Free Windows Media Player Alternatives For Playing Videos: The Best 3

by PaulGoodman67

My selections for WMP alternatives, which are free to download and I believe to be better.

If you are anything like me, you can find Microsoft’s Windows Media Player (WMP) frustrating. Despite numerous reincarnations, it never seems to get any better - in fact in some ways, it just seems to get more and more bulky and complicated to use, while still struggling to perform some of the basic tasks that you need it for, such as playing videos.

It seems to struggle with many formats too, unless they are the commonest types. I've also got annoyed with them totally revamping it in the past and then me having to completely relearn how to use it.

Those are just some of the reasons why I began looking for and experimenting with different free Windows Media Player alternatives for playing videos. Below are the best 3 that I found and now use.

So why is playing digital videos so difficult?

Woman watching video on laptopThere are many, many different video formats. As well as the main formats there are many different ways of compressing videos, which can sometimes make them easier to download, but harder to play.

Digital videos are also made up of two different elements: audio and visuals. Sometimes you will notice that Windows Media Player only plays the audio from a video and not the visuals, or less commonly the visuals are okay and there are problems with the sound.

You will also notice that players such as Windows Media Player sometimes have to download extra “codecs” in order to play certain videos. Sometimes the new codec will sort the problem out and sometimes it won’t.

#1: Winamp

Winamp Media Player has been around for years. Like many players, it started out with a focus on audio music but later expanded into video.

I have always had a soft spot for WinamWinamp Media Player version 5.552p, it manages to be both usable and customizable and generally speaking it is a reliable player. I also like the fact that there is an open source element to it, in that people send in their self-designed skins, add-ons and visualizations for you to use.

If you need to play a wide range of video formats, however, especially the more obscure ones, then you might be better off with one of the two other video players in my list, which are less flashy, but more able to cope with less common video formats. DOWNLOAD

#2: VLC Media Player

This relatively small piece of software can do pretty much anything that you ask of it. There are no fancy frills with the VLC Media Player, but it delivers the goods.

As well as being able to play a multitude of video formats, it can handle DVDs too, so if you find yourself wanting to play a DVD on a computer with the hardware to play DVDs, bA screenshot of VLC Media Player v. 1.0.6 playing the video film: Sintel ut not the software, you can download the VLC player and away you go.

There are lots of other things that you can do with the VLC player too, including streaming options. I love this player, my only quibble might be that you have to be reasonably technically competent when it comes to doing more complex procedures with the player, other than just playing videos. DOWNLOAD

#3: GOM Media Player

This media player already comes with lots of codecs and can cope with most video formats that you might want to play. GOM Media Player

When it doesn't have the right codec, it will help you to download the appropriate one.

This player also has lots of nice little touches like allowing you to take screenshots of videos.

The GOM media player is less technically flexible than VLC Media Player in my experience, but it maybe looks a little more attractive and is more user friendly for the general user than the purely practical, VLC player. DOWNLOAD

Updated: 02/12/2013, PaulGoodman67
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Guest on 01/28/2013

cool info realy

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