Windows Video Playback

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This article is aimed at providing useful information regarding playback on Windows.

Contents

A List of Commonly Used Players

Recommended

Media Player Classic (MPC)
This player is included in CCCP. It is recommended that you use this player, however it must be configured correctly. Refer to this guide. For 64-bit Windows users it even has a x64 version, but that version will only work with 64-bit codecs, so for now it is recommended that you use the 32-bit version until 64-bit codecs mature more.

Please note that this player has been superseded by Media Player Classic Home Cinema (MPCHC). Please use this newer version of MPC bundled with the newest CCCP (which contains a custom build of the player).

The KMPlayer
Good player with internal and external filter support, handles a wide range of subtitles and allows you to capture audio, video, and screenshots in many ways but for better user experience it needs to be tweaked to display styled subs and ordered chapters properly.

Acceptable

ALLPlayer
This player will use CCCP, but has a confusing interface and useless features. It is also rather homely.
JetAudio Player
Supports almost 100 different file formats (including CD/VCD/DVD playback). It includes tools for ripping, burning, audio/video conversion, external recording, and broadcasting. Features are highly customizable. It has its own codecs for everything except Real/QuickTime (similar to VLC). However, it can also use external codecs (#Codecs and Codec Packs). Therefore, it can be used as one player for everything (including music).
Downside:
  • No Cue support
  • VFR Video desyncs if internal mkv codec is used (bug) (using external codecs solves this issue)
  • Always uses user-defined font for ASS (bug) (not loading built-in subtitle filter solves this issue)
MPlayer
This player uses internal codecs and filters. It will play videos as well as CCCP can, but the keyboard-orientated interface can be confusing to people used to menu-driven interfaces.
The Core Media Player (TCMP)
Not to be confused with the Coreplayer. It will work fine if you don't use the included filters.
VLC Media Player
This player supports nearly every media filetype one may encounter, but is not recommended for use. It does not use external codecs, and might not support some new features of the MKV container. It is currently still under development, but BakaBT does not recommend its use for the purpose of watching most fansubs (especially more recent ones).
WinAmp 5
Will work fine if configured correctly, but that's a lot of configuration for most videos on the tracker.
Windows Media Player
Not to be confused with Media Player Classic (see above). Will play fine, but will sometimes crash. Various other issues.
Zoom Player
This player is no longer included in CCCP because the free version of it is no longer being developed and it may have playback issues in Vista. Very nice, relatively easy to use interface. Do not download the Professional versions, download the standard edition. The professional versions are trials, they stop working after a while. Has an installation center that installs all CCCP codecs for you.

Not Recommended

Coreplayer
Developed by the same team that developed the CoreAVC codec. Only uses internal filters. Also, it will not render subtitles.
BSPlayer
We don't suggest anyone uses this player. It is filled with bugs.
DivX Player
This player is semi-compatible with CCCP. It will play MKV, OGM, and MP4 files, but it cannot play audio files. Not recommended for use. Tends to pixelate the image in certain instances.
FFPlayer
Doesn't use vsfilter.
QuickTime
Will play AVI and MP4 files (depends on installed QT codecs), but cannot handle MKV or OGM files. Ignores CCCP. To play QuickTime files, it is recommended that you use the QT Alternative which works in conjuction with Media Player Classic.
RealPlayer 10
Loads CCCP with AVI files, but won't load MKV or OGM files. To play Real files, it is recommended that you use Real Alternative which works in conjunction with Media Player Classic.

Codecs and Codec Packs

Codec Packs

CCCP (Recommended)
  • CCCP stands for Combined Community Codec Pack and was created to consolidate the filter packs of many different fansub groups into a single reliable filter pack that is shared by all of the fansub groups.
  • Make sure to use the version of Media Player Classic Home Cinema that is bundled with CCCP.
  • Stability is high, CCCP claim to be bug free.
  • Lightweighted (it only includes what you really need).
  • Bundled with Media Player Classic Home Cinema, the newest build of MPC since the original developer retired the project. Much more efficient than MPC.

CCCP Homepage


K-Lite Mega Codec Pack
  • Plays almost every video available, even rare (for playback of anime you don't need most of them).
  • Comes bundled with Media Player Classic.

K-Lite Mega Codec Pack on Free-Codecs.com.


XP Codec Pack
  • Plays many different formats, it's like a little heavier pack than CCCP.
  • Gets regular updates (this means it may not be stable all times).

XP Codec Pack Homepage

Codecs

CoreAVC Professional (Recommended if you have trouble with h264 encodes)

Refer to Psyren's guide

Real Alternative

Allows you to play Real Media (.rm) files in a media player without the need to install Real Player.

QuickTime Alternative

Allows you to play QuickTime (.mov) files in a media player without the need to install QuickTime. It also allows you to stream video and sound from the Internet using QuickTime.