GOM Media Player for Windows handles most of the more common video formats, including MP4, AVI, MKV, and more. It comes with a sleeker, more media center-focused design and packs plenty of codecs under the hood to play just about any media format you throw at it.
The initial installation is standard, like any other Windows product: accept a couple terms, set a destination folder, and choose to opt in or out of an offer from AVG. After installation completes, GOM will guide you through an optional setup process to optimize initial use based on sound and monitor setup.
You'll be introduced to a 4:3 ratio default window with an orange, black, and silver theme that will make you wonder if Halloween came early. Your token playback tools like Play, Stop, and Skip Forward and Back are located on the bottom left corner, and control panels for managing your media content are located on the opposite side. In the middle is a small, integrated upsell ticker that links users to any of GOM's other products or video content. Though this can easily be removed by switching to another skin, it's far less intrusive than other attempts at product promotions that we've seen in many other apps.
Right above is a timeline that's extremely narrow; this is fine for standard keyboard/mouse users but hardly ideal for touch. Right-clicking anywhere on the player will expose even more detailed options and audio/video-related tweaks like those found in other open-source players. You can add custom audio EQ effects, tweak subtitle lengths, and even take burst screenshots to capture particular moments from videos. However, some of the language was a bit confusing: GOM labels screen rotation as "flip input/output." Not a deal- breaker by any means, but not a labor-intensive fix either.
Power users are given the added option to set custom hot keys and even sync their remote iOS and Android devices like tablets and phones to control the media player over Wi-Fi. And though this feature works for the most part, buggy playback and less-than-stellar navigation do not make this prime time-ready.
But when it came to video playback, GOM was no slouch. Videos played and looked as they should, and it was easy enough to incrementally tweak your picture settings during live play.
Whether you choose this or VLC, both are solid media players, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. GOM tries to do a lot, and though some of those attempts could use some work, its core mode is rock solid: watching your favorite Global Starcraft II League (GSL) masters duke it out in this season of GSL.