KMPlayer – The Best Media Player Ever?

KMplayer02   KMPlayer   The Best Media Player Ever?KMPlayer, also known as K-Multimedia Player or KMP, is a free media player for Windows. It natively supports a myriad of audio and video formats, meaning the regular user will never have to worry about codecs. In addition, it offers many advanced features, is extremely customizable, and is available in multiple languages. If you are looking for a versatile multimedia player for Windows, KMPlayer may be just the one.

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.

First Impressions

KMPlayer has a functional and unpretentious interface.

KMPlayer01   KMPlayer   The Best Media Player Ever?

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.

The Menus

A left-click on the KMPlayer logo in the top left corner opens the basic file menu.

KMplayer03   KMPlayer   The Best Media Player Ever?

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.

KMPlayer04   KMPlayer   The Best Media Player Ever?

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.

Feature 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.

KMPlayer08   KMPlayer   The Best Media Player Ever?

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 [NO LONGER WORKS] 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?

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

If you have any questions related to what's mentioned in the article or need help with any computer issue, ask it on MakeUseOf Answers—We and our community will be more than happy to help.

30 Comments -

Gkjffsdkjfshkj

discovered it last year, never looked back

Mmonahan56

The biggest setbacks that I see, or rather don’t see, is the ability to configure and rip audio, and a way to manage large music libraries. For those two features alone, there is still nothing that comes even close to Media Monkey in my opinion.

Qlisic

the best!

Schmoe

I have GOMPlayer, KMPlayer, and VLC all installed on my system.   

I like VLC the least.  
a) I find the interface horrible. ¬†I still haven’t figured out the keyboard shortcuts to advancing a configurable number of seconds forward (typically 10) and a configurable number of seconds backward.
b) Sometimes it can’t keep up with the video. ¬†The video has a smeared look on it that I don’t see with the other video players.

I have had several issues with KMPlayer.  
a) It has that heavyweight application feel. Sometimes it just hangs.  XP itself struggles to kill it.    
b) it locks the video files while it plays.  In GOMPlayer, I can delete a video while its playing.  The file will remain on the system until I shutdown GOMPlayer or switch to a different video.  I wish it would work that way in KMPlayer.  
c) Lastly, I once accidently clicked on some part of the KMPlayer panel – can’t remember what it was at the time – and it changed the panel configuration and could never figure out how to undo it. ¬†I eventually had to reinstall.

I find myself GOMPlayer the most.   It feels lightweight and just works.  It too has issues:
a) On some videos, depending on codec type, scrolling to a different part of the video takes time.  There is a pause anywhere from 1 to 5 seconds.  This true of all players, and more a symptom of my underpowered machine than of the video player.  However, I noticed KMPlayer takes less time than GOMPlayer on some videos.  Only for certain codec types.
b) There updates can be obnoxious – installing the ask.com toolbar and hijacking your browser start page.
c) Doesn’t play .mov vids.

Tina

Thank you for the thorough comparison, Schmoe!

In essence, every player has its pros and cons and they might be different ones for different people. Personally, I still prefer VLC. It simply works (I haven’t had issues), it’s lightweight, and I don’t need all the extra features some other players are offering. That said, I do appreciate the value of other players and I see a lot of it in KMPlayer.

vhick

 Thanks for this! One of the best player. Try to play a broken video file. It just play perfectly.

CroMan1aC

¬†I’m using SPlayer for a year, and although it is not the best player available, I’m using it because of one feature: for every file that SPlayer runs, it scans the web for a suitable English subtitles. It may be small and insignificant, but it kills the hassle with finding appropriate subtitles. If KMPlayer gets that feature, I’m sold.¬†

Will Robinson

 KMP does indeed have an online subtitle finder with the options РOff, Prompt  when found, Open first found automatically; and up to 10 alternate sites to check.

imarc cj

kmPlayer plays everything… it’s really good… I wish was available for Mac OS X

Anonymous

There is a better option for Mac. On windows I use It for a long time and it’s very nice though.

CGA

I think I’ve tried them all but I always come back to KMPlayer, nothing comes close to it in terms of video quality and customization.

Meena Bassem

one other good one ( can even search for subs ) is called UMPlayer, available for windows, mac, linux

http://www.umplayer.com/

 take a look at it, the only annoying thing about it is the online installer. i hate them
everything else about it is just cool

Miggs

 VLC is cross-platform!

Technut

MPC-HC (Media Player Classic Home Cinema) is the best for me. Minimalist interface, plays everything under the sun.

