Windows 8 comes jam-packed with productivity enhancing and entertaining apps, but not all of them are the best you can do. Video playing especially is quite disappointing since the Video App focuses more on pushing users to buy movies and TV shows through the Windows Store rather than seamlessly play on-disk content. However, you aren’t bound to only use Windows 8’s Video App, which means that you can download and use other apps to play your videos.
So, without further ado, here are five of the top free video players you can add to your Windows 8 OS.
1) GOM Media Player
GOM Media Player may only support common video formats like MP4 and AVI, but its sleek easy-to-use design and numerous codecs make it a good addition to a Windows 8 device. This video player has won the hearts of over 40 million users through numerous advanced features, such as screen and audio capture and video playback speed control. In addition, the app features a Codec Finder service that allows you to find codecs to play files that are not supported by the default system. Specs aside, GOM Media Player can play broken or incomplete AVI files smoothly, so you won’t need an alternative video player to watch such files.
KMPlayer is a versatile lightweight player that supports a large range of video formats, including Digital Video, Real Video, Flash and 3D. The video player doesn’t take up much space on your desktop and comes with a minimalistic interface. As a result, you can easily and quickly play your videos. In addition, it hosts a variety of functions, including speech processing functions, image resizing, live equipment support, and a video capture function. These aside, KMPlayer offers you the chance to customize your player through skins. You can even make your player change colors with every new track or set one of the many visualizations offered with the software.
3) VLC Player
VLC Player is one of the strongest and most popular free video players out there. Many sing praises for it because it’s a free player that comes with powerful features, such as streaming audio or video over a server, playing broken or incomplete files, and customizable skins and toolbars. In addition, the video player app is yet to face a type of file it can’t download thanks to the numerous codecs available with the initial version you download. Aside from these specs, VLC Player supports 15 types of media inputs and allows you manipulate audio and video output through filters. However, what truly makes this player worth downloading and installing is the large amount of support offered to users. There are hundreds of websites and wikis that complement the app’s default Help Files. So, you will never have to worry about pressing the wrong buttons.
4) Total Video Player
Total Video Player may not be as strong as the previous three video players, but it is a powerful video playing app that supports a wide range of files, such as mp4, flash, GIF and HD Mpeg TS. Many criticize it for not supporting subtitles and for not allowing audio tracks to be changed, but it makes up for its shortcomings with its straightforward, easy-to-use interface as well as a smooth performance. So don’t shy away from adding it to your Windows 8 device, especially if you don’t require advanced features like audio and video manipulation.
5) IQmango 3D Video Player
IQmango 3D Video Player is a great addition to your Windows 8 device. It allows you to play a wide variety of files and features a simple user interface. However, what makes this app special on this list is its ability to convert 2D movies to 3D quickly, smoothly and for free. You can also play your favorite 2D titles in 3D mode on both your PC and portable devices and in one of six 3D output techniques, such as Anaglyph or Side by Side. However, you will need NIVIDIA 3D glasses to watch the videos you play.
Each of these is available for download through their respective official websites as well as other platforms. So, give them a whirl right away and see which of these is most suitable for your needs.
Dmitri Blackthorn is a software developer and reviewer who primarily focuses on digital music, video and DVD software. Visit his current software projects – free music converter and unlimited DVD copy for Windows computer.