Play audio and video with Hiro Player

Play a variety of file formats with this no-frills media player.

The market for media players is a crowded one, with options ranging from the bare-bones to the extravagant. Hiro Player falls somewhere in the middle, with some useful features -- it comes with the K-Lite Codec Pack, for example -- and some areas that leave room for improvement.

Hiro Player has an easy-to-navigate interface split into three connected modules: a playlist, a control panel, and a viewer that displays videos or, for audio tracks, visualizations. You can add media to the playlist either by individual file or by folder. The fact that Hiro Player supports so many different formats and codecs is a definite selling point; it didn't have trouble playing any of the media that we threw at it. We were frustrated, however, that we couldn't get the program to display still images. This isn't necessarily something we really need from a media player, but since it was mentioned in the publisher's description, we expected this feature to work. Likewise, Hiro Player's Web site mentions the ability to play streaming media from the Internet, but there's no suggestion anywhere in the interface as to how this might be done. The lack of Help file compounds this problem. Overall, Hiro Player is a fine choice if you're looking for a no-frills player for audio and video files in a variety of formats, but there are still plenty of other options that are more sophisticated.

Hiro Player installs a desktop icon without asking but uninstalls cleanly.

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