Copious codecs

Play videos in numerous different formats with this versatile media player.

Competition in the media player market is fierce, and any program that wants to be taken seriously had better do something to stand out from the crowd. MPCStar is a basic media player that, unlike much of the competition, can play videos in a huge variety of formats. It's not perfect, but it did a good job for most of the videos we played with it.

The program's interface is plain and fairly run-of-the-mill as far as media players go. We liked it that MPCStar makes it easy to create playlists by simply selecting multiple videos and dragging and dropping them into the desired order. A set of control panels lets you adjust the video, volume, and subtitle settings. Everything about MPCStar was intuitive, and an online Help file provided a thorough overview of the program's features. What really sets MPCStar apart, however, is what goes on behind the scenes. The program comes with multiple codecs that allow you to play videos in plenty of different formats, including various MPEG, Windows Media, Real, QuickTime, mobile, Flash, and DVD formats. Most of the videos that we tried with MPCStar played fine, although we did encounter some display problems with an FLV file that played fine in other applications. Thus, we can't guarantee that MPCStar will perform as expected, but it's a promising program that's worth checking out if you tend to have videos in a lot of different formats and you need one no-hassle way to play them all.

MPCStar installs a desktop icon without asking and leaves a folder and Start menu icon behind upon removal.

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