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You've probably noticed by now the large number of good, free video players available. We've decided to compare contenders KMPlayer and VLC Media Player and see how they fare.

vlc.jpgFirst off, let's look at the interface. KMPLayer is fully customizable and, like Winamp, allows you to open multiple windows for controls, playlist or equalizer. You can move these around and adjust them to your liking. VLC has a very basic and intuitive interface, but also supports a number of skins. Each program offers a basic menu and hotkeys, giving you quick access to the playback functions.

Compatibility with a great deal of video formats is what makes both of these video players extremely popular. However VLC Media Player probably has the edge here, because, Real video being an exception, it seems to cover all existing video files. It can also play incomplete videos and will try to play an unknown format in its raw form. Each player has a large array of audio and video filters to process and enhance your videos. However, KMPlayer adds a feature for effects like aspect ratio or colors, to improve playback quality, not available in VLC.

km.jpgA feature I appreciate on both players is subtitle support. There is a good number of movie websites out there that offer subtitles in any language. You can quickly upload these in both VLC and KMPlayer. I was disappointed to find out though that VLC does not handle subtitles for the most common video format, AVI. KMPlayer appears to be the expert in this field. You can add multiple subtitles, set margins, rotations and effects, and adjust the font size.

All in all, I prefer using VLC, just because it has hotkeys and can be launched extremely quickly. However, if you need to set subtitles for that obscure Lithuanian thriller or if you're a control freak when it comes to audio and video processing, KMPLayer will suit you more. Which one do you prefer and, more importantly, why?

Commented

  • Jan304 |
    22/01/07
    Jan304

    I have no idea what version of VLC you tried out (you should mention version numbers...) but my VLC version (0.8.6a) seems to perfectly handle subtitles in combination with an AVI file (I tried out divx & xvid).

    Just to let you know.

  • visitor |
    24/01/07
    visitor

    >> just because it has hotkeys and can be launched extremely quickly. I just wonder if you know there is an option for hotkey as well as global hotkey in kmplayer.

    >> It can also play incomplete videos and will try to play an unknown format in its raw form. I read that The KMPlayer has this features too.

    >> However VLC Media Player probably has the edge here, because, Real video being an exception, it seems to cover all existing video files. It's unfair as you did not provide any reasonable result for the comment.

  • Cyril Roger |
    25/01/07
    Cyril Roger

    Thanks for those comments. KM Player and VLC are very similar apps and both are excellent video players.

    Concerning my point with subtitles, I was merely pointing out that VLC does not support subtitle formats like .rst, .psb, .usf, .ssf, while KM Player does. I have also had problems inserting subtitles to AVI files in the past.

    As to the hotkeys, as I point out in the second paragraph both players do support them. I merely prefer how they are used in VLC and the simple and quick access in the interface.

    AS to the formats supported, here are the complete lists for each player. For VLC: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/features.html

    For KMPLayer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_KMPlayer

    I prefer VLC because I have never had any troubles opening any video file with it. As I mention, both players are compatible with a large array of formats, both audio and video.

    I hope this answers your comments. I don't believe any player is better than the other. What I gave in this post is a fairly personal opinion, based on my use of both apps. This is not a definitive view and I encourage you to give your opinion on both programs and explain why you like one more.

  • Jay Trout |
    25/05/07
    Jay Trout

    VLC does, in fact, support subtitles for AVI. I am about to try KMPLayer for the first time. Just wanted to add this since I'm a big fan of VLC.

  • bob |
    08/06/07
    bob

    KMP can play .rmvb (which alot of anime videos use) and .flv (which is what Youtube uses)

    so KMP VS VLC

    KMP WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jahir |
    23/06/07
    Jahir

    i did not find any much difference. both are ok.

  • jackdixie |
    22/07/07
    jackdixie

    the KMPlayer is way superior. but a reason to use vlc is for making streams or to check if a surtan movie plays any better in it. I say use both of them!

  • alt-tab » KMPlayer, el mejor de los reproductores. |
    24/07/07
    alt-tab » KMPlayer, el mejor de los reproductores.

    [...] Porqué alguien que utiliza VLC debería probar KMPlayer? (ni hablar los que usan BSPlayer o WMP o peor, el reproducto de Nero…) [...]

