A look at PotPlayer in 2020

My favorite video player is MPC-HC, though I do use MPV from time to time. Before switching to MPC, I had been using VLC for a long time, and eventually switched to SM Player, and later to KMPlayer. That's about when I started looking for alternatives and PotPlayer seemed to be the perfect alternative, this was about 4-5 years ago.

A look at PotPlayer in 2020

I ditched PotPlayer after a few years, because MPC seemed to be a lighter alternative at least on my old computer. Later, I came to know that PotPlayer had started shipping adware with options to install third-party software like Opera, and more recently the inclusion of Avast's installer, among other issues.

When Martin asked me to take a look at PotPlayer recently, I told him I was concerned about the program's recent issues. Despite my history with it, I wanted to reassure myself that it was safe. So, I went through many reddit threads and other forums, where users reported that the latest versions of the video player are clean. There was only one way to find out, and I finally decided to give PotPlayer another chance.

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I can confirm that the current version (I tested 201209 v1.7.21397) does not contain options for installing third-party software. VirusTotal gave the set up a clean record, except for ClamWin which said it has a generic malware. Here are the screenshots which I took before installing the media player.

Note: The official website of PotPlayer is https://potplayer.daum.net/. This is the biggest issue with the program, as there is a similar site that appears on Search results (has Daumpotplayer in the URL), and that one is apparently a fake website. So, you should get your copy from the official page.

WARNING

The EULA is displayed first, and it has an odd relay clause. I think it is about the broadcast feature, which I couldn't get that to work or even find an option to disable. There is also some random telemetry collection clause, but it seems to be related to the computer's hardware, video playing capabilities. Aside from that, the rest of the EULA seems to be okay.

In the next step, you are offered the option to associate file types with PotPlayer. At the final step, the setup offers to install an additional codec called OpenCodec, I recommend you to uncheck the option, because the player's default codec is more than capable of playing anything you throw at it.

potplayer ui

PotPlayer's interface remains the same as it was many years ago, it has a dark theme and 2 panes. The larger pane on the left is the video player, while the right pane is a sidebar that has 2 tabs, one for the built-in file browser, while the other is the playlist pane. These panes can be toggled, detached.

Here are all the media formats supported by PotPlayer

Video formats

AVI,WMV,WMP,WM,ASF,MPG,MPEG,MPE,M1V,M2V,MPV2,MP2V,TS,TP,TPR,TRP,VOB,IFO,OGM,OGV,MP4,M4V,M4P,M4B,3GP,3GPP,3G2,3GP2,MKV,RM,RAM,RMVB,RPM,FLV,SWF,MOV,QT,NSV,DPG,M2TS,M2T,MTS,DVR-MS,K3G,SKM,EVO,NSR,AMV,DIVX,WEBM,WTV,F4V,MXF.

Audio formats

WAV,WMA,MPA,MP2,M1A,M2A,MP3,OGG,M4A,AAC,MKA,RA,FLAC,APE,MPC,MOD,AC3,EAC3,DTS,DTSHD,WV,TAK,CDA,DSF,TTA,AIFF,AIF,OPUS,AMR.

Playlists

ASX,M3U,M3U8,PLS,WVX,WAX,WMX,CUE,MPLS,MPL,DPL,XSPF.

That's a lot of formats, and these work fine without the additional codec that it recommends. In addition to local media, PotPlayer can be used to play streaming content from services like YouTube. Hit Ctrl + U and paste the URL to begin watching the online video. And the player supports YouTube playlists too which is pretty cool.

potplayer popup window

On a side note, MPC failed to play the audio in a couple of MKV videos (which I had downloaded from streaming services using IDM), but was able to play the rest. MPV and PotPlayer on the other hand were able to handle all of them without any hiccups. Maybe it's an issue with MPC's settings, but I still prefer it over anything else.

One of my favorite features in PotPlayer is that it remembers the file playback position by default, even for online videos. I remembered most of the keyboard shortcuts from my previous time with it (subtitle delay, adjusting the window size, volume, brightness, contrast, etc).

Want to change the window size quickly? Tap the number keys from 1-4 to switch between 0.5x, 1x, 1.5x and 2x. Press 0 to set a custom size. Hit Enter to toggle full-screen mode. Use the Space bar to pause, play the media. Rewind or fast-forward with the Left and Right arrow keys. Increase or decrease the volume with the Up and Down arrow keys. That should be enough for basic playback, but there are a ton of other shortcuts, you can view them by right-clicking anywhere in the player pane > About > Keyboard Shortcuts.

PotPlayer can be set to stay on top of other windows. You can capture screenshots using Ctrl + C.

potplayer capture screenshot

I also used it for listening to music, and the mini player - compact interface for audio is nice. The Playlist pane can be detached, and acts as a floating window. You may pin and resize it like WinAmp's playlist. The PotPlayer Control Panel comprises an equalizer, video settings (brightness, contrast, color, saturation), subtitle customization, and some playback options.

potplayer control panel

The media player has many video and audio renderers that you can switch to. There are a few built-in skins that you can enable if the default theme isn't to your liking. PotPlayer supports many subtitle formats, and if you don't have subs for a video, access the right-click menu > Search Subtitles. The search option opens the result in your browser where you can manually obtain the files from. For a simpler way, use the built-in subtitle search/download option and save it to your computer. I couldn't test the 360° and 3D video settings, because I don't have such video files.

