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There's a lot to like about multi-format multimedia player Windows Media Player. With a sleek and stylish interface, and the ability to integrate your media for easy browsing, it's not difficult to see why it's a staple on most peoples' PCs.

There are, however, other multimedia players out there that really give Windows Media Player a run for its money though. Whether WMP isn't cutting it for you or you're simply looking to explore other options, you've got a lot of great players to choose from. There are a variety of different players out there to suit your own personal interests and needs.

Here are five free alternatives to Windows Media Player that support multiple file formats.

VLC media player

Hands-down one of the best multi-format media players out there, VLC supports a wide range of file formats. Beginner users will appreciate the simplicity of VLC's interface. More advanced users can take advantage of the player's hotkey support, as well as the ability to integrate VLC with web channel streaming services. Channels.com is a good example, which will give you access to a variety of different channels and programming such as ESPN and National Geographic. The player also plays BluRay and HD.

VLC Media Player is available for both PC and Mac.

UMPlayer

UMPlayer is based on another solid multimedia player, MPlayer. It's a player with a minimalist interface that's arguably more stylish than the player it was based on, which makes for a great user experience when listening to audio or watching videos. UMPlayer can play online TV and radio stations and offers a built-in search feature that lets you find videos in YouTube and stream music via Shoutcast. It's unlikely you'll have difficulties playing any media file, as this player includes more than 200 codecs. UMPlayer can also take screenshots of video files and supports subtitle downloads for foreign language movies.

UMPlayer is also available for both PC and Mac.

KMPlayer

Another multimedia player that supports a large range of formats, KMPlayer is also incredibly light on resources. This makes it the perfect player for PC users with little space to spare. KMPlayer boasts a minimalist interface with subtle aesthetic touches. One of these involves the player's color changing with every new track played. KMPlayer is highly customizable as well, with the ability to choose skins, add plug-ins and change playback options. You can even change picture properties, sharpen video images, apply filters and take video captures through the processing tools KMPlayer provides.

PotPlayer

If you want a powerful player with loads of configuration settings, give PotPlayer a look. PotPlayer includes an impressive list of built-in audio and video codecs that will let you play almost any media format you can imagine. It also hast great quality playback and resumes playback wherever you left off watching your video files. In addition, audio filters and support for subtitles come included in PotPlayer. Just note that this player is a little heavy on system resources, so it requires a higher spec PC to get the most out of it.

SPlayer

If lightweight and simple are your preferences, give SPlayer a look. Although its interface might seem a little dull to some, it's perfect for minimalists. SPlayer is also easy to use. It supports an enormous list of file formats so you can watch virtually any movie you own and listen to song files from any online store. Since the interface is so basic, it doesn't interfere with the media you're trying to enjoy. In addition, SPlayer comes with a few extra perks, such as an audio and video equalizer, a screenshot feature and three interface options.

Are there any other free media players that you think deserve a mention? Tell us below!

Commented

  • samr |
    06/03/12
    samr

    comment

  • zip |
    07/03/12
    zip

    GOM Player...does it all and you don't even mention it.

  • farhad |
    07/03/12
    farhad

    hy thanks.

  • Amber Sass |
    08/03/12
    Amber Sass

    Hi zip,

    GOM Player is also a great alternative to Windows Media Player, most certainly. Thanks for pointing that out!

  • Tim Benjamin |
    08/03/12
    Tim  Benjamin

    I have not tried this product yet, so I will wait till I have tried it, then I can comment on it`s use, until then!

  • krishna |
    12/03/12
    krishna

    kkkkk

  • Taph |
    12/03/12
    Taph

    Media Player Classic Home Cinema is totally awesome.

  • Urchart |
    15/03/12
    Urchart

    Good

  • abdulloinab |
    15/03/12
    abdulloinab

    iliktocallmymethar

  • salah uddin |
    15/03/12
    salah uddin

    dell

  • Martiny |
    14/06/12
    Martiny

    KMP used to be my first choice. it has better output but a lot of settings, which scares people. Recently use Splayer a lot because it can get subtitle automatically from shootern.cn.

  • umair malik |
    13/08/12
    umair malik

    great

  • siliconguy |
    06/09/12
    siliconguy

    umm for those of you who are holding on wmp(windows media player) well stop it it will not give you the pleasure you need and start using gom or vlc much better...........

  • Marko |
    10/09/12
    Marko

    KM Player is the best.

  • Hal2000 |
    11/09/12
    Hal2000

    I want sharpening in a player. MOST dont have it. Or have a very weak setting.

    the only ones that will work are VLC, and splayer for me.

