There's a media player out there for just about everyone, from technophobic grandpas to people who edit various types of media for fun and profit. Zoom Player Free is definitely geared toward the more advanced users, given the depth of its features and its tendency to be a bit less-than-simple to use.
Once installed, Zoom Player Free greeted us with a long list of additional components to download. If you don't know what FFDShow, DirectVobSub, and FFMPEG Core Files are, you're likely going to be frustrated by the fact that you're being asked to make decisions about things you don't know anything about. All of the options are selected by default, and you can go ahead and download all of them or just skip this step and proceed to the media player itself.
We didn't have high expectations for Zoom Player Free after this confusing introduction, but we were pleasantly surprised by how attractive and professional-looking the interface is. It's definitely not the most intuitive thing we've seen, but after a bit of poking around we determined that we had to add media to the playlist in order to play it; we found out later that we could also drag and drop media onto the interface. If you want to get deep into Zoom Player Free's features there's a whole series of tutorial videos available on YouTube, and for good reason; Zoom Player Free is capable of all kinds of things, including video editing, ringtone creation, and multimonitor video playback.
Unfortunately, none of this is obvious from the interface itself, and users will have to put some effort into figuring out what Zoom Player Free is capable of. Although it touts itself as being easy even for beginners to use, we disagree with this assessment; Zoom Player Free is much more likely to appeal to advanced users who like to geek out with their media.
No bloat, intuitive & user-friendly design. Install Center application, capable of detecting and securely installing up-to-date decoders and missing system components to improve stability and versatility. Media Center navigation interfaces with easy to use (Up/Down/Left/Right/Select) controls. 10-Band Equalizer with Digital PreAmp and Presets. DVD Playback from Disc, Hard Drive or network connection. Powerful, category based Media Library interface. Remember/Resume from last media position. Popular formats are supported : H.264, XVID, DIVX, DVD, FLV, WMV, QuickTime, MPEG 1/2/4, MP3, AAC, DTS, Dolby Digital, FLAC. Zoom Player is the most Powerful, Flexible and Customizable Media Player application for the Windows PC platform. Based on our highly-touted Smart Play technology, more media formats play with less hassle, improved stability and greater performance. Behind Zoom Player's classic media player look, hides a powerful Media Center application designed with a simple 5-Key (up/down/left/right/select) fullscreen navigation interface. The 5-Key system provides simple navigation with advanced interfaces. Interface such as the Media Library, File Browser, Playlist, Color Control, Audio Equalizer, Bookmarks, Play History. Zoom Player's media center simplicity makes it ideal for users with no previous computer experience. With Zoom Player, you can instantly Convert any PC into a Home Entertainment Center (HTPC) with no specialized hardware requirement or operating system. Zoom Player runs with every version of Windows.