My two primary concerns with PotPlayer were adware installations and ads. I've already mentioned that the installer was clean. I also double-checked Programs and Features to see if something had snuck in, and the desktop to see if it had placed any additional shortcuts, and there was nothing amiss.

Note: A large PotPlayer logo appears near the system tray when you open the program (happens once a day), but it disappears in a few seconds. It doesn't display any ads or banners. I don't use system-wide ad blocking solutions or a modified Hosts file either, and I did not get any ads in PotPlayer even playing videos, or just having it open in the background without playing media, or during the installation.

potplayer servers glasswire

I monitored the program using Glasswire, and found that it pinged some servers in South Korea.

stat.tiara.g.daum.net
play.gl.kakao.com
p1-play.kgslb.com
p2-play.kgslb.com
t1.wg2vgaja.kgslb.com
t1.int.daumcdn.net

These seem to belong to Kakao, which owns a messaging platform called KakaoTalk. PotPlayer has options for chat and that broadcast feature probably uses the same, and as I mentioned earlier I couldn't get it to work. It is possible the program pings the instant messaging servers for providing these services. Or, maybe it uses those servers to check for updates or subtitles? You can block these URLs in your Hosts file to play it safe.

potplayer broadcast settings

The majority of my testing was based on playing YouTube streams, HEVC (x265)videos, FLAC, OGG, MP3 soundtracks, and some x264 encoded videos.

Is PotPlayer worth using? As a media player, it works fine and the playback is just as good as in other players that I use. But it's difficult to recommend a player that has a shady past, and I'm not sure when the ads were removed. Above everything else it needs to earn the trust of users, so only time will tell the answer. I wish it was open sourced, but quite frankly I don't see that happening.

I do have one issue with the current state of the player, the options screen still has way too many settings, and I've always felt that the program has more features than required. Modifying a couple of settings shouldn't be this complicated. Some things never change I suppose. Well neither will I, I'll be switching back to MPC because it's my favorite video player.

Summary
software image
Author Rating
1star1star1stargraygray
4 based on 19 votes
Software Name
PotPlayer
Operating System
Windows
Software Category
Multimedia
Price
Free
Landing Page
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Comments

  1. Sampei Nihira said on December 26, 2020 at 10:09 am
    Reply

    Hello I have been using Potplayer for many years.
    The pop-up in the bottom right corner can be blocked by entering the following rules in the Hosts file:

    0.0.0.0 p1-play.kgslb.com
    0.0.0.0 kyson.ad.daum.net
    0.0.0.0 display.ad.daum.net
    0.0.0.0 analytics.ad.daum.net
    0.0.0.0 p1-play.edge4k.com
    0.0.0.0 p2-play.edge4k.com

    1. Uncle Crimbo said on December 26, 2020 at 10:43 am
      Reply

      When you start having to perform such manipulations you should start rethinking your priorities. Clearly you disagree with the policies of this software, yet you go out of your way to do all this crap just so you can continue using it.

      My advice is:

      1. Find an alternative video player.
      2. Install and old version of PotPlayer, I’m pretty sure it will work just fine if you so much desire to use only PotPlayer.

      1. Gene Frenkle said on December 27, 2020 at 12:58 am
        Reply

        Do you by any chance use any browser extension, some adblocker perhaps? When you start having to perform such manipulations you should start rethinking your priorities. Clearly you disagree with the policies of this software, yet you go out of your way to do all this crap just so you can continue using it.
        Grumpy old uncle..
        By all means, be happy using your Windows XP, WinAMP, Firefox, Ad-Aware, VLC, Bonzi Buddy, Avast and AOL. Stop patronizing people.

        Now get off my lawn!

      2. Zelanium said on March 19, 2021 at 4:27 am
        Reply

        @Gene Frenkle, December 27, 2020

        Are you trolling? There is obviously a significant difference between the common advertisements displayed on webpages (other people’s lawns, in your terminology) and any kind of modification of your personal computer, including background downloads or pings to servers. That you call other people “uncle” is also fitting, given how immature you act. Probably not your fault, your parents did a poor job raising you.

    2. d3x said on December 26, 2020 at 10:51 am
      Reply

      I’m using this hosts rules to block ads in PotPlayer and one time I had a problem where I couldn’t click on something in lower right part of my desktop and I noticed that it changed to “hand” in one place and to text selection in other. I clicked on it, pressed Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C and pasted this to notepad. It was PotPlayer’s error message that it couldn’t contact some server with daum.net domain. It went away after I closed PotPlayer and when I opened it again it wasn’t there again. This happened only once to me, I mean I only noticed it once, but maybe PotPlayer still opened this Window but closes it after few seconds and I just didn’t notice it

    3. Ayy said on December 26, 2020 at 6:52 pm
      Reply

      that’s incorrect information you are giving Nihira.