  • ali bugti |
    07/10/12
    ali bugti

    i like the kmp

  • toru |
    12/10/12
    toru

    KMP is easy thats way I like, VLC helps you for sound seems like GOM

  • Morton |
    30/10/12
    Morton

    google chrome is trying to take over windows media player it also stopped my adobe flash player.

  • andrew |
    15/11/12
    andrew

    i love gom player

  • aof |
    03/12/12
    aof

    it's great

  • andy |
    04/12/12
    andy

    Pity there isn't a Media Player that doesn't try to think for me, and as usual, gets it wrong. Maybe it's me. But I like to be in control and know where things are and what they do. That way I can organise my life , and I like it that way. If I could get Windows Media Player V 10 back on my System 7 I would be happy.

  • MailLo Elhamy |
    09/12/12
    MailLo Elhamy

    Splayer is always the best in all ways since it came in English, i'm using it for more than 4 years or more. it has all what anyone needs, and the configurations are the best ever, it also have a feature to search and download automatically the translation of whatever you are watching.

    it have to be on the top of this list

  • vsselvan |
    13/12/12
    vsselvan

    thanks its very useful

  • tuntunaung |
    15/12/12
    tuntunaung

    like

  • ZEE 07 |
    18/12/12
    ZEE 07

    Keep it up..

  • mal21371 |
    05/01/13
    mal21371

    Been using SMPlayer for 2 years now, never had an issue with codecs or playing files as far as i'm concerned WMP doesn't rate a mention in my book

  • Josh |
    06/01/13
    Josh

    bsplayer mate.....Is the best!

  • Black Flag |
    08/01/13
    Black Flag

    GOM is exactly the same as VL douches. Its open source tech, with slight aesthetic differences and other minor individualized nuances

  • Pedja |
    26/01/13
    Pedja

    BS Player is the BEST!!!!!!

  • Steve Bender |
    27/01/13
    Steve Bender

    The best all-in-one media play would have to be XBMC. I have all my DVDs and MP3s and Pics on a home "server" and am using XBMC to access them. Totally free and beautiful best alternative to BOXEE.

  • masruri3 |
    01/02/13
    masruri3

    GomPlayer with codec from k-lite mega cedec pack, is the best player. I found some problems while playing some videos on VLC, KMP, and media player classic home sinema. like my video playing but nothing displayed only sound that can i heard

  • Jake |
    14/02/13
    Jake

    Potplayer is the best! It plays everything you throw at it, has a cool interface and is very easy to use. It is certainly better than vlc, gom, splayer or any other media player out there. Kmplayer was my favourite at first but recently its progress has stalled and gone wrong so i switched to potplayer.

    "Just note that this player is a little heavy on system resources, so it requires a higher spec PC to get the most out of it"

    The statement above is absolutely not true, potplayer is one of the lightest on system resources. I have used it on an acer mini and a dual-core laptop with 2 gb ram and it works very well i.e is light, even on these low spec machines.

  • MONIR |
    08/03/13
    MONIR

    LIKE POT PLAYER

  • kokolusoe |
    10/03/13
    kokolusoe

    pot player is good

  • chair |
    14/05/13
    chair

    VLC do not play some files, KMP player is my choice but it sound abit not natural.Pot player is Okie but I wont reinstall . HMC look ugly but it sound like real >all the Pictures run the same to me (mean I dont see any different in quality)

  • pam |
    10/06/13
    pam

    pot player is the best i use it on an old 1GB ram and still works great,little slow to start

  • Loverboyarfan |
    26/06/13
    Loverboyarfan

    I love KM Player,KM Player is the best................

  • ToddS |
    26/06/13
    ToddS

    NexGen Media Player, very minimalist

    I deleted KMPlayer as I installed NexGen. I dunno, KMPlayer had TOO MANY OPTIONS for me. Playback Options, Loops, Skins, Codecsm Subtitles. Heck right click during a playback and a very long menu of options opens, not to mention the Home page of the player itself. Looked like a Digital Picture Album gone bad. Just too much for me. I prefer, have held onto and still use VLC Player for PC and Mobile

  • Nikos |
    02/07/13
    Nikos

    bsplayer is the best!

  • Dildog |
    13/08/13
    Dildog

    Well, if we talk about sound quality none of the above players should even be listed.

  • GOGI |
    20/08/13
    GOGI

    The best is KMPlayer

  • Mahin |
    23/08/13
    Mahin

    Windows media player is the best

  • PsiloCyber |
    06/10/13
    PsiloCyber

    MPC-HC (x64 even) has always been my fave, all the way from the Win98 times. ;)

  • Adwrells |
    15/01/14
    Adwrells

    KMP player ,,video processing sometimes slow it's because of ur machine status ....

20/04/14
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