Does Your Media Player Suck? Try A Unique Alternative: Daum PotPlayer [Windows]

Daum PotPlayer Logo   Does Your Media Player Suck? Try A Unique Alternative: Daum PotPlayer [Windows]Whenever we have written an article about great media players, people were quick to remind us of PotPlayer. Once we checked it out, we had to agree that it was indeed pretty awesome. So the tool silently made it to our famous list of Best Windows Software and finally the time has come for a proper review.

PotPlayer was developed by Daum and is based on the original KMPlayer, which has since been developed by another group. Much like VLC Media Player, Daum PotPlayer comes complete with codecs for most media file formats. This means it will natively play almost any audio or video file you throw at it, without the need to manually install codecs. If you now wonder whether PotPlayer is as neat and easy to use as it sounds, read on.

First Impressions

On a first impression, Daum PotPlayer looks like a mix of KMPlayer and Winamp. It has a modular setup, consisting of a playlist and a playback module. The latter changes depending on whether an audio or a video file is playing. Note that throughout the player, left- or right-click might trigger different actions or behaviors, also depending on your current view.

Adding Files & Managing Playlists

You can add files, an entire directory, or a URL by clicking the + sign in the bottom right of the playlist. Alternatively, you can right-click into the playlist and select Add & Edit or use the keyboard shortcut [CTRL] + [I]. You can also drag&drop files or directories from a Windows Explorer folder into the playlist.

Daum PotPlayer Add Files   Does Your Media Player Suck? Try A Unique Alternative: Daum PotPlayer [Windows]

Did you notice the playlist tabs above? You can create different albums, which per default are automatically saved as playlists. When you close and open PotPlayer, your previously opened tabs are re-loaded.

Unfortunately, you cannot change the order of opened albums, they are sorted alphabetically. It’s also not possible to drag & drop or easily move files from one album to another. However, when you select files and then click *New Album, the selected files will automatically be copied over to the new album (not moved).

Also, you can copy and paste files from one album to another via the Add & Edit menu shown above. To remove files, right-click them, open the Remove menu and select the desired action. Alternatively, you can use the indicated keyboard shortcuts.

Daum PotPlayer Remove Files   Does Your Media Player Suck? Try A Unique Alternative: Daum PotPlayer [Windows]

The playlist supports drag&drop, both for files from another source and within the playlist. Hence it’s a surprise that drag&drop does not work between playlists. Files can be moved up and down within the playlist via the playlist menu. Little buttons next to the info window allow you to open the Playlist Settings [left-click S], sort the playlist [right-click S] or save the current playlist [left-click O].

Daum PotPlayer Playlist Menu   Does Your Media Player Suck? Try A Unique Alternative: Daum PotPlayer [Windows]

Playing Audio Files

While playing audio files you can move around the playlist and pair it with the equalizer in various ways. Once the two are paired, dragging the playback module will move both elements like one unit, while dragging the playlist will separate them. Clicking the little icon in the top left triggers On Top Always behavior.

Daum PotPlayer Audio Overview   Does Your Media Player Suck? Try A Unique Alternative: Daum PotPlayer [Windows]

The playback module has some neat features for both audio and video. While playing audio files, you can use the A / B buttons to define a section of the file to be repeated. Clicking the arrows between A and B will reset the selection.

Daum PotPlayer Equalizer   Does Your Media Player Suck? Try A Unique Alternative: Daum PotPlayer [Windows]

In the bottom right of the playback module are three buttons. Left-click the first button to open the Windows folder for the currently playing file, right-click it to get an extensive menu of anything the player can potentially open, including webcam, TV, or subtitles. The middle button launches or closes the control panel upon a left-click, while a right-click opens the skin menu. Finally, left-clicking the right-most button opens or closes the playlist.

The unsuspicious looking control panel lets you manage the audio equalizer, adjust video settings and take screen captures, control subtitles, play settings, video ratios and video frames.

Daum PotPlayer Control Panel   Does Your Media Player Suck? Try A Unique Alternative: Daum PotPlayer [Windows]

Playing Video Files

The video frame is docked to the left of the playlist. You can close the playlist via the respective button in the bottom right of the video frame or by clicking the little arrowhead between the video and the playlist. To watch the video in fullscreen, double-click the video frame. You can return by double-clicking again or clicking [ESC].

Daum PotPlayer Overview   Does Your Media Player Suck? Try A Unique Alternative: Daum PotPlayer [Windows]

While playing video you can hide the skin to only see the video frame by clicking the little icon in the top left. You can move the video frame around and as you hover over the top, bottom, or right-hand side, the respective menus or the playlist will show.