      PotPlayer went so far as to hardcode the IP’s into the application (211.231.101.168 and 113.29.186.68) you can open PotPlayer.dll and dump the strings or use a hex editor and see it for yourself. So when you use the hosts records and it fails to resolve it falls back to direct IP and tries 211.231.101.168/svc/potplayer/api/dns which has all their host entries in the file and will ignore your host file entries.

      the only way to block that is to ban them with a software firewall or use another version of the program that doesn’t have advert nonsense included. FWIW, I still use potplayer but I won’t defend such a moronic decision by the developer.

    4. Anonymous said on December 26, 2020 at 7:57 pm
      Reply

      Why use something with ads? I personally use Baka MPlayer but the project is now dead. It still works great on desktop and touch screens though.
      https://u8sand.github.io/Baka-MPlayer/

    5. Trey said on December 26, 2020 at 10:14 pm
      Reply

      I have never seen an ad in PotPlayer. I do think it’s the best media player for PC by a wide margin due to it’s features. It definitely does talk a lot in the background. I choose to keep using it but suppress it’s bad behaviors.

      I use a local firewall and Pi-Hole to block what I don’t want going out. Here is an expanded hosts file entries list. I also use this. These are up to date as of now. Pi-Hole keeps me current if anything new is added.

      0.0.0.0 t1.daumcdn.net
      0.0.0.0 daumcdn.net
      0.0.0.0 edge4k.com
      0.0.0.0 p2-play.edge4k.com
      0.0.0.0 p1-play.edge4k.com
      0.0.0.0 kgslb.com
      0.0.0.0 p1-play.kgslb.com
      0.0.0.0 daum.net
      0.0.0.0 track.tiara.daum.net
      0.0.0.0 kakao.com
      0.0.0.0 play.kakao.com
      0.0.0.0 daum.net
      0.0.0.0 kyson.ad.daum.net
      0.0.0.0 display.ad.daum.net
      0.0.0.0 analytics.ad.daum.net

      Is this annoying? Yes. Do I choose to deal with it and keep using the player? Yes. Do what makes the most sense to you.

      1. taco99 said on December 28, 2020 at 12:38 am
        Reply

        I’ve never seen an ad in PP either. Having used PP for last 6-7 years. Nor have I seen it bundled with adware or AV or whatever. Apparently the author found that he had been downloading from a fake site, so maybe that had something to do with it.

    6. Anonymous said on December 27, 2020 at 12:50 am
      Reply

      So in other words, confirmation that it phones home, and unless stopped can download anything it wants to your system at any time.

      Is this Korean software? I guess even the Koreans are in the spyware business.

      1. DrKnow said on December 27, 2020 at 11:09 pm
        Reply

        Any software you install and don’t block via a firewall or other means, can at anytime connect where it wants – even months later. Just because it doesn’t do it right doesn’t mean it’s not hiding something…

        Your paranoia isn’t strong enough :)

        Since you’re obviously blocking every program by default, what’s so bad about PotPlayer?

    7. Ricky said on December 28, 2020 at 4:43 am
      Reply

      ive been using pot player for years and have never had any trouble from it. You have to watch what you click on when installing software. these people give us free software and alot of that is possible because of advertisements. These folks have to do something to survive so if you come across that type of stuff just dont click on it and youll be allright . Just watch what your doing or dont download it and be scared then and go pay for ypur software but anyways pot player has been great for years with multiple multiple installs so i mean i would recommend it to anyone.

  2. Uncle Crimbo said on December 26, 2020 at 10:41 am
    Reply

    I went through many video players over the years, I accidentally stumbled upon KMPlayer when I was forced to use a really old and slow computer, one so old and slow it had trouble just running Windows XP. I only used it to watch anime, but all the players I tried could not handle MKV files without causing a desync after about 30-60 seconds of watching. Only KMPlayer could play them without desyncing, provided I did not touch anything after I started playing the episode.

    Then KMPlayer was sold and it got worse and then PotPlayer showed up. At first I really liked PotPlayer, especially the original look with the gradients and the blue icon, before all that ugly stupid fad about flat UI took over. https://3dvision-blog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/daum-potplayer-video-player.jpg

    The adware included in PotPlayer did not bother me as much as it underwent a couple of UI changes and some of them were horrible. The first shipment with the yellow icon had some touch-friendly gigantic UI and it took a while before they toned it down.

    I tried using MPC, SMPlayer and a few others, but they just don’t cut it. For example MPC and SMPlayer cannot display options for multiple subtitles or audio tracks inside an MKV file, PotPlayer can, but I refuse to use it. Now I’m using VLC, because it supports the options that I need as well as it has an Android version so I can transfer some anime on my phone if I can’t stream it for whatever reason and watch it on my phone without having to worry how will I switch subtitles or audio track.

    KMPlayer was was sold to Pandora TV and PotPlayer was sold to Daum. With this trend, I won’t be surprised if the developer also ends up abandoning PotPlayer in the near future and develops a third video player that will again start out amazing and will eventually share the same fate as its predecessors.

