Do not confuse this KMPlayer with KMPlayer from KDE.org, which was developed for Konqueror / Linux and first released in 2010. The original KMplayer was first released in 2002.
Despite being a powerful tool, KMPlayer has long been an insider among geeks and never gained widespread attention. This may in part be due to its Korean origin and a lack of a professional web representation and English user manual or help files. On the other hand, KMPlayer does have a very strong user base and an active forum. Yet it is notorious for its bad documentation, which is especially discouraging for novice users. However, using KMPlayer is not as challenging as it sounds and this article will shed some light.
KMPlayer has a functional and unpretentious interface.
The basic player controls are located in the bottom left. To its right you can view information about the file and filters, set the audio streams (left, right or both channels), and control playback sections (from point A to point B). The elapsed time (or system time if no file is loaded) is displayed on the far right and you can also set repeat and shuffle options. The volume control is situated in the bottom right.
A left-click on the KMPlayer logo in the top left corner opens the basic file menu.
From there you can open the file navigator, as well as individual files, DVDs or Video CDs from your CD/DVD drive, and load subtitles or external audio.
A right-click anywhere onto the player opens the Main Control window.
This menu grants access to KMplayer’s extensive features. Almost every item in the list is a major menu of its own. For example while the basic file menu allows to load subtitles, the subtitle item in the Main Control menu lets the user define every little subtitle characteristic, including its alignment, font size or rotation. It takes a while to grasp the full depth and potential of these sub-menus and gain an overview.
The endless list of features is what KMPlayer is famous for. It really is a shame that the developers have not released a proper manual for this advanced media player as many features are not self explanatory. Below is a summary of some of the most prominent features, which should give you a taste:
- Screen Controls: extensive control of player screen size, ratios, window transparency, and window on top features
- Pan & Scan: control window and frame position and size
- Playback: move between frames, jump back and forth, set repeat section, control repeat mode, re-sync audio, time shutdown
- Subtitles: search and find subtitles online, add multiple subtitles, control position and orientation of subtitles, re-sync subtitles, modify and merge subtitles
- Bookmarks / Chapter: bookmark positions within a file
Experienced users of KMPlayer will notice that this list only touches the surface. There are far more features and options available than mentioned above. The preferences window alone (> Main Control > Options > Preferences) hosts a myriad of settings, for example filter control, audio, video, and subtitle processing, color controls, and much more. Users can save their settings in presets and launch them as required or exchange them with other users for common projects.
If you are craving immediate access to even more features, you should launch the advanced menu to have many more options available at your fingertips, including audio and video effects, filters, capture options, and skins. To enable the advanced menu, open the > Main Control (right-click on player), go to > Options and check > Advanced Menu.
The Superficial Verdict
The KMPlayer interface is simple enough for the average person to use it as a basic media player. This, however, would be a waste because one thing KMPlayer doesn’t do is save system resources. Playing the same video file requires about 80% more system resources than VLC Player and even a little more than Windows Media Player. But if you are eager to play with your media files and get the best out of them and if you are willing to go through trial and error, then KMPlayer is a dream come true.
If KMPlayer did not convince you, I recommend you give VLC media player a spin. Get started with these articles:
Although KMPlayer has been mentioned many times over on MakeUseOf, we haven’t written a lot about it. If you’re going to make the switch to KMPlayer or are already using it, however, you might want to know How to Bookmark Movies To Resume Where You Left Off. What other features should we highlight or where do you think documentation is lacking badly?
Do you think KMPlayer may be the best media player, or could become your favorite? If it already is, what do you love about it? If you don’t think it could replace your current favorite, why not?
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