I've been using this puppy for about a decade. Even back when I was a video god…
…I tried out a zillion players along the way, and while some had features that were simply absolutely fantastic(!), all I want the damn thing to do is play the damn video and have an 'Instant replay' and 'Fast forward' handy. Throughout all of its revisions, Player Classic has always stayed true to it 'pure' functional form.
Download it here. It's a standalone program; no need for an install. Just grab the folder icon and move it to someplace safe, then grab the EXE icon and d-r-a-g it to the Start Menu and drop it in. I also place it on the SendTo menu.
It needs a few tweaks to work its best:
- Open the program, then View Menu, 'Options'.
- Click on 'Formats'. Check 'Flash Video', 'Matroska Media', 'MPEG Media', 'Ogg Media', 'Real Media', 'Shockwave' and 'Video file'. If you want it to also be your audio player, select 'Audio file' and 'MP3 Format'.
- Click on 'Keys' over to the left. On the right, scroll down one pane to 'Framestep' and 'Framestep back'. Click on 'None' three times slowly, and you'll see a drop-down menu appear. Select 'Shift' for both.
Below that, change the same box for 'Jump Forward (medium)' and 'Jump Backward (medium)' to 'None'.
If you want to jump forward or backward about 5 seconds, hit the left or right arrow keys. If you want to go frame-by-frame, hold the Shift key down while using the arrow keys.
- Click on 'Playback'. If you want the vids to loop, check 'Repeat forever'.
- Click on 'Output'. Leave it on 'System Default' for now, but if Classic ever says you need to flip a setting to 'VMR7' or "VMR9' to play a particular video, this is the panel where you do it. You can then (probably) just leave it in that position.
Close the program. What you need to do now for AVI and MPEG (MPG) files is to find an icon for each type and directly associate them with Classic. Right-click on the icon and open 'Properties'. Click the 'Change' button. Depending on OS, you might see Media Player Classic displayed. If so, select it. Otherwise, click the 'Browse' button and navigate to the actual EXE file. You'll need to do this for both AVI and MPEG files, so you'll need to see the file extensions. If you don't, open Control Panel, 'Folder Options', 'View' tab, uncheck 'Hide extensions…'.
WMV files are a little touchy because this is a Windows streaming media format, so if you check 'WMV' in Classic's options, streaming files won't play because Classic isn't a streaming player. What you do is the icon/change routine above for a WMV file, but don't touch any settings, either in Classic or Windows Media Player.
Likewise, if you're using Classic as an audio player, you might need to find a WAV and MP3 icon and do the above 'change' routine.
Classic also plays AC3 audio files, most DVD VOB files and 'TS' and 'FLV' video files, so do the icon/change routine if you're using them.
In short, if you run into a new audio or video format, fire up Classic and load the file. If it plays, do the icon/change routine on the icon. If it doesn't play, don't give up. It plays normal FLV files just fine, for example, but has problems with YouTube clips because they're doing something funny to their FLV files so people will watch them on the site, rather than download them.