    1. Jimbo said on December 26, 2020 at 12:06 pm
      Reply
      1. Uncle Crimbo said on December 26, 2020 at 2:11 pm
        Reply

        You trying to appear smart? This website features the same 23 skins for years.

      2. Dobbydo said on January 27, 2021 at 1:54 am
        Reply

        You can actually find many skins for PotPlayer on the internet. I am using one that gives it a transparent interface that fits quite well with Windows 10.

  3. extractor said on December 26, 2020 at 11:35 am
    Reply

    “Well neither will I, I’ll be switching back to MPC because it’s my favorite video player.” – and that is why you rated the program 3 stars instead of 5? Because you like another program? Embarrassing behavior.

    1. Alex said on December 26, 2020 at 4:03 pm
      Reply

      I completely agree. Can we get a real review that focuses on features?

  4. Jimbo said on December 26, 2020 at 11:59 am
    Reply

    Are you launching PotPlayer64.exe or PotPlayerMini64.exe?
    PotPlayerMini64.exe is without the broadcasting, chat and other bloat.

  5. Raj said on December 26, 2020 at 12:11 pm
    Reply

    I stopped using potplayer as Kaspersky kept blocking the install. I think it was due to the shady ads being installed in the bankground. I am using kmplayer these days and that app is so much better. Too bad for potplayer and their shady tactics

  6. Anonymous said on December 26, 2020 at 1:43 pm
    Reply

    + Best player ever. So much options. So much faster than VLC. Can use buildin HW decoder (intel/nvidia/amd).
    – So much options 😂
    – I care about my privacy so it has no network access allowed 😈
    -no DTS

    1. d3x said on December 27, 2020 at 11:04 am
      Reply

      “no DTS”
      Install additional codecs that are offered at the end of installation

  7. Gerard said on December 26, 2020 at 1:59 pm
    Reply

    SMPlayer is a free open source and cross-platform graphical front-end for both mplayer and mpv, without a shady past or present. MPC fans may appreciate its built-in MPC-like GUI option (Options, Preferences, Interface, Interface tab).

  8. mango said on December 26, 2020 at 2:08 pm
    Reply

    One of PotPlayer’s feature that I like is the ability to show thumbnail preview when you hover your mouse on the navigation bar (similar like when you watch YouTube or Twitch).

    I think last time I tried MPC and VLC, they didn’t have this feature. Does anyone know other players that have similar feature?

    1. mango said on December 26, 2020 at 3:43 pm
      Reply

      Ok after a quick research, found out that MPC-BE has seekbar preview capability.

      And currently MPC-HC developers are working to merge it to their project.

      https://github.com/clsid2/mpc-hc/pull/806

    2. ULBoom said on December 27, 2020 at 2:38 am
      Reply

      SM Player does, many do. With any of the complex players it takes quite a while to find all the settings, see what they do, destroy everything a few times, then settle on a config you like.

      1. mango said on December 27, 2020 at 10:43 am
        Reply

        Where is the option? I can’t find it on SMPlayer

      2. Tom Song said on January 14, 2021 at 11:10 am
        Reply

        Daum.net is the second largest portalsite of South Korea. Something like yahoo to South Korean. Daumpot is the most popular and common video player among Korean because its fearures on subtitle.
        No program has versitile funtion about subtitle than potplayer.
        Subtitle is most essential to Korean because English is not their mother tounge.
        Potplayer is for the windows not for Android.

  9. popcorn said on December 26, 2020 at 3:11 pm
    Reply

    Look, you all seem like nice kids but nothing beats mpc-be.

  10. Mark said on December 26, 2020 at 4:09 pm
    Reply

    I have both mpc-be and pot. I like mpc-be but not its interface. It’s too 2000s for me (it’s understandable because it is based on the philosophy of the old windows media player 6.4) and I don’t like its playlist, too basic for my needs.
    So I ended up making my own personal installer for pot with inno that handles everything, no adware and blocks all calls and update attempts. When a new version comes out and the new version has something I find important I “update” my own installer.

    1. Jim Duggan said on December 26, 2020 at 7:50 pm
      Reply

      @Mark, please can you share?

    2. Anonymous said on December 27, 2020 at 11:05 pm
      Reply

      yes can you please share?

  11. MeH said on December 26, 2020 at 4:55 pm
    Reply

    The best and most powerful media player (that can play any container, video and audio codecs) is K-Lite Codec Pack (Full or Mega). Other good players are PotPlayer and mpv.
    K-Lite Codec Pack’s embedded player is MPC-HC and it’s much more powerful than the stand-alone MPC-HC. KLCP can play any video and audio file on earth. The only thing it lacks is the seekbar preview capability.

    1. Time machine said on December 26, 2020 at 7:48 pm
      Reply

      I can’t believe I am reading this in ghacks, I would expect it in facebook but not here:)
      All modern media players today including MPC forks include internal directshow filters or media engines for playback.
      No need to install and mess your system today with codec packs and filters.
      Computers, the world etc have moved on. I suggest you to do the same.
      Update your computer with up-to-date software and stop recommending to people what you first used 10 years ago when you bought your first computer:)
      Also MPC-HC development has stopped years ago, move on to a MPC fork with active development like MPC-BE.

