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MPlayer - Why is Windows Media Player not this efficient?

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  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    My PC has a 2.4GHz Pentium 4 Northwood with an 800MHz Front Side Bus and today I tried playing the 1080p Coral Sea Adventure Trailer with Windows Media Player. It would not play the audio and even with hardware WMV, it consumed 100% of my PC's resources and was dropping frames. Maximizing the window helped but the audio was not there, no matter what I did (WMP plays WMA tracks so I am at a loss to explain why it did not play the audio). Then I tried using mplayer. The difference was like night and day. It used 24% of the CPU, had no hardware acceleration and played the audio and video without a sweat.

    Why is Windows Media Player not this efficient?

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    One word: bloat.

    BTW, which version of WMP were you using? I'm sticking with V9 since it's the least evil version (V8 was less evil, but I need the V9 functionality...and I like the UI better)

  • User profile image
    alwaysmc2

    W3bbo wrote:
    One word: bloat.

    BTW, which version of WMP were you using? I'm sticking with V9 since it's the least evil version (V8 was less evil, but I need the V9 functionality...and I like the UI better)

    Evil? how so?

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    alwaysmc2 wrote:
    
    W3bbo wrote:One word: bloat.

    BTW, which version of WMP were you using? I'm sticking with V9 since it's the least evil version (V8 was less evil, but I need the V9 functionality...and I like the UI better)

    Evil? how so?


    • Advertising you cannot remove
    • Forces you to use ClearType, even when it's disabled
    • Uses propreity ID3 tags in MP3 files
      • See "Album Artist"
    • "Color Changer" doesn't change the color of all the widgets
    • Uses more memory/CPU than WMP9
    • The "glass" effect everywhere can make text unreadable
    • Doesn't support non-Microsoft formats as well
      • Doesn't show length times for *.mpg files, for example, when WMP8 did
      • Inconsistent/Unpredictable "Play Speed" behaviour
    • Has two artists lists "Album Artist" and "Track Artist" which is just confusing
    • Violates the "Designed for Windows XP" specification by adding its own controls to the titlebar
    • Was created solely to compete with iTunes, a knee-jerk product

  • User profile image
    alwaysmc2

    @W3bbo

    Advertising? explain...

    Well that isn't really evil, just poor design.  Lucky for me I only have LCD monitors Big Smile, so it works out just fine for me.

    Album Artist:  It's a good thing.  Example:  A sound track.  Usually the artist is "Varios Artists", but say for a Shreak 2 sound track the "Album Artist" would be "Dreamworks" and the track artist would be the actual artist of the song.  Having the two fields instead of just the one could eliminate "Various Artists".

    Hmm... well newer software usually does take more memory.  I have no argument there.

    I find everything readable.

    Things like play speed and volume leveling only work on Windows Media.  It would be nice if it would work on other formats, but when it does and doesn't work at least makes sence.

    What would be wrong if it's only purpouse was to combat iTunes?  However, I found it much better than 9 anyway.

    Now, "Doesn't show length times for *.mpg files, for example, when WMP8 did" could be an attempt to try to oust non-windows media formats, but it is more likely that it was a mistake.

  • User profile image
    ElucidWeb

    I wonder why Windows Media Player sucks at playing videos, and music at times.  I am using Windows Media Player 11 and granted its beta but it locks up ALOT!  Not to mention sometimes it will take centuries to load a video when i double click it!

    But my biggest gripe is they hide the ability for me to simply select a file to play, instead they focus it so largely on a media library it becomes unintuitive quit quickly!

  • User profile image
    Typhoon87

    Media Player needs to be 100% rewritten from the installer right on up.

    My beef: Sometimes big files load right up and other times that exact same video clip can take up to 10 seconds from double click to open.
     
    built in "updater" is hardly used u have to download the secuirty updates and (the very few) program updates that come in between versions from windows update.

    The team should realase small updates like say 10.2 instead of going 10 to 11 and use the in between updates to strictly fix bugs and performace issues, and some udpates (like KB update  888656 and 892313) are only avaible as manual downlaods what if MS rolled up all bug fixes and security upates amd made them for example 10.5 then 11 would be a typical full blown realease. Please give us some support between major version updates.

  • User profile image
    Unoriginal​Guy

    I have WMP 10 on this PC (which is XP MCE 2005). Yes it is laggy, yes it is bloated, and yes it is filled with adverts. But it seems to play standard AVI files fine.


    Music: WinAmp
    DVD / VCDs: PowerDVD 5 Deluxe
    Downloadable Video: WMP 10, Quicktime
    Streaming Video: Real Player, Flash Video Player, QuickTime, WMP
    Other / Special: VLC Media Player


    Notes: I used VLC because it can play videos with corrupt frame headers, you can also play only one audio channel (in case one is damaged). It is the most configurable and resilient media player I've ever seen outside of an editing suite.

