5KPlayer Review: A Worthy Alternative to Movies & TV app

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 support and it also supports playing Online radio. Let’s take a look and find if it’s worth your time or not.

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.

5kplayer review
Installation screen

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

5KPlayer Review: Library UI

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.

Using 5KPlayer

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 Reivew: Playing music on 5KPlayer
Playing music on 5KPlayer

Conclusion

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

Windows 10 Build 16226 is Now Released, Here is Everything You Need To Know.

A couple of weeks ago, Microsoft released the build 16215 for insiders in the fast ring, just yesterday, the Redmond giant pushed another new build for Windows Insiders. The build is numbered 16226 and it is only for the PC version of Windows 10. Also, just like the last one, the latest build adds some interesting new features to the Windows OS.

There are improvements in Windows Shell, Gaming Mode, Microsoft Edge and OneDrive. Microsoft posted a complete changelog on its blog, here some of the important changes:

What’s New in Build 16226 For PC

New features in Microsoft Edge

Giving you more control over closing tabs: Building on our work in Build 16199, we’ve updated Microsoft Edge to ensure the X in the tab band is always available to close a tab, even when a JavaScript (i.e. alert, prompt, etc.) dialog is showing within Microsoft Edge. Additionally, closing the Edge window always remains an available option. You can also access many browser capabilities (i.e. favorites bar, settings, etc.) while a dialog is showing.

Making it easier to move from another browser: Users can now migrate Cookies and Settings from Chrome to Microsoft Edge, which will make it easier for users to make the move to Microsoft Edge as their primary browser.

More EPUB improvements in Microsoft Edge

Copy and Ask Cortana: Now, when you select your text, you can Copy and Ask Cortana in addition to adding notes, highlighting and underlining. Cortana can help you do a little research while you’re reading an EPUB book!

Now, when you select your text, you can Copy and Ask Cortana in addition to adding notes, highlighting and underlining.

Ink Notes: Got ink? Add a note and write or draw on it with your pen.

Got ink? Add a note and write or draw on it with your pen.

Books roamed across devices: Your books from the Windows Store are available on your Windows 10 devices, and your reading progress, bookmarks, and notes are kept in sync.

Improved Favorites experience in Microsoft Edge:

New experience when saving new favorites: You can now view your favorites as a directory tree when you save new favorites, and collapse or expand folders from within the “Add to favorites” dialog. Just click the “Save in” folder list to get started!

You can now view your favorites as a directory tree when you save new favorites, and collapse or expand folders from within the “Add to favorites” dialog.


Edit URL for Favorites:
You can now edit the URL of any favorite in the Favorites menu or the Favorites Bar. You can use this to update the location of a site that has moved, or to create Bookmarklets in the favorites bar.

You can now edit the URL of any favorite in the Favorites menu or the Favorites Bar.

Favorite manageability for Enterprise: IT admins can now configure favorites via group policy and mobile device management, including the ability to define and lock pre-configured favorites in addition to the user’s favorites.

Emoji Updates

Emoji 5.0! We have added support for the latest Unicode updates – including new snacks, actions, dinosaurs, and even fantasy characters like genies, fairies and zombies!

They’re all accessible via both the touch keyboard and the Emoji Panel. Bonus: Along the way, we also updated our emoji pickers to now make it possible to access the profession emoji and gender diverse options for some of our people actions (for example, you can now select male or female face palm).

Finally, we’ve tweaked some of our original emoji designs based on your feedback and to improve consistency with how the emoji is displayed on other platforms (while maintaining our Windows style).

New emoji include:

New emoji included in this build!

Examples of updated emoji – before:

Examples of updated emoji – before.

And after:

Examples of updated emoji – after.

 

Dark theme for Emoji Panel: Do you love dark theme? Because we do ????. If you have dark theme enabled (via Settings > Personalization > Colors), you’ll now see the Emoji Panel background display using dark colors instead of light.

OneDrive Files On-Demand

Last week, we released OneDrive Files On-Demand to Windows Insiders running Build 16215 and higher. This is essentially like OneDrive placeholders – but better. This was a highly requested feature from Insiders so be sure to check it out!

Additionally, we wanted to make sure that our customers are in control of all file downloads from the cloud. When they use OneDrive Files On-Demand (or another cloud provider), and an app (like a photo editor) tries to download files that the customer has stored only in the cloud, we’ll show a message displaying: what’s being downloaded, which app is requesting the download, and options to dismiss the message, cancel the download, or block the app from downloading. (We also added a way to unblock apps in Settings > Privacy > App-requested downloads, in case you change your mind.)

 App-requested downloads with OneDrive Files On-Demand.