      1. The Intercept said on December 30, 2020 at 11:41 pm
        Reply

        Your information regarding MPC-HC is not correct. MPC-HC is actively developed and supported. The devs team just changed. To my opinion K-Lite Codec Pack is still better option for non-professional power-users who want to setup their player for best visual quality possible (with likes madVR) without searching online for outdated manuals, downloading separate zip files (for which you have to manually check for updates) and fiddling with the configs to integrate it with player. K-Lite Codec Pack does all these for users and it’s update contains updated version of all those components and related setting changes. Of course it is not usually necessary for average-Joe people and those people weren’t in it’s target audience in the first place. And video professionals may like (and have knowledge to) do it in the manual & hard way. But for us who are in the middle, K-Lite Codec is still one of the best options.

    2. asd said on December 26, 2020 at 8:09 pm
      Reply

      > Codec Pack

      The early 2000s called and want their ancient technology back.

    3. ULBoom said on December 27, 2020 at 2:49 am
      Reply

      The K lite codec pack is defintiely a codec pack but won’t do anything without a player, MPC-HC in their case or another if desired. Nothing wrong with the combo but understand what it is.

      The interface is almost irrelevant as long as it gets out of the way. No jellybeans, no crap, no fatfonts, no fisher-price puffiness.

      Adding codec packs to players that are already complete in that regard (Windows comes with codecs, too) can confuse the hell out of the OS and player. So much that you have to remove everything, reregister Windows’ codecs and start over.

      Don’t screw with codec packs unless you really understand what you’re installing.

  12. asd said on December 26, 2020 at 6:19 pm
    Reply

    PotPlayer is by *far* the best media player out there.
    MPC cannot reach it and vlc is a complete joke compared to it.

  13. Lukanz said on December 26, 2020 at 6:27 pm
    Reply
  14. laxorm said on December 26, 2020 at 7:00 pm
    Reply

    I completely disagree with everything in this “review”. Having been a hardcore PotPlayer user for ages, this article is just garbage. First of all IF there were any adware bundled, there always was an option to not install that stuff. Then, you should ALWAYS install the extracodecs, without them PotPlayer is severely crippled. Oh and NO OTHER VIDEOPLAYER can play HD quality video easily and smoothly on any old potato-computer like PotPlayer can, without breaking a sweat. That’s right, I will wrestle you if you want! All those “issues” this tester ran into is just him not knowing what he is doing and not understanding the program at all. Like someone here already mentioned, use Potplayermini.exe, throw the rest of the pot.exes away from the install folder, in fact you can throw away half of the stuff in there.. PotPlayer has been the KING of mediaplayers on windows for a very long time, and still is, no matter what the MPHC people try to claim. There, now do another review, a proper one this time. Or better yet, let some PRO do it.

    1. Benja said on December 27, 2020 at 6:53 am
      Reply

      I agree, I’ve tried them all and I always go back to it. You are also right about opencodec, it is needed for HEVC. The reviewer should better review potatoes, not media players.

    2. Horserapist said on December 27, 2020 at 11:13 am
      Reply

      Using all caps doesn’t make your points valid. I used to use Potplayer until it started having popup ads in the bottom right corner any time I opened a video file. There was no option to disable this and nothing in the installation process where it could be avoided or turned off. I’m glad it works for you but with the amount of privacy concerns and secret ad implementation with no prompt or warning during installation, you’re choosing to give up your own system’s security for a program that works as well as VLC probably would on your PC as well. Glad it works for you but don’t try to diminish the validity of the review by providing your perspective. The review is an objective review and you’re clearly in love with Potplayer to a creepyass extent.

      1. @Horserapist said on December 27, 2020 at 5:33 pm
        Reply

        Ads or no ads that doesn’t change the quality of the program. That’s why you were using it and ads made you stop using it. You didn’t give up on it because you found a better player, there isn’t any better player out there, you gave up on it because of the ads.
        I miss potplayer, I have stopped using it for the same reasons like you, but if the developer decided to release a paid pro version without any kind of ads I would buy it in a heartbeat and go back to it.
        That’s the truth and the review has nothing to do with the quality of the program. It’s the best player out there and I know it hurts that we can’t use it anymore because of our privacy concerns, but that’s not a valid reason to rate it with 2 or 3 because he has… divorced with it and hates his ex now to a creepyass extent.

    3. Raj said on December 27, 2020 at 2:10 pm
      Reply

      I tried to install potplayer the last weeks and cannot. Kaspersky blocks it. I will say the devs have to clean up their act.

  15. Anonymous said on December 26, 2020 at 7:53 pm
    Reply

    im using it regulary and just blocked the phonehome shit via dns.

  16. Jojo said on December 26, 2020 at 8:14 pm
    Reply

    I’ve been using PotPlayer for years. I don’t notice any ads on my desktop using it. I don’t update it much as I always seem to wind up with the Korean language version.

  17. Bruh said on December 26, 2020 at 9:29 pm
    Reply

    I have come across ads on that pop-up a few days ago actually. After 1 minute there was no PotPlayer on my system. I switched back to VLC since it is ad-free and lightweight. I recommend mpv but it is a pain the the ass to configure the keys like PotPlayer. One of the feature I liked about PotPlayer was I could play multiple videos with it at the same time. I couldn’t find another player that is capable of this.