Daum PotPlayer Video Frame   Does Your Media Player Suck? Try A Unique Alternative: Daum PotPlayer [Windows]

The video playback menu shown above is quite a handful. PCM lets you change audio channels, NV12 has all the controls for moving within the video, including frame by frame, within subtitles, or to a specific frame.

Daum PotPlayer Move Frames   Does Your Media Player Suck? Try A Unique Alternative: Daum PotPlayer [Windows]

Left-clicking the [i] button turns on/off OSD, while a right-click opens a window with the file information. Left-clicking the [O] button captures the current frame and a right-click opens a screen capture menu. Also the next buttons in the row show different behaviors for left- vs. right-click. The first three control audio stream, subtitles, and video processing.

The final three are similar but different to the menus seen at the bottom of the audio playback window. Right-clicking the control panel button will open an advanced control menu bar (see screenshot below). Right-clicking the playlist button merges and separates the playlist from the video frame.

Daum PotPlayer Video Playback Menu   Does Your Media Player Suck? Try A Unique Alternative: Daum PotPlayer [Windows]

Note that while a video is playing, right-clicking the playlist albums will show another extensive menu, but only when the playlist is merged with the video frame. This is the same menu that opens when you right-click the display that indicates the file format [AVI in screenshot above].

Verdict

Daum PotPlayer is a versatile and comprehensive media player, much like its big brother KMPlayer. Some of its features are not immediately intuitive, for example differing behavior of buttons upon left- or right-click. However, this also highlights the depth of the player. While the interface makes the player appear simplistic at first, the many menus hidden behind a few carefully placed buttons, reveal advanced features that leave few requests open. So taken together, PotPlayer is a media player for people who expect full control, enjoy unique interfaces, and don’t mind exploring.

What is your experience with media players? Which one is your favorite and how does PotPlayer compare?

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38 Comments -

0 votes

omiZ

Too bad it’s not open source ;x

0 votes

Jacques Knipe

I’ve been using iTunes for quite a number of years now even though I don’t own a single Apple device. Been looking for a fresh player for a couple of weeks, so will definitely give this one a go.

0 votes

Tina Sieber

Well, do let us know how the transition went and what player you decided for, Jacques!

0 votes

Gideon Waxfarb

Currently using VLC and I love that it plays everything I throw at it while still being portable (no install required), but my main beef with it is that on my laptop, it seems to take about an hour and a half to start up :P Is this thing any faster?

0 votes

Lisa Santika Onggrid

In my laptop, it starts almost instantly.

0 votes

Lisa Santika Onggrid

I’m referring to Daum Potplayer.

0 votes

Tina Sieber

PotPlayer opens a lot quicker for me than VLC.

2 votes

Justin Pot

I would like to state for the record that, despite its name, I am in no way affiliated with Pot Player.

0 votes

Caroline West

That’s funny! Your name did pop into my head when I read it!!

0 votes

Tina Sieber

Glad we got that out of the way, Justin! :)

0 votes

Garris Rago

I am definately going to give this one a go. I use mufin for music, and VLC for videos but this looks like it’s good for videos and will meet my music needs too. I have to say though, I have a feeling it will not make me choose it over mufin as I just love everything about mufin.

0 votes

Tina Sieber

Would love to hear what you think of PotPlayer after you tried it. Would also be great to learn how it compares to Mufin in your eyes.

5 votes

Garris Rago

I downloaded pot player, and surprisingly, I absolutely loved it. I preferred the interface to VLC, though as I thought I will still be using mufin for music. I like mufin as my music played because it opens quick and is simple to use, you can select a track then instruct it to play the rest of the songs on mufin (or on your selection like an specific album or a playlist) in order of how alike they are to the one you chose. It’s also just got a interface that I love.

I don’t think I will be using PotPlayer much though, my pi came today and I’ve got it hooked up to external hard drive and got xbmc, hello new htpc

5 votes

Prashanth Hegde

Thanks for the nice review.
I have been using Media Player Classic for several years now, and I have never even taken a look at other players – since MPC is sooo customizable and easy to use.
And I have also observed on multiple occasions that MPC outputs a better video quality compared to a VLC player. VLC player has some digital artifacts even on a 720p video.

I have a few questions about pot player…
Does pot player customize keyboard shortcuts too?
Does it provide an option to switch Video decoding to a different decoder?

0 votes

Tina Sieber

Great questions, Prashanth!

Yes, you can create customized keyboard shortcuts. Click F5 to open Preferences, and within General, go to Shortcuts. You can add custom keyboard shortcuts and ignore default shortcut keys. PotPlayer also supports hotkeys and volume control of multimedia keyboards (if enabled).

Yes, you can switch video decoding! Click F5 to open Preferences, then go to Filter Control and Video Decoder. To be honest, the options there are extensive and way over my head, so I won’t comment further. If you do try them, please let us know what you thought of them!

