Even though it’s possible to install third-party codec packs such as the Windows 8 Codecs Pack to add support for popular audio and video formats, many users prefer third-party media players that support all audio and video formats out of the box.
When it comes to third-party media players, VLC is probably the best, if not the best, video player around for Windows. The strength of VLC is lies in its ability to open almost all audio and video formats out there. This open source player also offers advanced features and options that you don’t see in Windows Media Player.
Users who aren’t perfectly happy with VLC and don’t mind trying out new media player should check out UMPlayer. UMPlayer, short for Universal Media Player, is a powerful audio and video player with some interesting features. To start with, it supports over 270 audio and video formats out of the box. The interface isn’t as impressive as Windows Media Player but it’s definitely better than VLC and other media players.
•Supports over 270 audio and video formats
•Search YouTube and play your favourite videos within the player
•Search on OpenSubtitles for subtitles
•Audio and video equalizer
•Create, edit, and save playlist
•Stream SHOUTcast internet radio
As with VLC and GOM, UMPlayer also lets you access various settings and controls via keyboard shortcuts. Another cool thing is that it allows you customize the default keyboard shortcuts. You can view and change default keyboard shortcuts under Preferences.
Vide Preview feature is another nice handy feature of UMPlayer which automatically takes a bunch of screenshots with information such as total size of the video file, resolution, video format, video bitrate, audio bitrate, audio rate, length and aspect ratio of the video file. This feature comes in handy when you wish to share the snapshots of a video file with detailed information about the video file with your family or friends before sharing or uploading the video file.
Users who often visit YouTube to watch videos will find this player useful as it lets you search YouTube and open YouTube videos within the player. In other words, you don’t need to switch to your web browser or YouTube app to search and watch videos. Use the search box on the upper right side of the player to search and open YouTube videos.
Another worth mentioning feature is its ability to search subtitles on OpenSubtitles from within the player.
The current version of UMPlayer sports a Mac-style skin which can be changed to any of the available seven skins. A Metro-style (skin name is Black) is also available for users who love Windows Phone and Windows 8’s modern interface.
Overall, it’s a powerful audio and video player available for Windows. If you haven’t tried UMPlayer before, we recommend you install and explore this player right now. And if you’re looking for a good media player app for Windows 8 and Windows RT, check out Multimedia8 app.