    I will never use PotPlayer unless they remove adware or giving an option to the user. I don’t wanna go change some domain list to block ads

    1. Bro said on December 27, 2020 at 1:12 am
      Reply

      Cool story bro.

    2. ULBoom said on December 27, 2020 at 3:03 am
      Reply

      There are plenty of video players that will play more than one video at a time. Installing Pot offline and blocking the four executables in the program folder with your firewall keeps it offline permanently. No ads.

      Giving up Pot Player for VLC is more of a tradeoff than I’d make. That silly cone needs to go :) The interface is super clunky, organized like expected for LAN player, it’s original intent, not for a standalone.

      If you like mpv, use SMPlayer, mpv is in there and you’ll like the interface. Forewarning, it takes as long as Pot Player to get the interface set up to your liking but worth it.

      Try this, a good resource:
      https://www.videohelp.com/software/sections/video-players

  18. Yuliya said on December 26, 2020 at 9:30 pm
    Reply

    A player. With “chat” features? WTF am I reading?

    1. Cheezus said on December 27, 2020 at 1:11 am
      Reply

      PotPlayer is the default mediaplayer in a Korean thingy called Kakao, with more features any non-Korean would even begin to understand. However, there’s no need to use any of that stuff and just stick with the player. Let me guess.. this is MASSIVE spyware and the Chinese and RUSSIA are clearly monitoring all the videos you watch on PotPlayer, most likely now have a free tunnel directly to your home network and the only way to redeem yourself is to use VLC or MPC? ..after all these years where PotPlayer has ruled supreme all things video it’s hysterical people are still clueless..

      1. Yuliya said on December 27, 2020 at 2:19 pm
        Reply

        What do Russia and China have to do with this player?

      2. DrKnow said on December 29, 2020 at 3:59 am
        Reply

        Yuliya, he’s being sarcastic about your constant paranoia that every piece of software is trying to suck the life blood from you.

  19. ULBoom said on December 27, 2020 at 2:28 am
    Reply

    Pot Player has been our vid player for about a decade. It’s gone through some weird iterations, there were definitely some AV or something offers you had to check out of a few years ago. I’ve never seen ads in it but have seen that window in the lower right except it’s white and disappears quickly. I don’t like it, now I guess I know what it is; it’s in some installs, not all. Whatever!

    If you install pot player offline and block the four executables in its program folder in your firewall, along with checking never update/never look for updates in Settings, it acts like any other video player. No, actually it’s far better than most, one of the few Mad VR works with reliably at 4k, more than worth learning its quirks.

    It’s basically KM Player that’s been kept updated. We use it only as a video player, not a You Tube viewer or that Korean chat thing. It’s very easy to configure Pot Player into a mess that barely works but that can be done with either MPC fork and other players if you know where ALL the settings live.

    One big plus for Pot Player is easy to access color controls, something SMPlayer, our No. 2 also has. Can’t get Mad VR to work with SM Player whose GUI features change depend on the skin used. Weird, but it plays H265’s; Pot Player won’t, licensing issues or something.

    Windows Media Player was perfectly fine until MS decided it wasn’t cool then MPC ran with it; now other developers are playing with various forks. I liked MPC a lot; small, excellent playback quality but still with buried color controls, maybe pink or green videos don’t bother some people, IDK. Not very stable with Mad VR, when the original developer stopped, it wasn’t very stable at all but better now. Maybe in a year or so, we’ll be back with a MPC fork.

    Every few months I look for a Pot Player replacement and haven’t found anything.

    BTW, Mad VR is a renderer, maybe the best and probably the most modifiable. A 4k video on a 4k screen rendered through a powerful graphics card (Nvidia 2000 series, e.g.) is “Wow!” stuff. Download for free or buy it in a box for the price of a decent used car. A hidden gem.
    :)

    1. no hype said on December 31, 2020 at 8:59 pm
      Reply

      @ULBoom

      Who is this “we” you keep talking about? Is that a tangible group worth noting, or just another tactic you use to fluff your opinions?

  20. seth said on December 27, 2020 at 3:57 am
    Reply

    PotPlayer + LAV Filters + MadVR … Thats the KING !!

  21. Bhavesh Parmar said on December 27, 2020 at 7:02 am
    Reply

    The indispensible feature for me is OSD messages. I have time remaining (above) and system time (below) enabled. See the attached screenshot. The OSD message appears in top left corner in blue colour. So that I can always know how much time remaining in the movie and whether it’s too late watching movie or not.
    https://imgur.com/a/Npax69t

  22. DrKnow said on December 27, 2020 at 6:39 pm
    Reply

    As others have already noted, this an exceeding shallow review of such a powerful piece of software. Moaning about having too many options is a rather stupid negative point when posting on a tech blog.
    It’s an incredibly powerful piece of software that deserved a proper review not one that seems to have been done in 30 mins of playing with it.

