I've used winamp forever now, and have been entirely happy with it over the years. However, with the advent of windows 7 (which now uses WDDM instead of direct draw) it seems winamp has finally become too old school to play videos.

My video playback is choppy in winamp (fullscreen), and it's because of aero, i've turned it off and winamp performs great again. But I dont want to disable aero. I'd really love a solution to get Winamp to work again, i've already posted on SU and seems there is no fix for winamp.

Other video players I've used:

  • VLC Media Player I have been using VLC but it seems as the video looks grainy for most video types (especially fullscreen) and the player just isn't as elegant as winamp is. What i mean is fullscreen mode doesn't work (taskbar sits on top of the window), and there's no controls to fast forward the video like in winamp (using the arrow keys). I like that it plays ISO files, so that's cool.

  • Windows Media Player I don't want to use WMP either. I just don't like the DRM features.

  • Media Player Classic doesn't have a goo user interface. So, what am i stuck with?

  • Since there's no single best answer consider making this community wiki. – alex Oct 27 '09 at 6:51
  • Hm, the question title is an entirely different question now after the edit. The OP has many problems with some specific applications, none of which revolve around the number of file formats it can play. – Joey Oct 27 '09 at 9:18
  • FYI you can fast forward in VLC like you can in winamp, but instead of arrow left and right it's shift+left and shift+right (Ctrl+left and right jumps further). – Michael Galos Oct 27 '09 at 10:00

GOM Player

Apart from the often recommended VLC Media player, I strongly suggest you give GOM Player a look. It has the excellent codec support, just like VLC, but where it really shines is it's UI.

gom player screenshot

I have never seen a media player with a UI more functional and practical than GOM Player. Still, to this day, I miss it from my Mac.

  • I'll try this out – Roy Rico Oct 27 '09 at 6:25
  • I like it so far, gonna try it for a few more days – Roy Rico Oct 27 '09 at 6:56

People have had this problem with VLC on Vista too,
Here is a HowToGeek article for Vista.
Maybe it will help you for your VLC on Windows 7.

Here is a Winamp forum thread on the same topic.

Meanwhile, I have found the SMPlayer to have good controls.
but, that choice is up to you.

  • I've seen that winamp forum thread before, and it's dead :( one of the reasons i posted here. – Roy Rico Oct 27 '09 at 6:22

You could try Media Player Classic

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    I'll have to add this to my original question. it's worse than VLC in terms of UI. – Roy Rico Oct 27 '09 at 6:22

If you don't use a skillful software like VLC or GOM you need codecs, like Windows 7 Codecs, then you can use any software you want.


As for me, I've been very happy with Windows Media Player in Windows 7. It does exactly what I want (play videos), doesn't get in my way, has no more UI than needed, so it's actually a near-perfect fit. At least for me.

Throw in CCCP and configure the included stuff to be less nagging and it plays nearly everything you want.


Your reasoning is a little weird here, though. "I don't want to use WMP because of the DRM features". What point do you want to make exactly? "I don't want to play restricted media files because I won't use a player that could play them"? Or maybe "I don't want to use a player that could play restricted media files but wouldn't ever go down those code paths for the media files I am using"?

DRM isn't some black magic that suddenly makes your videos look like they came from hell. It's simply a way of trying to restrict what you can do with content that is specially enabled to use those features. For that matter you could as well uninstall your video driver because, hey, it has DRM in it (for HDMI output or restricting the use of it). One might wonder why you are bothering with Windows at all, given its DRM-affine history (yes it goes back at least to Windows 98) :-)


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    by DRM i mean 1) limiting playback of certain files that are "locked", i'm just against drm in general 2) automatically downloading mystery codecs w/o asking me, and then, the file still doesn't work. 3) i don't trust WMP not to phone home, even if i spent 12 hours going thru the dark trenches of the configuration 4) i don't trust WMP to not download a virus – Roy Rico Oct 27 '09 at 6:37
  • Also, in general, i don't download files with DRM in them, so I see your point. But i'm more concerned with WMP downloading a virus because WMP thought was a codec that some stupid rogue wmv file told WMP it needed – Roy Rico Oct 27 '09 at 6:44
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    @Roy Rico your reasoning for not using WMP isn't really justified. WMP doesn't download any viruses of it can't play a movie, it just doesn't play it. I've never bumped into any drm restrictions while using it. And phoning home is not a concern; with Microsoft it's almost always opt-in, and they never send personal information. I would be more scared of some random program I've never heard about doing thid, not WMP. – alex Oct 27 '09 at 7:00
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    @Roy Rico: If a video is encoded with DRM, then WMP will not play it without the license, but also no other player will play it at all (with or without the license). – harrymc Oct 27 '09 at 7:20
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    Well, it tells a lot about how serious one should take him in that respect :-) – Joey Oct 27 '09 at 16:34

You should try The KMPlayer.

Some details in this thread

  • That was actually going to be my second choice. But "Light Alloy" and the "Daum Pot Player" are also good. – Abraxas Jul 24 '11 at 22:14

have you tried Kantaris ? it should be worth a try :-)

"Kantaris is a new media player based on code from Videolan client (VLC) and Bass audio library. Kantaris has a graphical user interface similar to that of Windows Media Player."

  • Kantaris is VLC with a different face. Nice, though. – Abraxas Jul 24 '11 at 22:10

UMPlayer can play just about anything that you throw at it. In addition, its web installer will download and install different versions based on your PC architecture in order to maximize all available accelerations.

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