    Real Player is the best in category; the other two require extremely high speed connections at both ends to watch video well and WMP causes IE to crash a lot. So Real Player and or Flash Video Player are my favourites.

    I use PowerDVD 5 because the newer versions haven't added anything worth my while, and when I tried out a demo of both 6 and 7 then have been more unstable and more bloated.

  • User profile image
    TommyCarlier

    Have you tried using WMP 11 with the keyboard only? I haven't found a way to navigate around, and I don't think I'm that stupid. Just try it. Open WMP and try going to the different tabs without touching the mouse. At one time, I needed to burn a CD, and in the lower-right corner there was a button 'Start burning' with an underlined 'S', but pressing Alt+S didn't work!

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    alwaysmc2 wrote:
    

    @W3bbo

    Advertising? explain...

    The "MSN Music" buttons in the top right, but thanks to localisation this can change to any Microsoft-partnered music store. I really don't like it WMP boots up and decides I want to use "Tesco Music" today.

    They also removed WMP9's "Media Information" center, that was some pretty slick stuff (and looked good)

    alwaysmc2 wrote:
    

    Well that isn't really evil, just poor design.  Lucky for me I only have LCD monitors , so it works out just fine for me.


    Yes, well some of us are still using the superior option, CRT.

    • Better clarity
    • Better resolution gamut
    • Better color reproduction
    • Better contrast ratio
    • Better brightness
    • Better response times (up to an effective 8ms black-to-white response time)
    I detest how Microsoft is forcing cleartype down our throats.

    alwaysmc2 wrote:
    Album Artist:  It's a good thing.  Example:  A sound track.  Usually the artist is "Varios Artists", but say for a Shreak 2 sound track the "Album Artist" would be "Dreamworks" and the track artist would be the actual artist of the song.  Having the two fields instead of just the one could eliminate "Various Artists".


    Yes, but it screws things up for the majority of media players out there that don't support it.

    alwaysmc2 wrote:
    Hmm... well newer software usually does take more memory.  I have no argument there.

    I find everything readable.

    Things like play speed and volume leveling only work on Windows Media.  It would be nice if it would work on other formats, but when it does and doesn't work at least makes sence.

    What would be wrong if it's only purpouse was to combat iTunes?  However, I found it much better than 9 anyway.

    Each to his own

    alwaysmc2 wrote:
    Now, "Doesn't show length times for *.mpg files, for example, when WMP8 did" could be an attempt to try to oust non-windows media formats, but it is more likely that it was a mistake.


    If it was a mistake it wouldn't persist over three consecutive versions.

  • User profile image
    shreyasonli​ne

    Thats why I always use the old version 'mplayer2.exe' found in the media players folder. Although, you need to download a few codecs for it, but it works really fine. Ya, it looks really old but, why one needs to look at the player when the main moto is to see the video ?

    Shreyas Zare

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    W3bbo wrote:
    One word: bloat.

    BTW, which version of WMP were you using? I'm sticking with V9 since it's the least evil version (V8 was less evil, but I need the V9 functionality...and I like the UI better)


    My suspicion is that MPlayer has sections of code written in assembly language with different versions for different processors to get the kind of efficiency it gets, but that is just my suspicion.

  • User profile image
    sbc

    All I want for playing videos is a basic tool. No extra features not essential for playback. For that I use Media Player Classic (which can also play other formats). Sometimes I also use VideoLan which also has a portable version (i.e. run off external hard drive).

  • User profile image
    Escamillo

    W3bbo wrote:
    One word: bloat.

    BTW, which version of WMP were you using? I'm sticking with V9 since it's the least evil version (V8 was less evil, but I need the V9 functionality...and I like the UI better)


    Guys like you have abused the word "evil" to the point that it's lost all meaning.

    BTW, WMP10 blows away WMP 9.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    Escamillo wrote:
    Guys like you have abused the word "evil" to the point that it's lost all meaning.

    BTW, WMP10 blows away WMP 9.


    What do you say to my list of all the things wrong with it then?

  • User profile image
    Jason Cox

    Advertising? Last time I checked WMP didnt have embedded Google AdWords ads or Viagra ads.

  • User profile image
    kettch

    W3bbo wrote:
    I detest how Microsoft is forcing cleartype down our throats


    Be warned, I foresee an angry man in a kilt in your future.:O

    All in good fun Big Smile

  • User profile image
    alwaysmc2

    Jason Cox wrote:
    Advertising? Last time I checked WMP didnt have embedded Google AdWords ads or Viagra ads.

    He's talking about the store logo in the upper right of the WMP 10/11 window.

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