What do you use to play back your fav vids? VLC, maybe KLite Codec Pack? What are the differences that really make the differences among the variety of media players that roam the wide open interwebs?
I remember a time, it was the year 2000, computer world over were supposed to be failing everywhere and the world would be thrown back to the stone ages. I had gotten my first PC a few years before along with my first bootleged movie, “The Matrix” and my uncle showed me how to play back videos in Windows Media Player (the old school one that was a perfect square box). Soon after I visited my cousins in Miami and i was introduced to a format called “rm” that needed to be played back in a player called “Real Player” Now the video was horrible at best, but i did use the player for playing by my Matrix CD and I noticed that the picture had become dramatically clearer compared with them it was played back in Windows Media Player. That’s where i became curious about why this was so.
Bypassing the technical details, i will opt to just go through the general points. There are 2 kinds of media players, at the top spots; the “Codec Packs” and the “Stand Alone Players”.
The Codec Packs
The best known codec packs, at present are K-Lite Codec Pack, Win7 Codec Pack/Vista Codec Pack and the Combined Community Codec Pack (aka CCCP). These all follow the model of installing external codecs into the systems that can be used by other applications that are on the system, other than the media player bundled with the codec pack (usually Media Player Classic).These tend to be very flexible but do a lot of system modification but result in system wide improvements in usability, such as the built in Windows Media Player being able to handle all the formats the codec pack supports or video encoders being able to see all the streams on files like MKV and OGG.
The All In One Media Player
The all in one media players are the ones with all the codecs built into the player itself, not getting into system related settings and expanding system capabilities and not junking everything up as some codec packs do. Now with regard to this category, the most well known player is VLC, thou not really the best is multiplatform, operating on Linux and Mac besides Windows. The best of the all in ones I’ve seen is one called KM-Player, another free but Windows only app, with functionality resembling the good ole’ Winamp before it became adware. However, it is incredibly flexible and super fast and improves rendering and video quality dramatically.