A media player was earlier a term
denoted to any computer software
that played multimedia files but
with the advent of portable device
it has even come to encompass the
wide variety of android and other
open source media players. The
media files generally include Audio
and Video files with a wide variety
of extensions. Listed below are
some of the most popular media
players on the basis of downloads
and compatibility.
10) MediaMonkey
Copyrighted by Ventis Media Inc,
MediaMonkey or MM is a digital
media player and a media library
application. Through the download
and additional plugins available
from the website it can be run in
compliance with many different
videos and other media formats. It
is a freeware program but the
version can be upgraded to “Gold”
license which lets you enhance its
skins, use extension scripts and
run third party plugins. It can play
APE, and WAV format. It also has
automatic volume adjustments
through Replay and MP3 Gain
which lets you work freely and not
bother about changing the volume
levels. It can easily be synced with
your Apple devices and the
MediaMonkey library scans your
hard drive on a regular basis for
new media files, these can also be
added manually. The current
version is MediaMonkey 4.1 which
was especially designed for a
better media playing experience
through android devices.
9) QuickTime
This is propriety multimedia
framework of Apple inc., and is a
pre requisite for Adobe Photoshop
and many other video editing
softwares. What gives it a subtle
edge over other media players is
the efficient handling of not just
digital audio and video but
panoramic views and JPEGs as well.
It is compatible with all OS be it
the Windows, Mac or open source
like Linux or Ubuntu. It can be
upgraded to QuickTime pro which
enables editing clips, merging
audios and video tracks. It also
gives you a virtual canvas to place
the clips on for advanced editing.
A large number of codecs work well
with QuickTime thus making it a
favorite amongst those who handle
different audio and video
extensions. The latest version is
QuickTime X or QuickTime Player
v10.x which allows online sharing,
screen recording, multiple export
options and magic mouse options.
8) iTunes
I dig it for the absolutely hypnotic
visualizations. On a completely
different note everything that
starts with an ‘i’ is known to be an
inextricable mixture of creativity
and compatibility. iTunes puts your
‘I’ devices into complete sync with
your personal collection. The most
recent version available for
upgrade is 11.0, it is even
available for windows however the
features offered are comparatively
less. You can surf the in-house i-
tunes store for podcasts,
audiobooks, music and even rent a
movie or stream the latest episode
of your favorite television show.
The most important features are;
the intelligent playlist which keeps
a record of your last played and
most played media and the sound
enhancement, which is much
better than the rest of the media
players. Crossfade is yet another
interesting feature and audio
normalization helps you in volume
7) Winamp
Its stable release *5.65 was
released just two weeks ago.
Written by Nullsoft, Winamp is now
a subsidiary of AOL. It is although
proprietary but a freeware or
shareware. Released in the year
1997 Winamp became popular for
its MP3 file sharing services,
extensible plugins, skins and
graphical soung interactive
visualizations. It was also the
pioneer supporter of OGG Vorbis.
Gapless playback, ReplayGain for
volume leveling are known to have
inspired many media players
thereon. Upon installation it
automatically scans your drive and
even detects full Unicode and
Unicode metadata files. It also
provides its users an SDK or
software development kit to create
different types of plugins. With
over 3000 available skins Winamp
has one of the best alterations for
aesthetic designs of the GUI or
graphical user interface. Did you
know? Winamp included hidden
features which they termed as
Easter eggs which are accessible
via random exploration or
undocumented clicks.
6) Miro
The Participatory culture
foundation came up with Miro
whose sole motive is to enable and
support creative, non-corporate and
independent ventures. That’s why
their primary project MIRO was
labeled as The Democracy Player or
the DTV. Miro streams video from
your RSS feeds and automatically
stores and play them. Miro
integrates A media player;
vlc,windows or quicktime and xine
or GStreamer for LINUX based
Operating System along with a RSS
new aggregator and and
podcatcher and finally a Bit Torrent
Client. Upon its release Mozilla
Firefox and The Pirate Bay gave a
download link for MIRO on their
first pages and Pirate Bay had a
message attached that read “We
love Free Software”. In May 2011 it
was deemed as the future of
television and the softonic gave it
9 out 10 stars. Being a freeware/
shareware MIRO is ever evoluting
through the valuable feedbacks of
those who lobby against the
capitalization of Freeware.
5) SMPlayer
SMplayer is yet another free
software, released under the terms
of GNU General Public License.
Released in the year 2006 its
stable version 0.8.5 was released
in May this year. It is generally
downloaded for its features which
includes; audio and video filters
and equalizer, subtitles settings
and internet fetch, it also has an
integrated YouTube browser, radio,
T.V and multiple speed playback.
It is available in over 30 languages
and remembers your previous
settings and time position so you
don’t have to rewind the media all
over again. It is compatible with
both windows and Linux based
operating system and is
distributed with a NSIS generated
setup. The installer is quite
powerful and can fetch the latest
MP3 codecs.
4) Banshee
Banshee or Sonance as it was
called till 2005 is an open source
media player (cross platform). It
uses GStreamer and works
seamlessly with OFF vorbis, MP3
and FLAC. It can also import CDs
and is compatible with Apple
devices as well as Android and
Creative’s Zen players. Alike iTunes
it includes album artwork fetching,
smart playlists, podcast support
and integration. Banshee
was released under the MIT
License which makes it a freeware/
shareware. The notable features
are Audioscrobbler, DAAP music
sharing, Metadata searcher uses
Musicbrainz to searches for missing
and supplementary metadata from
the library which even includes
album art. The current version is
3.0 which is a developmental
3) Media Player classic
Available in over 25 language
Media player classic is the third
most downloaded media player in
the virtual world. It is available in
the K-Lite Codec and the Combined
Community Codec Pack. It was
transcended into its current
freeware form under GUI it was
earlier a closed-source application.
One doesn’t require additional
plugins for external media playback
that just saves a lot of internet
surfing and downloading times for
codecs. The best probably is the
DirectShow which uses DirectShow
decoding filters. That gives a
higher rate of decoding MPEG-4
ASP, H-264 and Flash video
formats. The current stable version
is and the preview
version is which was
released a month back.
2) GOM
GOM or Gretech Online Movie
player is from South Korea. It was
originally meant for GOM-TV but its
ability to play broken media files
and find missing codecs using its
codec finder service made it one of
the most popular media player
outside South Korea (if you are
wondering what is with the paw
then the word GOM means bear in
Korean). It is really good for
playing media with subtitles as it
offers to support over 12 subtitles
formats including Unicode, srt, sub,
idx as well as embedded subtitle
formats like ASF and MKV. The
most significant feature as
mentioned is definitely the codec
finder which uses GUID which in
case the codec is not apt will
direct you to the suitable
webpage. The current version is and there are over 23
million users of GOM with over
6,000 recorded per week
downloads by CNET.
1) VLC
I am yet to encounter a list which
doesn’t include VLC media player
in its top 10. VLC is the most
popular portable open-source
cross- platform freeware. It is also
a streaming media player. It
supports audio-video compression
methods and numerous file formats
including DVD, CD and streaming
protocols. The very first version had
remarkable lists of module which
went beyond 350 crossing what
every other available media player
had to offer. It can stream over
network and can also transcode
multimedia files. Released in the
year 2001 it is now available in
over 53 languages, the current
stable release is 2.0.8. Licensed
under the GNU it has a record
download of more than 1,50,000
downloads per week. In May 2012,
VLC team has started working
towards making it an android
friendly app, a beta version is
however available for download. I
had to exclude some of the media
players which I personally like
although you are free to try


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