  • Chriss |
    29/01/08
    Chriss

    Although I was a dedicated VLC user, i must say that KMP (v2.9.3.1428) is way ahead in terms of features. I really love the audio resync, where you can speed or delay the audio up to 20ms.

    KMP is also more stable, point in case being: - In KMP you can fast forward flv files, not possible in VLC - KMP handles all wmv effortlessly, while some have a problem in VLC - KMP handles both .rmvb and .rm files unlike VLC - KMP is more flexible for the power user in that you can change/ customize virtually everything.

    I must say that KMP beats VLC in all areas except when it comes to streaming functionality. You can compare the two here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_media_players

    thanks.

  • SAR |
    30/01/08
    SAR

    I love posters like Jahir that post spam, saying things like blah blah blah is WAY superior, people need to elaborate in the future.

    Personally some site like Kmplayers that can't even put up a site in english and make it look like something I don't care anything about.

    No website = CRAP :)

  • Chriss |
    30/01/08
    Chriss

    SAR, please get your facts right :). KMP is a Korean developed software. It has actually been translated to English and many other languages because of its tons of features. The "K" of KMP simply indicates the initial character of the developer's family name (Kang).

    Secondly, KMP does have an English website. Check it here: http://www.kmplayer.com/forums/index.php

  • fred |
    13/05/08
    fred

    Americans can´t make something as great as KMPlayer... for free.

    Sad but true!

    Lack of inteligence??? hehehe

  • dlgils |
    22/06/08
    dlgils

    Can anyone determine how to assemble a time-sequenced playlist using either player. Sort of like your cable-TV network programming guide.

  • mayank |
    04/07/08
    mayank

    @bob nonsense : VLC does play .flv and .rm so jus shaddap and dont spam !

    btw i do prefer vlc coz of the simple interface .. love it !

  • raul |
    17/07/08
    raul

    ummm..... KMP player supports more video formats thn vlc n every reason u gave tht vlc is better thn kmp well kmp can do it too

  • junaid |
    20/07/08
    junaid

    I like KMPlayer because it has loads of audio video controls. VLC is plain shit. Its true it can play most formats too but thats about it.It's horrible when it comes to full satisfaction and enjoyment.

  • Roy |
    28/07/08
    Roy

    Both Players do not cover all formats , somethimes get updates by Internet - all format must be in. Both Player are looking for Internet connection even for Mp3 - and send some info . Vlc play partially or broken archives , fix em , but do not save what fixed. All Player are part of a mania for collecting info for us.

  • crunchy |
    02/08/08
    crunchy

    I MUCH prefer KMP. For the last couple of years, I have been unable to get sound out of any video in VLC. I gave up a year or so ago.

  • inki |
    11/09/08
    inki

    vlc kept locking up my pc on certain files.been using kmp due to positive posts about it here and so far no problems with pc freezing all in all im impressed with kmp.

  • catalin |
    20/09/08
    catalin

    when i play a 3gp video from my phone in vlc the sound dosent work because it is in .amr , and in kmplayer it works !!!!!

  • Leif Oldhart |
    22/10/08
    Leif Oldhart

    After trying many players over the years and living with Windows Media Player (for some odd reason), I discovered KMPlayer yesterday and was amazed at the overall experience it provides. The interface is sufficient and has an upbeat look, but it doesn't intrude or distract as so many do, and I tried several skins. I tested all my favorite porn clips as well as a hoard of YouTube downloads in both FLV format and the WMV files I'd converted them to so they'd work in WMP. Then I started on music. There are a few odd but nice touches, and the most important thing, besides the wide range of formats supported, is the ease of use for the novice. KMPlayer is very intuitive; you might use it "out of the box" and never want more, BUT... just a right mouse click away are enough nested menus to keep you busy for a couple hours learning about the multitude of in-depth abilities KMPlayer has: Extensive key commands, filters up the ass, "image processing," change size or embed into desktop, capture... that just touches the surface.

    From my experience, VLC is probably nearly as well-rounded as KMPlayer, but there's something not quite easy to describe about the all-round "gestalt" of KMPlayer that stands it head and shoulders above ANY other media player!

