Enjoy the show

View a wide variety of video formats with this well-designed program.

Watch enough different kinds of videos in Windows and eventually you are bound to run into a codec problem. Codecs encode and decode digital data, and popular media viewers like Windows Media Player don't always have the codecs needed to view all types of videos. ALShow is an easy-to-use media player that comes equipped with plenty of codecs, and it's prepared to download more if needed.

ALShow's interface is plain but intuitive, with its features organized neatly in uncluttered menus. Users can play videos in AVI, MPG, MPEG, DAT, VOB, WMV, ASF, ASX, and many other formats, and if you should happen to try a format for which ALShow doesn't have a codec, the program will automatically search for and download one. We were especially impressed with some of the program's other features, including its bookmarking function; users can create bookmarks, with descriptions, at any point in a video, making it easy to return to your favorite part over and over again. Videos that have caption files can also be viewed with the captions on or off, and the program has a variety of features for fast forwarding, rewinding, repeating segments, capturing audio, and more. The Screen menu contains plenty of options for customizing the program's view, including a screen capture function. The program's Help file is well-written and thorough. Overall, we found ALShow to be quite simple and useful.

ALShow is free. The program installs politely but leaves a Start menu item and folder behind upon removal. We recommend this program to all users.

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