Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 07, 2016, 06:37:50 AM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Last post Author Topic: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?  (Read 58385 times)

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?
« on: December 07, 2009, 02:49:19 AM »
I'm looking for the quickest responding video player out there.  Please note the emphasis on "quick".  I don't know what else word to use, but I'll try to describe it in more detail.  I'm not asking simply "what's the best" or "what's your favorite".  I want to know which player is the fastest as far as double-clicking on a file and starting the video.  Now, I'm well aware of the normal responses like VLC, MPC, KMPlayer, so before you just throw that out there, please remember that speed is what I'm looking for.  Normally, people just want to know what works with all video files, which the aforementioned software are all good with.  My question is different.

Let me describe how I use video players.  Like many here, I don't have just one favorite.  I use several of them depending on the situation.  However, I do have my "default" player which is the one associated with the video files on my system (Windows XP).  This is the one that opens up when I double-click on a video file, and this is the one that I have a question for.  I'm not concerned about DVD playing ability so much with this one.  OK, on with what I know so far.  Here's my little roundup and analysis:

Light Alloy
For years, this was my default double-clicker video player.  I know few, if any, of you use this one.  It's not free.  What I love about it is how quickly the video opens after double-clicking a file.  And it has a lot of configuration options to boot.  However, it does not include it's own codecs; it's only a player.  But I wonder if that's the very reason why it responds more quickly than the others.  I would continue to use this except development seems to have stopped, and it seems to crash a lot randomly recently, especially with larger files or HD files.

KMplayer
My second favorite of the bunch.  It has a lot of configuration options, and plays everything (codecs are included).  But it's significantly slower than Light Alloy.  I'd prefer something faster.  If this were faster, I would use it for sure.

GOM Player
Another good one (also comes with all codecs).  Faster response time that KMPlayer.  However, it has a couple of quircks I can't stand.  For example, there is a pause when you click once on the screen to play/pause, just in case you want to double-click for full-screen.  You can disable this pause, but then you lose the double-click option.  No other player handles it this way.  I find it annoying.  Also, I can't find a way to add previous/next buttons on the player.  If it were not for these things, I may prefer this one.

VLC
Not my favorite at all.  It's slow, and I don't like the interface at all.

SMplayer
Nice, but responds weirdly.  Not that fast, either.

MPC
Haven't tried it for years, but when i was using it, it was significantly slower than Light Alloy.

Zoom Player
I love Zoom.  It's actually pretty quick relative to the others.  I may settle on this one.  It's quicker to open than it is to close.  But it's faster than most of the other programs here, except maybe for Light Alloy.  It also seems to have a hard time with my larger or HD files.  Why?  I have no idea.  I have a pretty impressive computer, I can't imagine it not handling any kind of HD video.  Frankly, the idea of it annoys me a lot.


So, any suggestions?

MrCrispy

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2006
  • *
  • Posts: 331
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2009, 03:17:51 AM »
I don't really have a player to suggest, but the speed of the player will depend on 2 things - its internal code, and the codec/filter graph used. Most players are either DirectShow based, or use bundled codecs, so you might want to try out different combinations. Kmplayer has a super speed option (which disables a bunch of advanced options), might want to try that.

JavaJones

  • Review 2.0 Designer
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,717
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2009, 03:19:44 AM »
Hm, when you mentioned "SMPlayer" I kind of figured you meant SPlayer, but I see there is also an SMPlayer. So, if you haven't tried Splayer, you might want to check it out:
http://www.splayer.org/index.en.html
It claims speed and low memory use as advantages. I've found it's pretty decent, I'm testing it as a secondary or even replacement for my current favorite The KMPlayer.

However, I do have another thought. Have you looked into optimizing The KMPlayer? For example if you're willing to use a player without built-in codecs, you could turn off all it's own codecs. Not sure if this would make it faster... or slower. But something to test. Also I imagine what video renderer you use affects this. I know there are many more options that affect this, such as playlist reading modes, etc, etc. I would think there is probably optimization-related discussion on the KMPlayer forums (hopefully in the English part :D). If you do look into that, let us know if you find anything promising, as it's something I'd be interested in too.