  • Queixoso |
    31/10/08
    Queixoso

    I have been using both Mac OSX and Windows for long time, and even though i feel sorry to say it, its simply unpossible (at least for now) to even think of comparing KMP with VLC, once KMP beats VLC with no doubt...

    Maybe the only advantage of VLC is the wide range of files that it can handle. But coming to subtitles (like said on the article) Kmp can do anything (resync, fps conversion, put it up down middle or whatever).

    I wont get into other sides here, but i cant say im not realy turned of by the fact that -unfortunately- theres no such thing as a KMP replacement for Mac users. Big shame for us.

  • honcho |
    15/11/08
    honcho

    well tbh kmplayer is graet for hd content via mvk container and vlc is best for all other formats and streamin eh

  • yugi |
    19/11/08
    yugi

    KM player has lot of features and it surpasses VLC player in playing rmvb files. But my KM player2.9.3.1432 in its full screen, hangs/throws error if minimized or backgrounded by other windows while playing. Thought of letting you know this bug to make KM better.

  • pushpraj |
    22/11/08
    pushpraj

    there r some problrm in both player both r not perfect kmp hangs and problem in playeg vob files

  • Cernunnos |
    24/11/08
    Cernunnos

    i prefer KMPlayer. i like the look and feel of it better, and that in full screen you can just slide your cursor over to the bottom/top to reveal the tools, instead of having to double-click.

    i really cant see any feature that vlc has that KMP lacks...?

  • Tom Clarke |
    24/11/08
    Tom Clarke

    Well, one problem with KMPlayer is the fact that it's only available for Windows. Due to the way it's coded, it'll probably never be available on Mac and this is a major drawback for me and plenty of others.

  • Eric |
    02/12/08
    Eric

    I think both the KMP & VLC are perfect. Just picked the one you like best, after all this two amazing Player are all free. If your an advance user or very picky in handling your Audios and Videos, then you better use KMP. KMP has lots of this out of this world settings & Controls which i liked. Or if your a novice user and don*t want any hassel thinking what*s the use or functions of this controls then you better use VLC. VLC has a basic look and easy to use.

  • DIMITRIS |
    16/12/08
    DIMITRIS

    kmplayer can play files with DTS sound Vlc cant or has a bug

    so ... kmplayer vs VLC ... klm for sure

    unless u dont wanna view any HD movies ;)

  • Rickco |
    24/12/08
    Rickco

    I have been using VLC for a while, and just start using kmplayer last week. I have found that kmplayer can handle mkv files (lots of anime video files are in this format) much better. Not only you can manipulate subtitles with kmplayer, it also plays mkv smoother than VLC.

    It's true they both handle a variety of format, but when it comes to mkv files, I do prefer kmplayer over VLC.

  • likhitha |
    31/12/08
    likhitha

    in my view point vlc is better.why because there is no option to streaming a multimedia to another computer

  • jonny |
    06/01/09
    jonny

    i used to love vlc, coz it kinda plays everything i need. but the default hotkeys just suck big time. i mean, why they have + and - vor play speed? who needs that on a regular basis? w hy not have them for volume as default? and search? combos like alt+right ie...OMG.. so you have to customize. which i did, and it worked for a while, then suddenly it didnt anymore and i had to customize again..durrr..

  • Navid |
    04/05/09
    Navid

    When it comes to how these two softwares are being processed by your CPU/GPU, VLC will fall behind.

  • Eatme |
    11/05/09
    Eatme

    VLC: dubassess [sic]

    The KMplayer(its not just"kmplayer." That is another mplayer frontend for linux.): does everything VLC does, but better and cooler.

    if you need more brainwashing propaganda, please go watch those biased Apple commercials. VLC(PC), The KMPlayer(pwnage_)

  • Poluser |
    25/06/09
    Poluser

    I used to use VLC basically for everything for as long as I can remember, but recentely switched (after looking a lot over the Web) to KMP. Reason? It's the ONLY FREE application compatible at this time with PureVideo HD for NVidia graphic cards owners (in Windows at least). I've played dozens of 1080p movies with it with less than 5% CPU usage (this figure may change depending on your CPU and graphic card model).