    To top it all Ashwin says at the end he’ll return to his favourite player, mpc. The very program that failed to correctly play audio in some of his test files. Really?

  23. goober said on December 28, 2020 at 7:28 am
    Reply

    I stopped using PotPlayer years ago when it started phoning home with a new version, with Daum in full control. See, before that, the English version of PotPlayer we first came to love, was a rebuild of the original, by some independent dev who posted updates via videohelp.com. The original was in Korean by Daum, and thus of no use to English folks at that time.

    Then one day it was announced on videohelp.com that Daum closed the door on that English version, and started making their own, which now phoned home and such.

    Now, apparently what it’s doing is connecting to the Daum video network, which is like YouTube, but the GUI for it has been removed in their English version.

    Regardless, PotPlayer is a bit to sketchy for me, so now I use MPC-BE, which I like much better.

  24. Jeff said on December 28, 2020 at 10:49 am
    Reply

    Try MPC-BE and you will switch from MPC-HC. If you have an NVIDIA GPU, install LAVFilters and add them as External filters, set Decoder to NVIDIA CUVID and you will get hardware acceleration for the most video formats including legacy MPEG-4 ASP.

    MPC-BE has some advantages over HC:
    – Ability to skip DVD menus and ads
    – Thumbnails for seek bar
    – Can natively stream and download YouTube videos in user-specified format
    – Extra sharp video resizing options
    – Load external audio for video
    – Right click on almost all buttons for extra functions
    – Better usability
    – Can export playlists in extended M3U/Winamp format with duration of tracks
    – Determine duration of media when adding to playlist
    – The Dark skin which is actually a color chooser like Windows Media Player, you can set it to any color

  25. Jeff said on December 28, 2020 at 10:57 am
    Reply

    More reasons in general, why I feel you should use MPC-BE or MPC-HC:

    – Uses native Windows video pipeline with DXVA2/DXVA HD/DirectShow with Enhanced Video Renderer, EVR Custom, madVR or MPC Renderer
    – Windows folder/file system based navigation so the buttons directly play previous/next files in a folder without having to open a file manager or create a playlist
    – A thumbnail when you hover over the seek bar
    – Info pane for showing metadata e.g. Title, Author, Description
    – Can load external audio track for video
    – Nifty multimonitor options
    – Big subtitle tracks and audio track switching buttons in case a file has multiple tracks, chapters support
    – Very customizable and skinnable UI yet fundamentally simple (here is how my player looks: https://i.imgur.com/3qlINrw.png )
    – GPU indicator (very important IMHO) to indicate if hardware acceleration is active or software/CPU is being used
    – Nice post processing with DirectX shaders
    – Rich options for customization (well, VLC has that too but I find VLC buggy – not everything works as it should and I don’t like its UI either. VLC probably has more features overall, it too is very feature-rich but I don’t like it)

    1. Max said on January 12, 2021 at 4:21 am
      Reply

      “– Uses native Windows video pipeline with DXVA2/DXVA HD/DirectShow with Enhanced Video Renderer, EVR Custom, madVR or MPC Renderer”

      —–> PotPlayer can do this too

      “– Windows folder/file system based navigation so the buttons directly play previous/next files in a folder without having to open a file manager or create a playlist”

      —–> Also this

      “– A thumbnail when you hover over the seek bar”

      —–> Also this

      “– Info pane for showing metadata e.g. Title, Author, Description”

      —–> Also this

      “– Can load external audio track for video”

      —–> Also this (even automatically, if an audio file with the same filename is present in the same folder, if you set it in the options)

      “– Nifty multimonitor options”

      —–> Apparently multi-monitor works too, but I haven’t tried it myself so far

      “– Big subtitle tracks and audio track switching buttons in case a file has multiple tracks, chapters support”

      —–> PotPlayer does this too, if you were to use the internal subtitle renderer

      “– Very customizable and skinnable UI yet fundamentally simple (here is how my player looks: https://i.imgur.com/3qlINrw.png )”

      —–> PotPlayer has a very flexible theming engine; you can change every aspect of the ui visually and also functionally. It even has color-sliders which work for universally, for every theme, and it is even smart enough to not print blue fonts on blue backgrounds like on your screen ;-)

      “– GPU indicator (very important IMHO) to indicate if hardware acceleration is active or software/CPU is being used”

      —–> PotPlayer only shows that indicator when using its own decoders, instead of LAV Filters… which makes sense imo. Why would you need an extra indicator everytime? Once you have set your LAV decoder to use HW acceleration, it will keep doing that.

      “– Nice post processing with DirectX shaders”

      —–> PotPlayer does this too. But i’ll do you one better; it even has native AviSynth support!

  26. Shadess said on December 28, 2020 at 2:43 pm
    Reply

    PotPlayer is my go-to alternative for VLC. VLC likes to crash for me trying to play anything 4k.

  27. Anononnomnom77 said on December 28, 2020 at 8:20 pm
    Reply

    Ashwin, you should make a tutorial or showcase MPV/Smplayer with the Anime4k mod…

    https://github.com/bloc97/Anime4K

    It’s comparable to MPC with the Madvr tweaks or better, and not to mention it works on Windows/Linux.

