Every operating system should cover some basic requirements: it should be easy to use, it should be secure and it should have great apps for general work. While the first is true and second is debatable for Windows 10, I don’t think the default Movies & TV app for Windows 10 is worth using. File format support is not strong, UI is not great and it is not customizable at all. We have talked about some alternatives that you can use in past, today, let’s take a look at 5KPlayer, a Windows and Mac supported media player that I have been using since last few days.
Made by a firm named DearMob, 5KPlayer prides itself by saying it is more than a media player, to its credit, the app has built in support for downloading online videos, AirPlay and it also supports playing Online radio. Let’s take a look and find if it’s worth your time or not in our 5KPlayer review.
Installation and configuration
Installation was pretty straightforward, you need to go to the 5KPlayer’s website and pick what OS do you use, after that, download around 40-megabyte offline installer and you are good to go. Unlike many apps for Windows, 5KPlayer did not try to sneak-in any adware or bloatware which is great too.
The startup times are quick too and I found 5KPlayer to be responsive on both my computers, one running Skylake quad core i7 and the other one on a fifth generation dual core i3 processor.
Right after the first launch, the app asked me if I wanted to register, if you want AirPlay support you can register, I skipped and 5K Player did not ask about that anytime later.
UI and Navigation
Once you open it, you will find that app is divided into 2 tabs, first one is labeled 5KPlayer, which works just like a Now-Playing screen and the second one called the library. The first one is simple and works just like it should and the second one is where most organization and playlist management can be done.
The library is divided into many sections each for categorizing Music, Videos, YouTube downloads, and Playlists. There is a straight forward search bar at the top right corner and a button to toggle list and grid view. The UI is easy enough to navigate around without any trouble, and I liked how you can mark a media file “Favorite” just by one click. This marked music and video files can then be quickly accessed from the Favorites section from the navigation pane. I would like to have an option to change the skin to light colors though, maybe it will come in future with an update.
Features of the app
The player window is fairly simple and straightforward to understand, if you are playing some videos and also working on some other window, 5KPlayer hides the title and menu bar unless you move your mouse over to it again, which makes it a lot like the Picture-in-picture mode in iOS 11. The player has YouTube downloading support too, to download a video, you will have to paste the video URL on the library’s YouTube section, after pasting the URL, you can pick what resolution you want and whether you just want audio or you want the complete video. While YouTube download component is not as full featured as paid tools such as KeepVid Pro or YouTube By Click, it should be enough to serve casual users very well.
Selecting any file in library brings some details about file and a handy conversion option, which works just as it should. For audio files, 5KPlayer converting to MP3 and ACC and in the case of video, I found H.264 MP4 conversion present.
The Player also supports AirPlay. Because I have an HTPC connected to my TV, I did not test the feature but a quick search on Google revealed that the function works just as advertised. 5KPlayer has online radio as well, where you can either enter the URL of stream yourself or you can pick from a handful of already added shortcuts. Once you have entered correct URL, Radio kicks in and if you need, it supports pausing the stream too.
5KPlayer has responsive launch times and I liked how despite being free, it did not show any obtrusive ad to me. If you are adding a ton of videos to the library, it may take some time to process files for the first time, but once it’s done once, the library navigation is quick and easy. I threw some ripped MKVs and downloaded 4K mp4 videos to the app and the performance was smooth on my laptop that ran on i7 6700HQ and Geforce 960M graphics card.
It supports almost all common media formats including mp3, mp4, mkv, wmv, wma and flv. I tried playing some DVDs and ISO files which also worked very well. When playing a 1080p video, 5KPlayer takes around 140 MB footprint on RAM which is definitely impressive compared to other heavyweight media players.
5KPlayer is a good alternative if you are still using default Movies and TV app. The UI leaves some room for improvements, but using the app is simple and straightforward. The app is free and it has some interesting and unique features that VLC and others don’t have. If you are looking for a lightweight media player that should also come with Radio support and AirPlay support, 5KPlayer is worth a look.
Recommended: 6 Best Music Players for Windows 10