    Honest, I didn't know at all about KMP until I started looking for apps compatible with Purevideo HD.

    Oh! and by the way, I'm using Windows 7 RC1. Just follow the setup guide for Vista and it will work.

    Yes I know, NVidia has implemented Purevideo HD in linux (called VDPAU) and it works well.

  • Hariharasudhan |
    10/07/09
    Hariharasudhan

    Hi guys, First of all i have both the players installed as each has its own ups and downs as many of you have pointed out. From my experience,vlc excels in, 1.Its simple and intuitive interface.Also the short cut keys are very simple for example to alter playback speeds its just + or - but in kmp its quite complicated involving a three key combination 2.Though both the players startup very quickly,my vote goes for vlc as it is the first to render the video.Moreover vlc is much lighter than kmp(this may prove important especially if you watch a lot of movies) Now coming to the plus points of kmp, 1.Its video clarity and overall effect is much better than vlc.this is apparent especially for hd movies or vids 2.Its seek facility is much sharper than vlc that tends to drag at times.This is especially true for rm files. Thus as you can see both these players are extremely good and to tell the truth you wont have the heart to uninstall either after having used them.My suggestion, vlc for videos and kmp for movies!!

  • IEF1962 |
    17/07/09
    IEF1962

    I USE BOTH VLC AND KM....BOTH ARE GOOD, DEPENDING ON YOUR USER PREFERENCE

  • IEF1962 |
    17/07/09
    IEF1962

    IF I HAD TO PICK ONE, PURELY PERSONAL CHOICE, VLC, FORGET REALMED, MICRO MEDI PLA, DIVX, VLC 10/10, KM PLAYER 9/10. JUST MY PERSONAL CHOICE!:)

  • Ujjwol |
    15/09/09
    Ujjwol

    VLC is better because it is opensource, cross-platform and works for any simple user as it has website...

  • srivatsan |
    20/11/09
    srivatsan

    I like kmp cos it has more audio and video controls than any other player. i have been using this for more than 3 years. VLC does not have good skins. Even though There are some problems on kmp in my windows 7 its only minor and i hope they are taken care in next update.

  • hellobingo |
    04/12/09
    hellobingo

    Both are good in format support but VLC is fast coparig to KMPLAYER File opening speed. I love the way VLC opens a file .

  • Farshid |
    05/12/09
    Farshid

    hi ! both are OK but lets consider them when a special codec is installed ! I'm A big fan of VLC playing any kind of movies and other video files !

    i have problem with 3gp files ! they have no sound !

    so first we have to see which codec is most compatible with which player then discuss them !

    I myself think that if a full codec pack (multiple packs) are installed on you PC then VLC will beat KM ! (Just My Idea)

  • Beno |
    23/12/09
    Beno

    I've been using VLC player for years and like it very much but I just tried to create a playlist for the first time and VLC has a mind of its own. It does not keep the playlist in the same order when saved and re-opened. It is most infuriating. I can save an m3u file and manually edit it in notepad but hey... for an otherwise great app the VLC playlist feature sucks big time.

  • manoj |
    28/12/09
    manoj

    KMplayer is anytime Best...

  • Ryan |
    02/02/10
    Ryan

    KMplayer.. definitely...

  • zelin81 |
    14/02/10
    zelin81

    mam problem z tym glupim rozszerzeniem pliku sciagneełem film z neta i nie mam w nim dzwieku moze ktos we jaki codek potrzebuje od dzwieku aby glos byl plik mkv czy cos takiego

  • LeLe |
    20/02/10
    LeLe

    Where KMPlayer wins clearly is the HD-Playback! Thquality of H264 codec in vlc is not the best of the best :) Nad u cant change codecs in VLC they are intern.

  • AMIR |
    25/03/10
    AMIR

    THANKS

  • Yatin |
    09/04/10
    Yatin

    KM Player is the best video player out there.. I'll stake my life on this! ;)

    Simple to use, no hiccups, plays every video format out there !!!

    Download km player if you wana watch videos and or music videos!

    HEEEHA !!!

  • har |
    22/04/10
    har

    km player plays my mkv files faster

24/07/14
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