  28. maxcorrigan said on December 29, 2020 at 3:43 am
    Reply

    As a Noob i find all this helpful tech stuff posted way above my head, i like using pot player for its inbuilt rendering, the only problem i have though with pot player is the ability to extract a video after tweaking to be able to keep and use other than only through pot player, am i missing the obvious?
    I would appreciate in simple terms if this downloading from pot player can be done and how!

    1. Rust said on December 31, 2020 at 12:32 am
      Reply

      Any video player which supports hardware acceleration, has built-in subtitle finder (opensubtitles, podnapisi), uses LAV for audio and madVR for video should be enough for lone movie holics.

      In case the movie has multi-track (more than 2 channels) audio and you don’t own a supported sound system or headphone, Windows now-a-days support a feature called Spatial Sound which can provide virtual surround sound with services like Windows Sonic (free), Dolby Atmos for headphones or DTS Headphone:X (usually better than Dolby).

  29. Anonymous said on December 29, 2020 at 6:33 am
    Reply

    Who knew a review of a media player would generate such angst/anger and put even the browser wars on here in the shade.

    1. Mr. Hand said on December 31, 2020 at 8:49 pm
      Reply

      @Anonymous

      I guess you haven’t read much with the browser wars here, as it is clearly much more heated and vast, and hence not comparatively “in the shade” as you falsely claimed.

      Or perhaps you actually knew that, yet thought you were being funny by telling lie?

      Either way, I’m left to think you have nothing useful worth adding to this topic, which is fine, as neither do I.

  30. James said on February 1, 2021 at 1:50 am
    Reply

    Was a WiMP user way back in the day when I was a newbie, then stated exploring other options like VLC, MPC (with K-Lite initially, then the far better CCCP), MPC forks etc. Was recommended KMPlayer by a friend and liked it so switched to it, till it got sold and turned into a compete turd.

    Read online that the KMP dev was now working on PotPlayer, so switched to that and have stuck with it. I’ve always turned off auto-updates and blocked net access completely via a software firewall, so have never ever seen any ads etc. Am also always super careful while installing anything instead of blindly clicking on Next and ending up with unwanted crap on my system (like Chrome which most often seems to be the bundled malware of choice). I do recall that a few older versions in between did have my AV complaining during install, but once I quarantined/deleted the PUP component (and double-checked what was left of the extracted files in %TMP%) the main app itself would continue to install with no problems. I did seriously consider switching to something else at that point, but none of the alternatives ticked all the boxes for me, and I lacked the time back then anyway to again tinker endlessly with stuff to get a new player working just the way I wanted. So I simply continued with PotPlayer, and thankfully somewhere along the line the installers seemed to have reverted back to being PUP-free.

    PotPlayer works great even out of the box (I recommend not skipping the optional OpenCodecs), but is also a tinkerer’s wet dream really if you want to play with settings, third party filters and renderers etc. all day long in pursuit of the best payback quality! For privacy reasons just block it from accessing the net using a firewall and you’re good to go, because without a doubt it’s a fantastic player (one of the best really) for local file playback of nearly any format you’ll ever encounter in the wild.

  31. sporkerfaux said on February 12, 2021 at 5:04 pm
    Reply

    haha this is great :) loving the anthusiasm here. i guess we all have our prefence.

    just like potplayer because some of the skins have the thumbnail seek bar below where you can easily go through it but i find that its difficult to find a good skin that also the browser option functioning. i know theres navigation like current file. but that one does not stay at the spot i want it to be

  32. Catherine Elaine Baxter said on March 26, 2021 at 12:42 pm
    Reply

    Hi there,

    I am loving this new media player. At one stage I got a pop-up screen that featured a ‘rewind’ button and now cannot seem to locate it. I play my audio files through this player for transcription purposes, and the rewind feature is essential for me.

    Please help!
    One very happy camper.

  33. pein said on May 25, 2021 at 7:07 am
    Reply

    just so you know, pot player is made by kakao originally and they had km player as well, and a few websites that had plugins to play online videos
    so it was weird from the post writer that he said he went to km from pot player, i didnt even knew pot player existed until km started to annoy me with adds, then i looked into it and found pot player, using years ago now
    the pot player logo in the box seems like the km player ad box with no adds, so i think its just remnants of code

    two good things i found out:
    -you can force resize the window, its a bit weird but it works, basically if its over x you can resize below a size you can view, its doing a good job on playing videos optimally, but if you deal with really bad configurations, like a 2gb laptop with no proper graphic card, it can be useful
    i noticed it was a bit smoother but obviously dont go for more than 720p if your processor and ram cant handle it, more pixel uses more graphic card, and if it takes it from ram then is obviously bad. but otherwise i think is on top as i tried mirillis splash which was advertised for real low usage (their cam recorder mirillis action beats most of products in low usage) and pot player was better playing 4k videos, with resizing even better
    -you can get a chrome extension ‘open with pot player’ which opens youtube videos from your browser, i noticed that even if my pc is decent, my internet can be slow and browsers hog the ram, so this way i always see a button when the page loads and if its longer, its worth opening in pot player

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