Play, stop, start, pause and control your multimedia playback with Flutter

flutter_iconMicrosoft’s Kinect is hot right now.  Controlling your game console, and multimedia equipment – which the Xbox also doubles as – with hand gestures is pretty cool. Many PC owners would love to be able to do the same thing – control their PC with their body.  Well, now with Flutter, a web cam and your PC, you can do just that – but only with your multimedia apps. Flutter allows you to control playback of your favorite media with some of your favorite aps. Let’s check it out to see if it’s going to become part of your PC toolbox.

Flutter uses gestures detected by your web cam to play, pause and skip media. Flutter supports YouTube, Pandora, Spotify, Grooveshark, iTunes, Netflix, among others.  If you’re an Apple Keynote user, you can also control your slide show presentation with hand gestures.  The cool thing is that Flutter works even when the app you want to control isn’t in focus, and is playing media in the background.

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Flutter is an interesting app; but not one that I think will last long. Maybe I’m too old to get it; but with an effective range of 1-6 feet, I can’t see how taking my hands up away from the PC and waving them at the screen is easier or better than controlling media playback with a keyboard or mouse.

I can see where this would be really awesome at say a party or perhaps in a business setting where you were playing a slideshow with Keynote and wanted to control the app that way.  However, I can see things heading way south after a DJ says, “Put your hands in the air..!” I’m just sayin’…

Flutter is coming out with additional gestures and with support for additional apps. We’ll have to see how well this gets adopted, but until then, while really cool, I am going to stay firmly planted on the fence.

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Xion Audio Player

xionaudioplayerportable10Play all your music files with this cool Windows media player.

Having an alternative to Windows Media Player or other mainstream media players can be important. In many cases, WMP may not give you the performance or level of customization you want or need. Its times like these that having apps like Xion Audio Player are important. It’s a media player for your Windows PC.

Xion Audio Player is an easy to use music player with a very powerful skinning system. The app has full animation support, contains support for playlists and has seamless playback and crossfading support. You can further tweak its sound quality with is built in 10 band equalizer, with built in presets.

Xion Audio Player reminds me a great deal of WinAmp and all the cool skins that I used to use with it way back in the day. The player has decent performance and is easy on the resources. Its skinning system is said to be fairly easy to use if you’re graphically inclined, and includes the ability to customize hot keys.

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Xion Audio Player is really cool; but hasn’t seen an update in almost 3 years. It supports MP3 and OGG, and it also supports Shoutcast and Icecast streaming formats. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support any DRM encoded formats.

download Xion Audio Player

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View and play all of your media with AK Player

Playing media where and when you want it isn’t always easy, especially with today’s complex ecosystems and new compression algorithms. Playing Flash content while disconnected is also a problem. Adobe doesn’t make an offline player. This is why I like AK Player. It’s a cool media Player for Windows.

AK Player allows you to watch videos from your favorite internet sites, even when you aren’t connected.  This free media player can download content from your favorite media website, like YouTube, and then play it while you’re offline.  One of the reasons why it does this and does this so well is due to its dual media player engines. It plays just about everything.

The app is almost compatible with any and every file format out there.  This is important since there are so many different audio and video formats.  With AK Player all you really need is its one, dual engine player.  However, I did have trouble getting it to play iTunes compatible media, as well as DRM’ed files, although that last one wasn’t surprising.

AK-Player can play multiple files at the same time, something which really sets it apart from virtually every other media player out there. Even better is the fact that you can control the volume or mute or unmute the audio in each individual window that you have open. It has a global volume control, too. When you double click on a new media file, it will automatically open in a new window without closing down the currently open file. It plays multiple files simultaneously and organize it in a smart playlist.