0 votes

Tina Sieber

I should note that you need to select the main menu before you press F5.

It’s not just different ways of clicking buttons that offer different menus, you also get different results in different locations. Moreover, keyboard shortcuts have different effects, depending on where you use them within this one single application. Complicated, but kinda makes sense.

0 votes

ion popa

My favourite media player. Nice review, thanks!

0 votes

bradbelize

Travis! Its you?

0 votes

Gianna Marie Lanete

I use potplayer and it was defintely awesome..
I use it to have a good quality videos and for my gifs. :))

0 votes

Jeremy Garnett

I’ve been using VLC for years, now. The functionality is standard, and while I occasionally look around for video collection management tool, I haven’t found one I continue to use beyond the first month or so.

Nothing will go past Media Monkey for music management, but Daum PotPlayer may be ‘it’ for video. Worth a try.

0 votes

Tina Sieber

Please let us know what you thought about PotPlayer for managing your video collection once you did give it a try, Jeremy.

0 votes

Gary Volk

It’s OK, would not want to replace Media Monkey for music or MPC-HC for video. The interface is confusing. Playing videos does one thing, music does another. Some of the menu options were in Korean and some of the skin was too dark to even see the button there. Tried different skins, but none to my liking. It’s been awhile since I tried a Linux distro, but there was a pretty good media player at the time that never got ported to windows. Just can’t think of the name right now, when you mentioned KMPlayer I thought that was it. I do know that it was part of the KDE shell.

0 votes

Tina Sieber

I agree that menus can be confusing, Gary. That’s why I said it’s a great player for people who love tons of options and don’t mind exploring.

Skins is another story. I find the default skin OK and didn’t think it was too dark.

0 votes

Abhi

I’ve tried and tested almost all major players and found Daum Pot Player to be the best. However, there’s a major annoyance. When I switch off the modem, it keeps trying to connect to the Internet. I’ve set auto-update off, blocked it in firewall, still that connection-wizard just won’t go away…

0 votes

Lisa Santika Onggrid

Funny. It never does that in my laptop.

0 votes

Tina Sieber

I haven’t run into this issue either, Abhi. Also don’t see any options in Preferences that might stop this behavior. Did you update the software, recently?

To check your version, select the player by its main menu, then press F1. The latest is 1.5.35491 from February 5, 2013. If you don’t have the latest version, click the Check Updates button in the bottom right.

0 votes

holykow

jetaudio…. i dont see myself ever using anything else….

5 votes

Lisa Santika Onggrid

My favorite. Used KMPlayer until it’s no longer under the creator’s care, and found PotPlayer. I mainly use it for video, and the best feature to me is the ability to fill the playlist automatically with the next episode (if you double click video01 it’d also load video02,03, and so on to the playlist) then weave them together into seamless playback. It’s easy to lost track of how many episodes I’ve watched with this software.

0 votes

Jonthue Michel

I would use it if it has an remote control access on android.

6 votes
0 votes

harley bellwood

I hate iTunes, love Media Monkey & Winamp, I also use VLC. I think I might give PotPlayer a go too.

0 votes

Terafall

Last time I used Pot Player,it was still in beta.Is it still on beta right now?

0 votes

James Hudson

whys it not open source

0 votes

Danny

ask the creator

0 votes

James Hudson

do you think they’d make it open source?

0 votes

Uffe

Think VLC rules since i just now tried it and it can’t even play ISO or IMG files.

0 votes

ewan

I have been using vlc for a while. I was searching the web and discovered Daum PotPlayer. I am impressed by the volume loudness especially when playing videos with low audio quality. Pot player has many features. I would like to see some better english documentation of pot players features.

0 votes

Shark

Downloaded them all last year since the ones I was using (VLC, Media Player, Media Player Classic) just could not seem to handle what I needed, that is the reason to find the best one. Especially since the reviews on the net for players of all types were all over the place. Potplayer was by far the best one for me, by far the best options, sound and plays movies back far better which is what I use it for primarily. My library has over 2500 movies, some players have a hard time playing some of them, not this one, not the first hitch, no hang ups. Sometimes use it for music, did the same for music players, for me MusicBee was the best, great tag editor, great sound oddly some not so much, would have thought that was more hardware driven. The Korean guy who did this (his name escapes me) is brilliant, well done.

Note: This player is better than the KMPlayer (tried it out as well), which was the intent if I remember correctly.

Note: As a warning you need to have a better program uninstaller than the one that comes with your OS. I use Revo Uninstaller Pro, you do not need this exact one but get a good one as some of the players leave a bunch of crap on your machine and/or do not fully uninstall on purpose. Personally had some unwanted side effects from a couple of players. Did not start with Revo so lesson learned.

Good article Tina, thanks!