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Media Player Classic

An open source player for Windows computers

7.0

178 Votes

  • Category Players
  • Program license Free
  • Version 1.9.22
  • Size 13.40 MB
  • Works under: Windows 8.1
  • Program available in English
  • Program by MPC-HC Team

Media Player Classic is a compact media player, available as both a 32- and 64-executable, that delivers a lightweight multimedia solution that resembles the beloved Windows Media Player 6.4.

In order to appreciate Media Player Classic or MPC, one must appreciate the evolution of Windows Media Player or WMP. Up until version 6.4, WMP was a streamlined multimedia solution that performed efficiently and gave users a lot of control. Beyond 6.4, WMP became a heavyweight application. The design goal shifted more toward being a one-in-all home theater solution. The problem with that for many users was that it sacrificed simplicity, efficiency and customizability in the process.

MPC was developed as a response to that change under the GNU General Public License. The goal was to create a multimedia solution that mimicked WMP 6.4 in all the best ways. The project was a great success by any measure, and perhaps what’s most impressive about MPC is that it’s remained true to that original design goal more than a decade later despite the addition of many sophisticated features that let it remain a leading choice for multimedia playback despite stiff competition.

A key component of MPC is its approach to supporting multimedia formats. You’ll find support for most major video and audio codes included with the default installation. However, MPC is also fully customizable, and you can add codec support either system-wide or locally in the MPC installation. What this means is that even if MPC development ended today, you’d still be able to run that new codec released tomorrow, which was one of the important aspects lost in the evolution of WMP.

In addition to files, MPC can read discs, including DVDs, and devices. It can also stream Web-based audio sources, such as podcasts and Internet radio stations. Blu-ray support is not included and may never be, but users who store their movies digitally can watch Blu-ray movies by ripping them to MP4 or the like. MPC also provides excellent codec control, so if you’re an advanced user, you can dial in your multimedia experience with granular control over codec behavior. If you’re a casual user, don’t worry; MPC does a great job of detecting and setting optimal settings.

Pros

  • Streamlined and efficient
  • Supports nearly any audio or video format
  • Excellent multi-language support

Cons

  • Patches and bug fixes on a slow timeline
  • Simplistic, non-customizable UI
  • No Blu-ray support
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Windows Media Player 11  11.0.5721.5262

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