AK Player is a cool app. There’s a lot to like here, especially if you like playing Flash based movies, and aren’t always connected to the internet.  The app allows you to play, as well as organize and search your hard drive for files you’ve got stored. The one thing that annoyed me a little was the fact that it wouldn’t play *.m4a files, DRM’ed or not.  However, despite that, AK Player is a decent Windows media player and is a lot of fun to use.

download AK Player

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A Crystal Experience

I used to have a dozens of video players, some for playing AVI’s, other for playing MKV’s, other for watch movies with subtitles, etc, until I found Crystal Player. At first it looked quite simple, but once I got more and more into it, I began to discover it’s complexity, and all the settings that I wanted to have in a video player developed by myself!

I always had issues when I tried to load a subtitle in a movie, but Crystal Player makes it simple! Quick load, position the subtitles wherever I want, change the font or the color, even to correct the video-subtitle delay! Plus, if you have a wide video, you can arrange the subtitle “outside the screen” and you can watch all the video without any text on it! Tricky features such as the possibility to zoom the video as much as you need, render the movie left-side-right or otherwise up-side-down, take screen shot (press “C”) can also be performed with ease by Crystal Player.

Think of this scenario: Many times, in the night when you go to bed, you start a movie, and you fall asleep… Before using Crystal Player, you got up in the morning with your computer on…resulting in waste of electricity…but not anymore! Because Crystal Player has the option (if you activate it) to shut down the computer in 2 minutes after the movie is finished!!!(or when all the movies from the playlist are finished.)

download Crystal Player

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PowerDVD – the best movie experience on the PC

It’s all about the videos. Media has always been a passion for us and finding the best way to play, manage and experience media is a challenge for many. Some don’t want to use mainstream tools. Others don’t want to deal with what many consider bloatware. Others simply want a better experience than what is offered by standard players. This is why PowerDVD is one of the best players available. It’s a feature rich media player for Windows.PowerDVD 11 is the ultimate universal media player that extends your viewing experience beyond just movies.

Read the full review | Download PowerDVD

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10 esential media players to choose from

Giving the fact that most of us are listening to music or watching videos on a daily basis, I thought that it might be useful to write a short guide presenting you 10 essential media players from which you can choose the one that is suitable. Starting in a randomly order:

Nullsoft Winamp

One of the oldest media players on the market supported by a huge community. You can choose to use its free version which is suitable for listening to music and to online radio and gives you unlimited access to custom playlists. For the payed version you will get access to a video player module and a comprehensive list of audio and graphical plug-ins.

iTunes

Mostly known for its online market and exclusive sync feature with iPod players, iTunes is nothing else but a huge music library. It can scan your computer for audio files and arrange them in order based on defined filters. It will automatically download for free covers for any music album and additional information from the iTunes marketplace.

Windows Media Player

Any Windows user knows this media player. It exists since the dawn of computers and along with Winamp makes the oldest couple in the media players market. It’s free and integrated in any Windows operating system and has video and audio functions. In terms of video playback, the player comes with native wma support. Any other codecs need to be installed in order to run specific video files. The audio section is much better represented with lots of options to organize your music collection. Version 12 (available only in Windows 7) can also be used as Media Center for third party consoles such as XBOX 360 and PS3.

VLC for Windows | VLC for MAC

The one that you need. It’s free and ready to play any video format including MKV, XVID, DIVX, DVD, Blu-Ray, etc. VLC is an open source project that earned its popularity because of its own engine that requires no additional codecs to be installed. Any type of video or audio file can be played with no problems. The only drawback is that from version to version, VLC becomes bigger and bigger.

BSPlayer

One of the most popular free video players. BSPlayer has been focused from the beginning on delivering the best video experience for the user requiring very low CPU and RAM usage while running. It also features a wide variety of display modes (all types of aspect ratios and uncommon resolutions) and subtitle options which enable the users to watch video files in many of the world’s languages.

Quicktime

Quicktime is included by default in any Mac operating system and delivered for free for other operating systems. In general you will find it in bundle with iTunes. While iTunes is strictly for music, Quicktime is strictly for videos. It suffers from the same lack of options like Windows Media Player when coming to special video formats or subtitles support, but delivers an incredible image quality when playing high definition videos.

