Every geek that I know has a favorite media player. Mac geeks swear by iTunes because they’ve been brainwashed by Steve Jobs. Some Windows geeks love Windows Media Player because it has Windows in the name. And let’s not forget about Real, WinAmp, or the numerous other “standards” that people use. Despite these options, some people have and have discovered new and better ways to watch the Star Wars Holiday Special or listen to their vast MP3 collection.
I’ve mentioned before how I am able to watch various movies and TV shows at my desk while I’m working. Because these files come from an assortment of locations, I have to deal with a large number of codecs and other hoop jumping in order to watch everything that I want.
I hate Apple so I’ll never get caught using iTunes if there’s an alternative. I used to be a total WMP guy. Note that I say “used to”. About a year ago I discovered VLC Media Player. I started using it because it handled DVD playback much better than WMP. A side effect of my switch was that I no longer had to try and determine which codec pack I needed to watch the latest episode of a particular show; VLC handled every file that I threw at it flawlessly. Because of this amazing efficiency, I was able to watch what I wanted when I wanted. Not an hour later after trying an assortment of codecs.
For a long time, VLC was my media player of choice. The only drawback is that I wasn’t able to use the keyboard controls on my Logiech MX5500. Since I have this keyboard at home and at the office, this was a huge drawback but the pros far outweighed the cons so I kept using VLC.
A few months ago, I discovered a new media player: GOM. This is another free media player that handles DVDs as well as just about any video format you throw at it including Real Media, Quicktime, DivX, Xvid and FLV. The nice thing about this program though is that it uses internal codecs so, in most cases, no codecs are installed on your system. To date, I haven’t run into anything that GOM couldn’t handle which makes me very, very happy. My keyboard buttons also work with it so I don’t need to try and hit that pause button with my cursor.
While I still primarily use WMP to listen to my MP3 collection, when it comes to video files, I always run to GOM. If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy the video files on your computer, I’d suggest giving GOM a try. Of course VLC isn’t too shabby either.