SPlayer

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SPlayer

Provides great picture quality with some neat and creative optimization features.

4

Our rating: 

4
License: Free (Open source)
Review & Alternatives: Best Free Media Player

Pros & Cons:

Smooth and excellent playback, many options to enhance display, H/W acceleration support, includes audio and video equalizer, low on system resources, played almost everything, best for non-techies.
Open Candy installation, didn’t get sound out of a video in rare situations, too simple, confusing and clunky interface, non-ethical marketing: compares various media players on their homepage, some Chinese left in main interface & only Chinese documentation available.

Our Review:

Windows media Player replacement field has become a crowded one these days and SPlayer (or "ShooterPlayer") based on MPC-HC and ffmpeg is one of those media players that along with its open source stature has almost all the bells and whistles that you expect to find in a media player with a reasonable performance. SPlayer is on and rolling to compete against the big shots in this field and is a gem of an application that you can’t miss out.

Installation:

The standard installer is around 8MB, which makes it practically one of the lightest media players out there and requires 20MB of free space on installation. You might want to read the licence agreement a second time as the player includes OpenCandy in their installer. Upon agreement, choose the preferred directory and components to install, ‘Theatre mode’ might be useful here. Select if you want to use it as default media player and you are off and rolling :-). There is also a portable version available. I didn’t like it when the homepage opened after installation without asking me. When I installed it a second time woah! The interface is all in Chinese…what’s going on here!

Interface:

Simple, user friendly, basic and extremely minimalistic. It boasts a slick interface, except for the grey bar at the top which kind of repressed its style quotient. Anyways I chose the Aero glass GUI(right click->GUI) to have a better appeal and get rid of the grey bar.The very first time you take a glimpse at the interface, you can just see an ‘open file’ button at the centre. If you were wondering where the other buttons are, the controls only become visible only when you hover the mouse over the video screen near the bottom or top. The playback controls play/pause, stop, forward/backward, step to next/previous and frame step are visible at the bottom center. The subtitle delay buttons are present just to its left while the shortcut buttons for open file, playlist,preferences and the volume slider buttons are to its right. The seek bar is informative, showing jump to specific time on mouse over and toggling the remaining time on its right gives us the battery level and the total time of the video.

Features:

Incomplete file playback: This has become common nowadays and for SPlayer it’s a no brainer.

SPlayer-SubtitlesCodecs: SPlayer comes along with binary codecs, no worries about media file playback or track down for missing codecs. It can play DVD's, streaming media and even Blu-Ray Discs. Do-it-all!

Subtitle: The smart subtitle matching(cloud matching) feature of SPlayer auto-fetches and overlays the subtitles on the video for you(for lesser known titles it fails sometimes). Subtitles can be uploaded to expand their database.You can also load a second subtitle probably of any other language.Smart huh!

SPlayer-VideoImage preview and Thumbnails: The image capture button on the top right captures images in a split second as it auto-pauses the video capturing still shots. Thumbnail generation of the video is simple, you can specify the number of rows and columns and the image width.

Video capture: Video captures are also possible as it auto detects the connected input especially from your webcam and even save the video and audio in separate files.

SPlayer-Stat RenderPerformance: It has two modes for display and playback:Quality and Performance(greys out many options and reduces memory load).Enabling GPU acceleration pretty much leaves the CPU alone to carry out other tasks.It’s not as memory/CPU efficient as it claims from my tests anyway(except for performance mode).

Transparency control: (right click->GUI) This is great if you are multitasking and yet want to watch the video/streaming content.The icon on top right pins the video on top of all other windows and you can adjust the level of transparency.

SPlayer-Audio and VideoAuto-resume: Remembers the last played position of the video file.Feature works great and as intended.

Audio and Video: Furthermore, there are features to enhance the video and audio and you can get started from the audio and video icons on top left. There's a special eye care mode if you are watching videos for a long time and various other image enhancement features by reducing screen noise, sharpen, de-noise, remove black bars, colour enhancement algorithms, vary the brightness and contrast to tweak the display to perfection and provide best quality playback. There's a channel controller and a 10 band equalizer that can be manually adjusted or you can use one of the several presets included. I didn’t feel any shocking sound at the 1000% volume slider and it was just the same as 100% in other media players but the sound field balance was great!

Signing in: Finally to sign off (or should I say sign-in) SPlayer brings out the socialisation feature with the check-in button (bottom left people icon) that lets you rate, share and comment on the videos you're watching. After writing this long review while watching Good Will Hunting, am about to doze off, thanks to the automatic action settings after playback (Sleep, Stand-by, Shut down, Log-off) through right click->playback. So long guys... good night...zzz zzzz

Verdict:

There are some neat and creative optimization features included in SPlayer and is relatively lightweight with a simple and stylistic interface. It provides great picture quality and can handle multiple playback formats. You should definitely give it a spin. If you are not a techie then SPlayer is good as its rating sounds.

Installation: Rating 6 of 10

Interface: Rating 8 of 10

Features: Rating 7 of 10

Usability: Rating 9 of 10

Help and Support: Rating 6 of 10

UpdatesRating 8 of 10

 

Note: SPlayer from the developer includes OpenCandy but you can get a portable version without OpenCandy at http://codecpack.co/download/SPlayer.html.


SPlayer was reviewed by on based on version 3.7.