ALLPlayer

Developed by Arthur Majtczak, AllPlayer is probably the most popular program for watching movies on the Polish market. With full subtitles support it plays all known media formats, and furthermore has an implemented LiveUpdate function to update the latest codecs if there is a problem with opening a movie file. The program also searches for matching subtitles in all languages automatically.
Unlike most players, ALLPlayer is not merely an overlay for MediaPlayer, and it uses DirectX, which makes it possible to play any movie. The program is also integrated with a speech synthesizer application, allowing you to watch movies with subtitles with a reader (dubbing).
GOM Player

GOM Player ranks among the most popular media players in Asia. It’s a video/audio player with additional multimedia functions. GOM uses low CPU utilization while giving you the best possible image and subtitle quality. It can also play incomplete files (with missing indexes) without buffering. Similar to VLC, GOM can play any media files due to its built-in codecs library. In addition, Codec Finder service helps codec installation; this service will tell you exactly which codec you should install and where you can download the codec. This service is powerful, easy to use, and highly interactive. With it’s help, you can watch any media files of various formats.

RealPlayer

Very popular in its former days on the US market, RealPlayer is more of a social multimedia player suited for online services and mobile devices. You can download videos from tens of thousands of websites with the click of a button and easily transfer them to your phone or mobile device. RealPlayer comes also with social network support. You can pick a downloaded video from your library and click on the icon for the social network you want to share it on (or the envelope icon if you just want to e-mail it). Voila! Your desired video from your local collection is uploaded.

Media Player Classic

If you want to return to the pure simplicity, then you need to take a look at Media Player Classic. It’s really the easiest way to play video on your PC. Started as a free project by Gabest, Media Player Classic is an enhanced version of Windows Media Player 6.4. This program can play DVDs with the help of external decoders like WinDVD and it can also play RealMedia files, if RealPlayer One is installed. It requires additional codecs installation for specific video files.

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Media Player Classic – the best media player for performance

Do you remember when playing movies on your computer was easy? All you needed was the movie file and a mpg file and you were set. Now a days, you have to worry about libraries and catalogs and stores… ENOUGH! If you want to return to the simplicity, then you need to take a look at Media Player Classic. It’s really the easiest way to play video on your PC.Media Player Classic is an enhanced version of Windows Media Player 6.4. This program can play DVDs with the help of external decoders like WinDVD and it can also play RealMedia files, if RealPlayer One is installed. Gone are the complications of WMP 7 and later. Now all you need is Windows Media Player Classic.

Read the full review | Download Media Player Classic

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KWorld Is Launching a Home Entertainment Media Player

KWorld Home Entertainment Media Player

KWorld Computer announces its latest design in media player – M210. KWorld has created this media player to supply the multimedia market with attractive features with a category from entry level to high end. We want to proportionate a complete home entertainment center designed for your living-room TV full HD up to 1080P.

The media player M210 features streaming Internet content, movies, videos, music, photos from any storage devices. Users will be able to enjoy the streaming Internet content with very convenient web services such as YouTube, Picasa, Weather and BT download displayed on user’s TV and by using remote control. We have also included the internal removable hard disk 2.5″/3.5″ hot swap SATA HDD rack for easy HDD swapping without unscrewing or opening the case; furthermore to maximize users media player memory space.

M210 supports a very powerful software for decoding the most demanding and popular playback formats of audio, video, picture & subtitle sources such as BD-ISO,M2TS, AVI, MPEG,WMV MP4,MOV,MKV, TS/TP, all up to 1080p among others. It also includes a convenient variety of output interfaces (HDMI, YPbPr and Composite) to make it easy for users to bring it anywhere they go and connect it to any type of TV. It has different inputs such as USB 2.0 and Hard Disk of 2.5 or 3.5. It also includes the interface ESATA technology which consists on transmitting 6 times faster and more efficient than the USB cable.

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