You’ve probably noticed by now the large number of good, free video players available. We’ve decided to compare contenders KMPlayer and VLC Media Player and see how they fare.
First off, let’s look at the interface. KMPLayer is fully customizable and, like Winamp, allows you to open multiple windows for controls, playlist or equalizer. You can move these around and adjust them to your liking. VLC has a very basic and intuitive interface, but also supports a number of skins. Each program offers a basic menu and hotkeys, giving you quick access to the playback functions.
Compatibility with a great deal of video formats is what makes both of these video players extremely popular. However VLC Media Player probably has the edge here, because, Real video being an exception, it seems to cover all existing video files. It can also play incomplete videos and will try to play an unknown format in its raw form. Each player has a large array of audio and video filters to process and enhance your videos. However, KMPlayer adds a feature for effects like aspect ratio or colors, to improve playback quality, not available in VLC.
A feature I appreciate on both players is subtitle support. There is a good number of movie websites out there that offer subtitles in any language. You can quickly upload these in both VLC and KMPlayer. I was disappointed to find out though that VLC does not handle subtitles for the most common video format, AVI. KMPlayer appears to be the expert in this field. You can add multiple subtitles, set margins, rotations and effects, and adjust the font size.
All in all, I prefer using VLC, just because it has hotkeys and can be launched extremely quickly. However, if you need to set subtitles for that obscure Lithuanian thriller or if you’re a control freak when it comes to audio and video processing, KMPLayer will suit you more. Which one do you prefer and, more importantly, why?