Ankur

 its a great and plays almost anything . i find it a bit resource hog . VLC is more light and i would be bias as VLC is available for linux too and I support that 

Thedatabug

I discovered SPlayer or Shooter player alittle while ago and its become my favourite replacing KMPlayer GomPlayer and VLC. 

RR

Kmplayer is always my best choice for playing video. The most convenient thing is the shortcuts to display the video in diffrent sizes, and you can try to press 1 2 3 4  when you are playing video. The second convenient thing is the subtitle customize. I can press Alt+Q to display the subtitle view and adjust the subtitle to any time I want.

b) it locks the video files while it plays.  In GOMPlayer, I can delete a
video while its playing.  The file will remain on the system until I
shutdown GOMPlayer or switch to a different video.  I wish it would work
that way in KMPlayer. 
==> This feature must be store the video in the memory, so GOMPlayer must be taken a lot of memory spaces. I think it is not a good feature.
c) Lastly, I once accidently clicked on some part of the KMPlayer panel –
can’t remember what it was at the time – and it changed the panel
configuration and could never figure out how to undo it.  I eventually
had to reinstall.
==> There are a lot of shortcuts in kmplayer, and if you are familiar with kmplayer, you will find that it is really convenient.

I have used kmplayer for 5 years and it is one of my essential softwares.

Sunfizz98

¬†KMPlayer is still one of my all-time favorites since it is extremely feature rich and customizable. ¬†I’ve tried craploads of media players (GOM,BSplayer, VLC, MPC-HC, mplayer, etc) and always went back to KMPlayer for Windows. ¬†For those who want a leaner KMPlayer, check out Potplayer since it is made by the same creator.

phil

Dammit, I now have an annoying toolbar added to my Firefox and Internet Explorer :( Did I miss the option to not install it, or did it force it on me?

Tina

Phil,

you probably missed it during the installation, I didn’t end up with a toolbar.

You can uninstall it, either via Windows add/remove programs or vis browser add-ons.

Ravi Shankar

Clicking ‘Agree’ 10 times and you’ll end up like that. You should be more careful. :P

DHANUSH S

Well the original developer has sold Km Player to pandora.tv and it is rarely updated,so it is full of bugs.
I reccomend you to check out PotPlayer which is from the same developer and is updated frequently!
http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=148745

donald

I ve used KMPlayer  since day 1 and although previousely satisfied with VLC I never went back. The slideshow (with artflaw) effect, while playing musuic, has always rocked.  It is the only media player (freeware at least) that does that.  I could load 30gb of music in no time and display the entire collection at once without messing up my library (like the WMplayer bitch).
It is very sad that it doesnt run in other OS like Linux for instance.  I have recently made the jump (finally) and quit the insulting (to my intelligence and wallet) Winblows microsucks and now I am terribly sad for the loss.   I had originally thought that the KMPlayer mentionned on the Linux community was the actual one (korean KMPlayer I mean)  But I made a mistake.    I have tried through Wine app in KDE (Kubuntu 11.04.. nice btw) but though successfully installed when launched doesnt play zip.  Would be great if someone would find the way to fix the issue in KDE or GNOME.
Meanwhile perhaps I should go back to  VLC I suppose (since all the media apps in KDE suck big time unfortunately) which works on Linux.
BTW, I’ll never go back to W not even if they paid me.

Anonymous

This really is one of the most versatile and powerful media workhorses out there. Like some other users above, I’ve settled for a player with a more minimal set of features¬†(smPlayer, which is also based on the mPlayer engine, codecs included)¬†when compared to KMPlayer.

Where KMPlayer really starts to pull away from the field is when need to do things like pull in Analog/Digital TV signals, stream and save portions of video and audio clips from any input source, etc… There is so much to this application than just being a player and you only realize it when you get stuck for a solution. It really should be a a part of everyone’s tool chest.

As one poster noted – there are so many configuration options that you can accidentally configure something and can’t get back to a desirable default. I recommend the portable version. So even if you don’t use it as your main (VLC, smPlayer and others), you’ll have it at the ready as backup when you main fails at some task.

Ravi Shankar

Yea, the configurations are one key away. So hitting the R key resets most of them.

Hamza Khezami

KMplayer is way better then this VLC in terms of video and audio quality. I’ve been using it since the days of its release and I found no match for it. and I HATE when I hear here that “VLC is the best…and this and that….”. KMplayer is one of the Korean wonders and has no match so far. and that’s the least I can say about it. Peace

Hamza Khezami

I think someone should write an article about how you can manipulate and edit subtitles with KMplayer, I mean, even if you have a wrongly synchronised subtitle, you can still fix it with KMplayer. And it has many other features that you’ll never find in any other media player.

Tina

That’s definitely worth a thought, Hamza!