GOM Media Player

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CNET Editors' Rating 4.0 stars

Excellent

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out of 1,875 user reviews

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Excellent product for Windows 98"

    April 21, 2010  |   By otr_man

    Pros

    1. It supports Windows 98.
    2. It plays all versions of FLV (Flash video) files, including FLV4 (a.k.a. GVC); not merely FLV1.
    3. It plays all MPEG-4 video (.MP4) files.
    4. It is easily resizeable to 50% size, to reduce the CPU load.

    Cons

    I only have a minor quibble, that it only opens at full size (there is no way to get it to default to 50% size on starting), if you double-click the program's EXE file to run it. Thus on Win98 it opens at almost 800x600, filling the whole screen.

    Summary

    I like GOM Media Player because it's almost the only video player still in development that supports Windows 98SE or Windows ME, where all the others (such as Media Player Classic, VLC (a.k.a. VideoLan), Wimpy, Winamp, QuickTime, Real Player, Windows Media Player, etc) now only bring out updates for WinXP or Vista.

    My experience using GOM has been 100% positive. I haven't yet come across a Flash video file or MPEG-4 video file that GOM can't play. Even the &fmt=34 (i.e. the default) type of YouTube FLV files play in GOM (which otherwise only my browser can play, as none of the usual media players will open them).

    GOM has features which no other video player I've used has: such as the ability to alter the contrast, brightness and color saturation of the picture (on-the-fly even); and to normalize the audio; and to apply my Winamp enhancer plug-ins to the audio. Winamp 5 has a superb enhancer plug-in for audio (dsp_enh.dll), and GOM can access it even for video files that Winamp can't play.

    GOM has a VERY impressive feature to resize the screen so that it is ALWAYS sized at 320 x 240 when playing a video. This feature is a real winner on Windows 9x, because it reduces the load on the CPU by reducing the picture size of huge files down to a manageable level.

    GOM also resizes the player window to exactly fit the size of the video frame, even when the idiot who encoded the video file used a really stupid non-standard frame size - a real achievement, that NO other media player can manage!

    GOM is VERY user-friendly if you happen to like watching TV (or camcorder) video at the real TV ratio of 4:3. I hate watching letterbox-size (or widescreen) TV if the original image was 4:3, and GOM can correct even for that. Media Player Classic allows manual correction, but GOM's "Screen Sixe" option provides automatic correction.

    GOM also has a huge number of user-adjustable settings, making it more customizable than any other media player. This is a big bonus under Windows 9x because I can turn OFF features I don't need, to reduce the load on the CPU.

    The only feature I would request is an option to have the GOM player remember its last size, so that if I've been playing a video file at 320x240 in 50% size it opens the GOM player at that size next time. Admittedly, if I run a video file by clicking on the video file, not on GOM, then it does remember my choice to always play any file at 320x240 in 50% size; but sometimes I need to start by running GOM from the .EXE file and then it defaults to opening at 100% size (which, at 640x480, almost fills the whole screen if I'm using an 800x600 screen).

    Updated on Apr 21, 2010

    For anyone who might be interested, the Winamp 5 plug-in which I mentioned is called Enhancer v0.17 [the file is dsp_enh.dll], and is simply THE best ever DSP/Effect plug-in for Winamp. If you've got a low bitrate (or poor quality) music file, or speech file, this plug-in does the business, and outputs excellent quality audio. GOM enables you to use this plug-in for the audio track on video files that Winamp can't play. GOM automatically detects all the installed DSP plugins for Winamp, and gives you the option to use them in GOM too.

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