A New Player that Deserves Your Attention

excellent
key review info
application features
  • GOM Player supports most of the condecs (AVI, DAT, MPEG, DivX, and many more)
  • (2 more, see all...)

Ever since I can remember I have been fascinated by movies and movie theaters. As most of us know, motion pictures were pioneered by Thomas Edison and the Lumière brothers back in 1890's. I was very surprised to find out that, at the beginning, the cinematographer was both the director of the movie and the camera operator. In 1919, in Hollywood, the time lasting motion picture capital of the world, the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) was founded.

But let's put all that aside and get back to our topic, which is video players. I can't remember my first video player (of course, it most surely was a VCR), but I remember a player for video files I used for a long time on my computer: Vplayer, one of the earliest versions and a good one too. Time passed by and I switched to Bsplayer. Now I am using various video players, but the one I am going to analyze in this review goes by the name of Gom Player. If it hadn't been for my boss, I may have discovered it later.

It is an easy-to-use application for playing video files on your computer. The interface is very simple and tasty-looking. All the buttons and menus of the software are very well placed (click on the logo in the left upper side for the menu to unfold).

Although it looks a little simple, give it a shot, you don't have to judge a book by its cover. It has all you need from a basic video player and more; for those who are advanced there are some options too. It practically has a little something for everybody.

For the beginning, let's proceed with saying that Gom Player supports most of the codecs (AVI, DAT, MPEG, DivX, and many more) due to its own embedded system. So you won't have to look for codecs every time you cannot play a video format or choose from the codecs folder (which I'm sure is pretty large); this way you give up incompatibility issues.

You can choose your codecs from the Preference menu at Others, Codec. In the same menu you have the option of choosing what video formats you want Gom Player to open; the list should be more than enough both for newbies and more skilled users. It should be fair-enough to say that among the list there can be found formats like .ogm, .skm, .lmp4, .k3g, .vob, .dat, etc.

In the Subtitles Preference Menu you can make the necessary adjustments for your subtitles. Don't be shy and go crazy by changing the font, the size, or the display method that allows displaying on video (TV-OUT) or on overlay surface. Applying effects on the subtitles is no sweat, you can choose between color, outline and shadow. Position your subtitles wherever you want and set your own character spacing. As you can see, you have quite a text editor in here.

The skilled users can play in Video option in Preferences with the video settings: change the output type according to your hardware configuration. At overlay color key the user can define his/her own colors or use those already defined.
Video effect settings permit setting deblock and video effects like smoothening, sharpening and adding noise to the video. We're still in the Video tab of the Preference menu, and at Screen Size, believe it or not (I've seen it before and it kind of became a standard in the latest video players), you can change Gom Player's screen size (a new option is changing only if it doesn't correspond to a user-defined resolution).

The Audio section gathers settings for the sound devices and you have the options of an equalizer and normalizer. Set your AC3 settings (channels) and Gain Control (DRC and expand audio channel) in AC3 tab. A Sound Effect tab is available for those who wish to set voice filters, reverb and extra-stereo.

I won't get too deep into the General tab because it stores pretty common settings, which can be found in almost any other video player. But a pretty little thing in Logo deserves your attention as you can change the logo on the display of Gom Player with any other logo from your computer.

Needless to say that the player also supports DVD movies, as I have mentioned in the supported file formats paragraph.

The Good

It is free software and a damn good one. I was impressed by the easy to use interface that does not disturb, not even in the least way possible. The menu is very easy to use and it is not filled with the kind of terms that take you forever to read and understand. The authors kept it as simple as possible and also introduced some features for more advanced users.

The Bad

It's a bad thing that software like this one does not appear on the market every 3 months at least. The logo link to the web did not work for me (maybe you'll be luckier).

The Truth

Some of the players that cost (and some of them cost pretty much) should take a look at the free products and start building from that point on.
I strongly and "severely" recommend Gom Player, especially for those who are at the beginning of their movie-watching 'career'. It deserves a big hand of applause.

Here are some snapshots of the application in action:


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user interface 5
features 5
ease of use 5
pricing / value 5


final rating 5
Editor's review
excellent
 

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