Good luck!

- Oshyan

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2009, 03:22:33 AM »
After googling around a little bit, I discovered that Light Alloy is still slowly being developed.  However, they are doing it all in Russian.  I don't blame them; I don't think anyone gave two seconds of thought to their software.  You can find the russian forum here:
http://www.softella.com/la/forum.ru.htm

Their original english site has not changed for a long, long time:
http://www.softella.com/

In their defense, and because I think some of you here actually would be interested, I am going to make the following statement:
Light Alloy is hands-down the fastest responding video player I have ever used.  Fastest to open a file, and fastest to close the program.
It responds beautifully.  No codecs are included, it uses the system installed decoders.  I know that will deter a lot of you, but give it a shot.  I think you will be impressed by its speed.

Anyway, using the google translater, I was able to see that it is still being slowly developed.  The updates are only available in the russian forum.  The english website still has the old version.  But if you want to purchase a license, the english site will give you a valid one.  Mine still works on the newer versions.  I've attached the latest installer here, just to make it easier to find for english users (version 4.4 build 873).

I hope this is helpful for any of you.

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2009, 03:28:12 AM »
Thanks Java!  Splayer looks interesting, I'm going to try it out.
Also, regarding the configuration of filters and such; not to be difficult, but I just don't have the heart for it at this point.  Maybe I will later, but I'd crossing my fingers that there's one that works awesome right out of the box.


PS I have to say, this latest version of Light Alloy is pretty amazing.  This may be the winner.

cmpm

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 2,025
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2009, 05:37:48 AM »
I know MPC is not what you want to hear, Mpc-Home Cinema is fast and a codec pack with it from here.

http://www.cccp-project.net/

Updated 9-9-09

Having switched to W7, I've had to find a better player.
Vlc and mpc did not work well. Although, now with this codec pack WMP plays flash and more, it's still slower then MPC-Home Cinema.

I even tried Real Player, and it works fine but not as fast.

Curt

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 7,091
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2009, 05:45:37 PM »
... Light Alloy is still slowly being developed.  However, they are doing it all in Russian.  

Have you (anyone) figured out what font the Light Alloy user will need, in order so see the proper Cyrillic characters in the program (not the site)? The titles are easy to read, but the mouse-over texts makes no meaning.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2009, 05:47:08 PM by Curt »

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2009, 06:11:50 PM »
... Light Alloy is still slowly being developed.  However, they are doing it all in Russian.  

Have you (anyone) figured out what font the Light Alloy user will need, in order so see the proper Cyrillic characters in the program (not the site)? The titles are easy to read, but the mouse-over texts makes no meaning.

Oh, I should clear that up.  You have to go into the Preferences menu, change the language to English, and everything will be fine.  I'm at work right now, so I can't give a screenshot, but i can later tonight.

Actually, screw it, I can do it here at work:
Press F10, that will bring up the preferences setting (after clicking on the left button for the nag screen; I'm assuming yours is not registered).  Then pick English.  See the screenshots below:
screenshot_20091207161533.png
screenshot_20091207161540.png
« Last Edit: December 07, 2009, 06:17:36 PM by superboyac »

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2009, 06:45:36 PM »
Hm, when you mentioned "SMPlayer" I kind of figured you meant SPlayer, but I see there is also an SMPlayer. So, if you haven't tried Splayer, you might want to check it out:
http://www.splayer.org/index.en.html
It claims speed and low memory use as advantages. I've found it's pretty decent, I'm testing it as a secondary or even replacement for my current favorite The KMPlayer.

