by KMPlayer for Windows 8

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A free alternative to Windows Media Player

KMPlayer is a well-known multimedia player that can play movies, music and more. KMPlayer supports various codecs and high-definition services. You can also add external codecs. For the non-techy, this means it can decode various video formats such as 3D, 4K, Ultra High Definition, and even extend the video player’s compatibility if you need it. You can also enjoy your movies with crystal clear image quality on DVD and Blu-ray. A video player’s flexibility to differing file formats is one of the most important features to look for, and KMPlayer scores highly on this. It supports many file formats, including WMV, MKV, OGM, 3GP, FLV, and MOV. 

This program has been used by users around the world since October 2002. Its website alone gets more than 100,000 hits per day. It is clearly doing something right. Its popularity could also be explained by its high functionality. Most video players for Windows, including Windows’ default video player (Windows Media Player), have limited functionality. Essentially, they are just a ‘plug-in and play’ software. If there is any problem, or you would like to make subtle changes for your viewing pleasure, there is probably not much you can do about it. KMPlayer, however, gives you huge freedom and seemingly endless means to customize the video player. Not only does it give you more, but it’s also completely free.

What are the main features of KMPlayer?

Listing all of KMPlayer’s features would take a very long time. Some examples, however, include adjusting settings related to the playback of a video. Through this, you can:

  • sync audio
  • skip sections
  • repeat sections

There is also a wide range of filters you can use when playing videos. It allows you to make changes to the 3D and VR settings. You can fully customize subtitles through its management options. It also has the ability to record audio and video files.

KMPlayer allows you to customize the interface to such an extent you wouldn’t know it was the same program. There is also the option to use advanced image processing functions to make changes to the video and sound output. For example, you could increase a video’s playback speed or reduce its noise levels. Another notable function is the ability to schedule the computer to shut down when at the end of a video

One of KMPlayer’s most important features only touched on briefly, is its versatility and high compatibility with numerous file formats. In layman’s terms, this means you can play more movies. If you’ve ever tried playing a movie, whether as a download or DVD, and you have to try multiple video players before getting it to work, you will know how important this is. With KMPlayer, you can pretty much put those fears to rest. It is even regarded as a ‘Universal Video Player’. You would think by now that all video players would be ‘universal’, but no, not even Windows Media Player could claim this title. KMPlayer can even play corrupt or incomplete AVI files or locked media files while simultaneously sharing or downloading content.

Are there better alternatives for media streaming?

There is a lot of good to be said about KMPlayer but it’s not all plain sailing. Firstly, its extensive functionality is a double-edged sword. You can do it all with KMPlayer, but only if you know how to do it all! That rules a lot of people out. Can you learn how to do it? This is where another bombshell has to land: KMPlayer doesn’t have a manual written in English. The only way to find something out then means asking someone who knows, which will be time-consuming.

Another issue is KMPlayer’s adverts. An advert pops up when you finish installing the program. On its own, it’s not a big deal but then inside the program, it permanently has adverts displaying. You can even see the adverts while you are playing a movie unless you play it on full screen. 5KPlayer is another free video player that displays adverts in the same way so it’s not alone here. In spite of the name, it can support resolutions of up to 8K, 360-degree video, and YouTube streaming. GOM Player offers a similar service but, instead of adverts, it bundles premium software into your download and you need to be careful to deselect them.

To your average user, these are very similar programs. All of them are tweaked slightly to appeal to one or more categories of people. If you consider yourself an advanced video player user then it’s a toss-up between KMPlayer, 5KPlayer, and PotPlayer. If you consider yourself an average user, not very interested in customizing settings and just want to watch your movie in peace, then go for VLC Media Player. It plays almost every video file type and, while it has advanced settings, they are hidden away so you won’t accidentally change something and, if you don’t worry, it has an English language manual!

Highly functional but complex program

KMPlayer has excellent functionality and, as a Universal Video Player, it can play almost any movie you want. While it is certainly an improvement on Windows Media Player, it may not be the best option for everyone. Much of its functionality is not intuitive and it could, therefore, be quite inaccessible to a lot of users. Not only that, there is no English language manual to refer to and its adverts may bug a lot of people.

KMPlayer could be the ideal solution for an advanced user who is craving freedom and control over their video player software. That isn’t to say it’s the definitive option for advanced users and 5KPlayer or Pot Player are also free and worth considering. Pot Player is one of the fastest loading and most lightweight video players while also having an extensive library of functionality. For everyone else, keep it simple (and free) without losing on quality by using VLC Media Player.

What’s new?

There have been some minor updates recently including adding downloadable video sites such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Daily Motion. Many users are very excited at the prospect of KMPlayer’s next big release including Cloud technology used for syncing media library files over multiple locations.