SMPlayer review

The ultimate free media player – dozens of tools and all the codecs you need, wrapped up in a friendly interface

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Our Verdict

If you're looking for a new free media player, your search is over. SMPlayer offers all the features you could possibly want for playing music and videos exactly how you want.

For

  • Easy to navigate
  • Highly customizable
  • Excellent file format compatibility

Against

  • May offer more options than you need

SMPlayer is primarily a video player, but it can also be used to listen to music and other audio tracks. It supports a huge range of file formats out of the box, and includes a handy feature that means it remembers where you are in a video even when you close it down.

SMPlayer

Where to download: http://www.smplayer.info

Type: Media player

Developer: Ricardo Villalba

Operating system: Windows, Linux

Version: 17

In addition to files stored on your hard drive, SMPlayer can be used to play YouTube video – but that's just the very beginning. There's support for subtitles, a graphic equalizer, a screenshot tool, adjustable playback speed, customizable playlists, subtitles, the option of using skins and much more.

One of the key problems with media players – and video in general – is the sheer number of codecs required to ensure broad compatibility. SMPlayer has a huge number of codecs built in which means you're very unlikely to find a file that it won't play (its developers make the bold claim that it "can play virtually all video and audio formats").

The same goes for subtitles. If you're playing a video and need a little help with the dialogue, you can perform a subtitle search from right within the app – no more scouring the internet.

User experience

Despite SMPlayer's wealth of features and apparent complexity, it's actually incredibly easy to use. Playing a video and navigating the menus simplicity itself, and even more complex tasks are self-explanatory.

Want to add subtitles? Just click 'Subtitles' on the top toolbar and select the option to search for them online. You can then use the same menu to adjust the speed at which they appear, the text size, and whether the next and previous line also appear on-screen. These options are also accessible via simple keyboard shortcuts.

SMPlayer gives you full control over video and audio playback. In addition to the normal video settings, there are also options for jumping forwards and backwards in small increments, plus an impressive graphic equalizer that does a great job of balancing out the sound (complete with presets for different types of music). SMPlayer also offers a video equalizer that lets you tweak the look of a video with filters and other controls.

If you're not fond of SMPlayer's standard layout there are various skins to choose from, as well as a compact mode and a dedicated setting for tablets. The choice is yours.

SMPlayer is one of the most feature-packed media players out there, and it's impossible not to recommend it. Once you try it, SMPlayer is likely to become your default video tool.

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