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I'm looking for a media player for my new PC. In the past I have been using the include bloatware, but I want something that is better than that.

The requirements I have for the software is this:

Ability to run .mkv, .wmv, .mp4 and similar video file types

Ability to also read DVD and Blu-Ray

Simple to use (Adding subtitles, going back to menu quickly etc.)

Works every time in Windows 8.1 (Possible also Windows 10)

FREE!

Somethings I like but is not a requirement:

Runs lightly (i.e. Runs without any problems on one monitor and I can still use Firefox with 10-ish tabs open and/or OpenOffice without slowing down (Hardware that matters: Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, SSD)).

Can also play .mp3, .wav and mayba also .m4a music files, but is not important.

I have looked at VLC player, but wanted to know if it can what I want for a media player and if there was some other(better) media players out there.

  • 3
    VLC for sure. I'm not 100% confident but i'd be damn suprised if it couldnt do everything you've listed here. – Trotski94 Nov 12 '15 at 18:04
  • Media Player Classic is also a good contender. Its not flexible as VLC but far more simple and user friendly. Does everything in your list and works fine on 8.1 and 10. Been using it since XP times never had a problem. mpc-hc.org – ouzture Nov 13 '15 at 8:48
  • VLC is a great program for that matter but I'm a fan of the KODI project because of it's design language and features. You can get a better look at here KODI.tv. I think it is one of the better media centers available (if not the best) and it handles all kind of files pretty well - also it is possible to create a movie database and add information from themoviedb.com for example - so all your movies / shows will have covers and information available :) – benjamin Nov 16 '15 at 10:25
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I think VideoLAN VLC has it all:

Simple, fast and powerful media player.

Plays everything: Files, Discs, Webcams, Devices and Streams.

Plays most codecs with no codec packs needed: MPEG-2, DivX, H.264, MKV, WebM, WMV, MP3...

Runs on all platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Unix...

Completely Free, no spyware, no ads and no user tracking.

Can do media conversion and streaming.

It supports a large list of video and audio formats, also streaming, playlists. In fact all the formats you mention: .mkv, .wmv, .mp4, .mp3, .wav, .m4a. Furthermore you can use it to watch DVDs. To watch Blu-Ray you need to install a plugin. See the VideoLAN page for more details about the supported formats.

Comparisons

Actually Wikipedia has a nice article about the comparison of different video players: Comparison of video player software.

VLC is still in the Top lists of several sites:

A more technical comparison: from techradar.com.

But in those lists is also another player which I never have used, PotPlayer, with very good references on lifehacker.com for example.

P.S.: I am not affiliated with VideoLAN, just a satisfied user, furthermore it is:

A project and a non-profit organization, composed of volunteers, developing and promoting free, open-source multimedia solutions

  • Very cool, thanks! I especially like the way it allows to control video speed. Very handy for those MOOC courses where instructors talk extra slowly... – S. Kolassa - Reinstate Monica Feb 16 '17 at 15:22

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