We mainly use media players to play audio/video contents like VCDs, DVDs, AudioCDs, Audio/Video files (e.g. avi, mp3, wma, wmv etc) etc. Nowadays you have many options to choose from a wide range of software media players. Some of these media players are designed for some specific media e.g. DVD players, video players, audio players, multimedia players etc. Though you may have some preinstalled media player software by your Operating Software (OS) e.g. Microsoft Windows Xp comes with preinstalled Windows Media Player.
So why do we need a media player if one is preinstalled?
The answer is simple, your preinstalled media player maybe fine in playing certain media formats but may not be able to play some media formats or you can avail better: audio/video quality, features (e.g. frame capture, recording, zoom etc), graphical user interface (GUI) etc by using some other software media player.
Media player Categories
There are mainly three types of media players for playing audio/video contents.
- Multimedia player
These types of media players are specially created to play DVD video from a DVD video disc or DVD video content lying on Hard Disk Drive (HDD). These media players have special options like DVD menu navigation, subtitle, DVD bookmark to resume playback (resumes playback from where it was stopped or terminated), DVD audio decoding capability (e.g. DTS audio, Dolby Digital audio), deinterlacing etc. Some of the popular DVD player softwares are PowerDVD, WinDVD and DVD X Player etc.
These types of media players are specially designed to play audio cds and audio files. These media players have lots of special features like playlist, media library, graphical equalizer, audio file tagging, rating for songs, visualization etc. Some of the popular audio player software are Winamp, foobar2000, Microsoft Windows Media Player, RealPlayer, Apple iTunes etc.
*Note: These media players mentioned above may also play other multimedia items but they are sorted for their popularity in playing certain media and they also may have good multimedia playability.
Multimedia playerThese are the media player software that can play any type of media and are not specially designed to play certain types of media. They can play from audio/video files to online audio/video streaming. Some popular multimedia player softwares are VLC media player, GOM player, BS.Player etc.
*Note: These multimedia players are also good video players. The video player is not on the categories because almost all multimedia players play video media with almost same features. DVD players are specially designed to play DVD video.