As good as it may be, Windows Media Player is still not the best. Long time fans will know that WMP does not support all the media formats out there and there are plenty of times where you have to source elsewhere just to play that particular media file.
Here we have gathered a list of media players that can play (almost) every other formats.
VLC is one player that need little or no introduction. If there is any media files that you can’t play, the first thing you must think of is VLC. From media formats like MP3, AC3, MPEG-3 to MPEG-4, H.264, DivX etc, VLC supports them all. It can also be used to convert media files from one format to another, and improve the compression ratio. It can act as a streaming server and you can see online videos using IPv4 (mostly used) or IPv6 protocol.
VLC is free to download/use and exists for almost every platforms, including the iPad and iPhone.
Supported OS: Almost all Operating Systems.
Media Player Classic is exclusively meant for Windows. Though it looks similar to Media Player v6.4, it has many additional features. It can even be used to implement a Home Theatre. Removal of tearing in video is another feature. It also supports EVR (Enhanced Video Renderer). Creation of minidump when MPC HC crashes, shuttle PN31 remote control support, multi-monitor configuration, pixel shader to convert BT601 – BT701, YV12 Chroma Up sampling pixel shader are some other features. Some of the supported audio and video formats are WAV, WMA, OGG, AU, AIF, AIFC, MOV, SND, AIFF, MIDI, MPEG, MPG, MP2, AC3, DTS, ASX, MP3, M3U, PLS, ASF, WM, WMA, WMV, AVI, CDA, JPEG, JPG, GIF, WAX, PNG, BMP, D2V, VOB, MP4, SWF, QT, FLV.
Supported OS: Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista/7
Moovida is more than just a simple media player. It is a feature rich software that allows you to organize your digital media in a slick way. It offers enriched media library with which you can import media from local folders, network devices or even from the internet. The Videos Galore feature supports a wide variety of formats including DivX, avi, wmv, mkv, asf, flv, mov, h264 and ogg, Moovida is available in over 20 languages. Moovida Immersed is a new feature which will support remote control navigation on your HDTV.
Supported OS: Windows and Linux
4. GOM Player
This player supports almost all CODECs and hence offers support for varied formats. In case you require an extra CODEC, GOM player will automatically direct you to the place where you can get one. It can play AVI files with broken index. It has a strong sub-title support with the major formats being SMI, SRT, RT, SUB (with IDX). You can create and work with your own playlists. It supports playlists similar to M3U, PLS and ASX. Screen Capture feature is also allowed and supports advanced features like customizing color, contrast and brightness. Some of the supported formats are gom, dat, avi, divx, k3g, asf, wm, wmx, wmp, wmv, wvx, ogm, mpeg, mpg, mpe, m1v, m2v, vob, mp4, 3gp, lmp4, skm, dmskm, mkv and ifo.
Supported OS : Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/NT
MPlayer is best known in Linux world, used as the backend for various media player. SMPlayer is the implementation of Mplayer in Windows. It comes with a simple GUI that allows you to control the functionality of MPlayer. One of the most interesting features of SMPlayer – it remembers the settings of all files you play. If you leave your movie half way, the next time you resume, it will restore to the same point you left it, and with the same settings: audio track, subtitles, volume…
Supported OS: Windows
6. KM Player
It lets you play almost everything easily. It can easily be customized. You can adjust the visualizations, add plug-ins and change its playback options. It supports a wide range of audio/video formats so that once installed, you won’t have to go for another player. KMPlayer has a small desktop footprint. It also sports a minimalist interface that makes video playback quick and hassle-free. Some of the supported formats are VCD, DVD, Ogg, MPEG-1/2/4, AVI, MKV, 3GP, OGM, WMV, Real Media and QuickTime .
Supported OS : Win2000/XP/2003/Vista/7
If all you want is the ability to play various media formats and not to install a new media player, then K-Lite Codec Pack is the one software that you are looking for.
The K-Lite Codec Pack is a collection of codecs files required to play all the popular audio and video formats, and even several less common formats. It integrates itself to the Windows Media Player so you can play (almost) any files with WMP.
It is always a good thing to be pampered with choices. Even when the Windows Media Player doesn’t recognize the file format, it doesn’t have to be the end of World for you. The above list of media player + codecs should get you on with your life. What other method do you use to play that file that is not recognized by your media player?