“You can’t get something for nothing.” have long been words to heed when engaging in any endeavor. So the notion of free video players for PC naturally raises the question, are you indeed getting something for nothing? In this case, the answer is actually, “Yes.”
MANY VIDEO PLAYERS FOR PC TO CHOOSE FROM
With video becoming increasingly important in delivering entertainment, news, commercial, enterprise and social content, it’s hardly a surprise that there is an array of video players available from a growing number of vendors, which deliver high quality video and audio over the Internet.
Aside from the two major operating system providers, Microsoft and Apple, each offering its own built-in video player (Windows Media Player and QuickTime, respectively), there are also dozens upon dozens of free video players available. A few of the more well known include; AllPlayer, DivX, GOM Media Player, KMPlayer, MPlayer, RealPlayer, UMPlayer, VLC Media Player, and Xtreme Media Player. BTW: QuickTime for Windows is available as a free video player download from Apple, and Flip4Mac is also available for free to play WMV files on a Mac through QuickTime.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A FREE VIDEO PLAYER FOR PC
Most importantly, you of course want high quality images and sound. Input quality, sophistication of the decoder, ability to scale and other variables all come into play here for more advanced users. The basic user interface should be intuitive and easy to use and maybe even customizable. There are other special features such as skins, playlists, libraries, auto-resolution change, social connections and additional goodies that come in some free video players for PC.
|Free? For Real|
Looking for a video player for your PC? Consider RealPlayer: It’s free, plays just about any video format, and even converts file formats all for free.
Unless you have a specific need, you’ll want the flexibility of a player that will handle many formats, and codecs. Some of those include the usual suspects of FLV, AVI, MP4, WMV and MKV. Being able to convert codecs is also significant. This is essential when you want to transfer video to mobile devices, most of which are looking for H.264 or H.263. If your favorite player doesn’t have all the formats and codecs you require, you can download special codec packs to round out those capabilities, but be careful of the source.
FREE VIDEO PLAYERS – DOWNLOAD SITES
If you are not happy with the built-in player that came with your OS, you’ll find plenty of alternatives on the Internet. Several sites review and rate video players and there are many software directories like Download.com, Brothersoft and more that offer reviews and download information. Sometimes these sites mix free and premium software, so check closely (there may be a “free” search filter) to be sure. You may need to do some research of your own to find out what free video player is right for you.
SOME TIPS FOR YOUR SEARCH
- Carefully read the product description. Intermingled with free video players are converters, morphing and other effects software, codec packs, players that only handle one or two formats, and even pre-release versions.
- Look for the best all-around quality and reliable players
- Make sure it’s right for your OS. Properly fitted Intel Macs have the most choices. Some of the advanced players are Windows only. As an example, RealNetworks has a free video player for Windows and Mac, with extra cost pricing for its Windows RealPlayer Plus offering, but no advanced Mac version. DivX does offer separate Free and Pro versions for both Windows and Mac, with the Pro editions also at additional cost.
- Select multiple players to compare
- Go to the vendor’s web site for the free video players download. You’ll get the latest version and avoid picking up a virus.
There’s no lack of choices for free video players for PCs. The top brands and a few hidden gems can deliver high quality and considerable flexibility. Choosing the best video player that best fits your needs is a worthwhile experience in comparing the various feature sets and how well they play your favorite videos.
If you have any questions about video players for PCs, just leave a comment below. I’m always happy to answer questions.