like it.

  5. Flotsam said on July 18, 2019 at 2:17 am
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    Someone has made a Linux version of Black Edition. I found it on a git repo a while back but didn’t bookmark it and I can’t find it again. Grr.

  6. Shadow_Death said on July 18, 2019 at 4:08 am
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    Also if you’re rockin an AMD GPU you can turn on AMD Fluid Motion Video in the video settings of Radeon Settings and then downloading Bluesky Frame Rate Converter.

  7. ULBoom said on July 18, 2019 at 4:51 am
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    I used MPC, then MPC-HC for years until for some reason, maybe Win 10 issues, it quit working reliably. Switched to Pot Player for a few years and recently went back to MPC-HC after Pot Player became too loaded with junk and MPC mysteriously began working well again. Maybe the newer filters are better, the program hasn’t changed in 2-3 years.

    I like this black version, will have to try it; the original doesn’t have previews or some of the other features. To my eyes, MPC plays videos clearer than most any other player; easy to see the difference in 4k, a bit harder at lower resolutions.

  8. Gabriel said on July 18, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    Been using Zoom Player Max for quite some time.
    I’ll give this one a go!

  9. Ivan Lazarov said on July 18, 2019 at 8:13 am
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    Been using VLC forever, until larger HVEC files don’t play reliably, while MPC-HC plays them just fine. A pity, since I got used to VLC.

  10. G.Williams said on July 18, 2019 at 8:20 am
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    Many are unaware that MPC-BE is made up from the Russian devs of the former and original MPC-HC dev team.

    In essence MPC-BE is the spiritual successor of MPC-HC

  11. ilev said on July 18, 2019 at 8:43 am
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    “MPC-BE has a modern GUI, with a dark theme for the main screen and all its menus, which makes it easier on the eyes.”

    I hate Dark themes on desktop and mobile.

    MPC-HC 1.8.7 : https://www.videohelp.com/software/Media-Player-Classic-Home-Cinema

  12. Bagnara said on July 18, 2019 at 1:13 pm
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    I did have problems with this software before and I do think it is a malware.

    1. hetyJez said on July 18, 2019 at 4:16 pm
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      And how did you come to this conclusion?

      MPC-BE is not, and has never been a suspicious software, let alone a malware.

      1. Bagnara said on July 19, 2019 at 12:37 am
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        because i could not erase the file of the executable. i think it is malicious. beware of malware. it did gave me problems.

      2. dekl34 said on July 19, 2019 at 7:48 am
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        You couldn’t delete the exe and this to you is a proof that is a malicious/malware?

        Sorry, this makes no sense

  13. Thorky said on July 18, 2019 at 1:43 pm
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    [LAV Filters, ready to use. But that’s not a big issue since the LAV Filters are also open source, meaning you can download and install them on your computer. Once you have done that, go to MPC-BE’s Options > External Filters > Add Filter and set the LAV Video Decoder and Audio Decoder Filters as the preferred one.]

    Hi, got a problem with this. At “External Filters”, MPC-BE looks for *.ax- or *.dll-files, but there are none inside the LAV-Filter-Folders. How can I manage this?

  14. Clairvoyance said on July 18, 2019 at 4:57 pm
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    Thank you for writing article on MPC-BE. I recommend it a lot to everyone! I personally prefer https://mpv.io/ for its minimalism. However, for average use, I recommend MPC-BE!

  15. steve#99 said on July 18, 2019 at 6:54 pm
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    Thanks for this great article, d/ling & checking this out now thanks to “MPC-BE has a visual seek bar”. I hope I hate it ;) because I hate to switch from my fav player which I’ve grown very fond of.

    PS: To the gent who rar archives video content, you need not do that. Video/Audio codecs already compress content far greater than winrar/winzip; which are not efficient at compressing binary formats. If you are getting the rar files from the net, which is rare these days, simply decompress them because they are not saving that much space.

  16. Onurtag said on July 19, 2019 at 6:18 pm
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    MPC-BE with madVR is the best player you can get on windows performance and quality wise.
    But if you are streaming with your player (youtube/streamlink etc..) then mpv is better.

  17. ding-dong said on July 20, 2019 at 7:06 pm
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    It seems there’s been a little misunderstanding about versions/updates of MPC-HC.
    I thing, Martin compares MPC-BE with the official one version of MPC-HC, developed and compiled by Casimir666.
    And, as Martin indicated in 2017 (see his link at the begin), the version of Casimirs MPC-HC is still 1.7.13.
    So current there are no updates for this official version.

    The update discussion in comments is about a newer compiling version of MPC-HC, compiled by clsid (as some users have quoted).
    And yes, there is an update 1.8.7.

    So we are talking here about two different versions of MPC-HC.
    But there is also a third version of MPC-HC (currently 1.8.6.11), compiled by paehl.

    “As you can see, there are 3 versions of MPC-Home Cinema available for download:
    – the official one, developed and compiled by Casimir666,
    – the versions compiled by paehl. These are unmodified (vanilla) MPC-HC builds from the Git master branch.
    – and really new ones (MPC-HC 1.8.6), compiled by clsid.”

    https://free-codecs.com/download/media_player_classic_home_cinema.htm

    https://free-codecs.com/media_player_classic_home_cinema_download.htm

  18. ding-dong said on July 20, 2019 at 7:11 pm
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    Sorry!
    Ashwin compares, not Martin. :)
    But the article of 2017 is by Martin.

  19. Alex said on July 25, 2019 at 4:12 pm
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    Trying it right now. 3 out of 4 YouTube videos gave me “File not found”. The links are correct and double-checked. Disappointing.

    1. Alex said on July 26, 2019 at 3:12 pm
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      I used the MPC-BE release version, which dates back to April. Obviously, it uses a fairly old youtube-dl version, which gets frequently updated due to constant changes on YouTube’s part (and other video sites). So, this might be the cause, don’t know. In any case, if a feature doesn’t work in the stable/release version, it’s mostly useless.

      I tried MPC-HC with the latest youtube-dl and it works fine.

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