However, I do have another thought. Have you looked into optimizing The KMPlayer? For example if you're willing to use a player without built-in codecs, you could turn off all it's own codecs. Not sure if this would make it faster... or slower. But something to test. Also I imagine what video renderer you use affects this. I know there are many more options that affect this, such as playlist reading modes, etc, etc. I would think there is probably optimization-related discussion on the KMPlayer forums (hopefully in the English part :D). If you do look into that, let us know if you find anything promising, as it's something I'd be interested in too.

Good luck!

- Oshyan
Splayer is very, very nice.  I will have to compare its speed with Light Alloy when I get home.  I like it a lot.  If it is slower than LA, it's not by much.  Nice find.  It's nice looking as well, and has some cool options.

fenixproductions

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,184
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2009, 06:47:28 PM »
2superboyac
Just wondering:
did you try to use command line version of mplayer.hu?
The engine is the same as for SMPlayer but getting rid off GUI made it the quickest one on my PC. Original version also had dhahelper.sys driver which increased its speed a lot. Even though there are a lot of good players I am still using it as default one (sorry KMPlayer).

Oh! And there is also Total Commander plugin to use this application through lister interface. I don't dare to dream for more ;)

skwire

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,664
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2009, 07:15:33 PM »
Hmmmm...I just tried that LightAlloy build you attached.  I couldn't get it to play video for any type of file I tried (avi, mpg, mkv, or vob).  It would play the audio but not the video.  Furthermore, it didn't seem any faster than the MPC(HC)/CCCP combo I've used for years.  In fact, MPC seemed faster to me.  *shrug*  I don't mean this post as a flame...I'm just posting my thoughts.

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2009, 07:17:21 PM »
2superboyac
Just wondering:
did you try to use command line version of mplayer.hu?
The engine is the same as for SMPlayer but getting rid off GUI made it the quickest one on my PC. Original version also had dhahelper.sys driver which increased its speed a lot. Even though there are a lot of good players I am still using it as default one (sorry KMPlayer).

Oh! And there is also Total Commander plugin to use this application through lister interface. I don't dare to dream for more ;)

I have tried it, and removed it.  Although i don't really remember why.  It may have been because it was a little too minimalist for me.

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2009, 07:25:10 PM »
Hmmmm...I just tried that LightAlloy build you attached.  I couldn't get it to play video for any type of file I tried (avi, mpg, mkv, or vob).  It would play the audio but not the video.  Furthermore, it didn't seem any faster than the MPC(HC)/CCCP combo I've used for years.  In fact, MPC seemed faster to me.  *shrug*  I don't mean this post as a flame...I'm just posting my thoughts.
It doesn't come with codecs internally.  The codecs need to be configured on your system for it to play video.  it's not the player's fault.  MPC is pretty fast also.  To be honest, I don't know why I ever stopped using MPC.  Years ago, i think I was just looking for newer programs to play with and MPC wasn't playing everything the way I wanted and/or there were errors every now and then.  All this stuff depends on what each person's video habits are.

I liked Light Alloy because it was specifically built for speed.  I think even with MPC or any other preferred player anyone has, it will be hard to beat the speed of Light Alloy.  Now, you may prefer other things about other players, but it can't be faulted for speed.

There are so many video players out there!  Someone should do a roundup.  It's weird how VLC is so popular even though I don't think it does any one thing better than another of the alternatives.  It definitely has the biggest name.

skwire

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,664
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2009, 07:42:30 PM »
It doesn't come with codecs internally.  The codecs need to be configured on your system for it to play video.  it's not the player's fault.

Yes, I know.  I have the CCCP codec pack installed; LightAlloy should be able to use those codecs.

JavaJones

  • Review 2.0 Designer
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,717
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2009, 10:01:21 PM »
I've never really understood the popularity of VLC, although it *used* to have some features (ability to play certain file types) that other players usually struggled with. But the UI is still atrocious, and other players have far surpassed it both in features and format support.

- Oshyan

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2009, 10:09:12 PM »
It doesn't come with codecs internally.  The codecs need to be configured on your system for it to play video.  it's not the player's fault.

