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SPlayer is a lean, powerful video player for Windows


As far as video players go, I'm pretty much a VLC loyalist. (Maybe "hard-core fan" is a better title.) It seems as though VLC's simplicity is the gold standard for players, and its sensible keyboard shortcuts are embedded deep within my muscle memory.

That's why I initially regarded SPlayer with a measure of skepticism. I mean, I don't know this player. I've never heard of it before, and still, it claims to be "Neat! Safe! High Performance!" and boasts "1+ million users." As soon as I figured out it's Japanese, it all made much more sense; it's just a market that I'm not familiar with. And you gotta love the translated marketing copy -- which says, "SmartAmplify: Intelligent sound field balance of technology, sound is even more shocking." I love my videos with "shocking" sound!

Small parts of the program's UI are actually in Japanese (or is that Chinese? Tell me in the comments). But most of the interface is in English, and the player is surprisingly powerful. What you see in the screenshot was done right in the player; you can rotate and skew the video while it is playing, and it just keeps on playing with no noticeable stutter. Granted, that's a bit of a party trick, but it goes to show how powerful this thing is.

The key bindings are customizable, and there are a ton of functions available via keyboard shortcuts. There's a strip of controls both at the bottom and at the top of the window, and they're quite fetching.

I've installed this player on my "real" system (not in the VM that I use to test most of the software for DLS), and I intend to try it out instead of VLC for a while. Yup – it's that compelling!

Tags: movies, mpc, mplayer, player, video, vlc