Yes, I know.  I have the CCCP codec pack installed; LightAlloy should be able to use those codecs.
I'm not sure then.  That's one of the areas I'm not too good at.  I don't know how the system and video players figure out how to decode a video, nor do I know how to configure settings too much.  I understand for the internal ones like VLC, everything is just packaged with the program.  But with the ones that depend on your system configuration, it's an area I'm weak at.

The cccp pack should work, I don't know.  I would say ask the Light Alloy developer, but unless you are fluent in Russion, it might be difficult!

Curt

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 7,091
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2009, 05:43:02 AM »
...I kind of figured you meant SPlayer, ..., you might want to check it out:
http://www.splayer.org/index.en.html

- really good and fast :-)
SPlayer is only almost as fast as Light Alloy, but more stable / agile.

I am however confused / disappointed that the huge number of hotkeys SPlayer comes with  doesn't come with a common and easy to use disable button, but each hotkey must be clicked several times in the settings, in order to merely disable it. You cannot use the rest of the computer when SPlayer Home Theater is running. Even characters like "A" or "H" are hotwired per default! But maybe I didn't notice the relevant button? Or maybe the secret is to learn to differ between the two versions the user actually gets (at installation it puts two shortcuts (SPlayer and SPlayer HomeTheater) on the quick launch bar)?

« Last Edit: December 08, 2009, 05:50:12 AM by Curt »

Curt

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 7,091
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2009, 06:32:07 AM »
post deleted, I said it wrongly
« Last Edit: December 08, 2009, 07:23:03 AM by Curt »

lanux128

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,258
    • View Profile
    • Coding Snacks by Lanux128
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2009, 06:53:15 AM »
any thoughts on BSplayer? incidentally there's a band called Light Alloy.

steeladept

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,059
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2009, 07:59:53 AM »
I can't say for anyone else, but I know the reason I like VLC (and the only time I use it) is because there is a portable version of it.  There may be others, such as GOM which I have heard was portable, but VLC was good enough at the time and I never bothered looking further.  That is most likely why so many others like it too...It works good enough, and it was the first one they came across.  </threadjack>

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2009, 10:42:53 AM »
Hmmm...I like Splayer, but I wish it was a little more configurable.  It has one of the strangest preference dialogs ever.

Shades

  • Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 2,099
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2009, 12:25:42 PM »
Have you tried 'ALShow' already?

My system has never seen an installation screen of any codec pack, but this one seems to be able to play some of the "grown-up" content that I have without problems, while The KMplayer, VLC and MPC crash miserably playing those files.

They have more high quality freeware on that site besides the ALShow player.

JavaJones

  • Review 2.0 Designer
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,717
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2009, 12:54:30 PM »
Lanux, BSPlayer used to be my favorite player, maybe 5 years back. But it turned into adware/crapware and (I think) payware, and now it's back in development but still struggling. I wouldn't recommend it, especially not with all the other great free options out there.

Steeladept: Your reasoning for VLC makes perfect sense, and now I totally understand. I've never been a portable apps nut so that need never came up for me, but I suppose your perspective on good software can totally shift if portability is a requirement!

Superboyac: What do you want to configure in Splayer that you can't do?

Shades: I tried ALShow ages ago, it was ok but didn't best KMPlayer at the time. I'm frankly quite surprised that it can handle things KMPlayer, VLC, and MPC all choke on. What format and compression codec(s)?

- Oshyan

Tuxman

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,769
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?
« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2009, 01:05:02 PM »
Hm, mplayer.

For those who need "a bit" of GUI flavor: MPC-HC with ffdshow filters.
VLC's codecs are not made for playing local files.

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)?
« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2009, 01:37:08 PM »
Superboyac: What do you want to configure in Splayer that you can't do?
Mouse button customization.  Most of these programs have options to assign functions to left-mouse, right-mouse buttons.  Also, program double-click function, etc.