 

 

 

Windows Sonic spatial sound on PC

Windows Sonic, available in the Windows 10 Creators Update, is now even easier to enable with this update. Plug in a pair of headphones, right-click the sound icon in the notification area, and select Spatial sound to choose your preferred format. You can also configure your 5.1, 7.1, or Dolby Atmos for home theater from this menu if it’s your currently selected default endpoint. You can learn more about Windows Sonic here.

Gaming Improvements

New help options: We have added a new “Xbox Networking” section under Settings > Gaming. Here, we’ll help you attempt to identify and resolve issues preventing you from using voice chatting and playing multiplayer games with other Xbox Live users.

Xbox Networking settings page.

Track your GPU performance: For the Task Manager fans out there, we’re happy to share that we’ve heard your feedback and we’ve updated Task Manager to now include GPU info. Our engineering team used the feedback you gave us that is part of this Feedback Collection https://aka.ms/olx5pn to prioritize and to design the feature – thank you! The Performance tab shows GPU utilization information for each separate GPU component (such as 3D and Video encode/decode), as well as graphics memory usage stats. The Details tab shows you GPU utilization info for each process. Please note that this feature is still under construction and you will find issues and bugs, as always please send us feedback in Feedback Hub under Desktop Environment > Task manager.

Track your GPU performance in Task Manager.

 

Shell Improvements

Reveal: The new Reveal Highlight  behavior is an interaction visualization that helps guide users. Reveal is now enabled by default on ListView and other XAML collection controls in experiences that target the Fall Creators Update.

The new Reveal Highlight behavior is an interaction visualization that helps guide users.

Note: This gif is from our UWP Style Guide, and showcases both the use of Acrylic material, and the use of Reveal. With this update, we are only enabling Reveal by default.

Updated File Explorer context menu: You can now Share a file in File Explorer via the right-click context menu! Right-click on a file in File Explorer or on the Desktop to bring up the context menu, then share away. NOTE: “Share with” in the context menu has been changed to “Give access to”.

Updated File Explorer context menu.

My People Improvements:

  • We’ve added text to the overflow area in the People flyout to make it more clear the people listed there are pinned.
  • We’ve updated the “Switch apps” button in the People flyout to now use the a hamburger icon, to make it more visually distinct from the back button.
  • If you right-click the taskbar, you’ll now find an option to easily turn on or off People.
  • We fixed an issue from the last flight where the People flyout would crash if you tapped “Find and pin contacts”.

 

 

Improved bitmap scaling for Magnifier: Text will now appear smoother when magnified using Magnifier. To enable or disable this, go to Settings > Ease of Access > Magnifier > “Enable bitmap smoothing”.


Currently, the update is only available for Windows Insiders in the fast ring, if you want this feature, you will need to sign-up for Windows Insiders program. But, be careful as these updates are often too buggy and in my opinion, you should not try theses on your main computer.

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Gigabyte’s New Compact Gaming PC Looks Interestingly Weird

The Gigabyte GZ1DTi7 has a sixth generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM and a 240 GB M.2 SSD for OS storage but it looks really weird.

Gigabytes has been in the PC Gaming industry for a while, and its Brix brand has been around too, and now, the company is ready to launch a new PC in the series, the BRIX-GZ1DTi7. Although the name of Compact PC is not an exciting one, the PC sure looks like an interesting piece of technology.

The Compact gaming PC has a PS3 Slim like body construction except for a bit weird with glowing LED lights and a green mesh on the top area. There is no sliding BluRay drive on the top, but the device looks a lot like a prop from a science fiction movie.

While the design is weird, it looks like Gigabyte has done a good job in the specs department. The Gigabyte GZ1DTi7 has a sixth generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM and a 240 GB M.2 SSD for OS storage.

In the graphics department, Gigabyte will have two options for customers: Nvidia GeFource GTX 1070 or GTX 1080, both of which should be able to run AAA titles at 4K resolution. There is 1 TB of Hard Drive too.

Gigabyte GZ1DTi7 Specifications:

  • Intel 6th Generation Intel Core i7-6700K Processor
  • 16GB DDR4 SO-DIMM RAM
  • 240GB M.2 SSD
  • 5″ 1TB HDD 7200 RPM Hard Drive
  • 276x384x128 mm dimensions
  • GeForce GTX 1070/1080 8GB Graphics Card
  • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165NGW
  • Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2400 Gigabit LAN
  • 1 USB Type-C with Support of Thunderbolt 3 or USB3.1
  • 1 USB3.1 Type-A Slot
  • 3 USB3.0 Type A Slot

While the specifications and connecitivitiy are impressive considering the size of SKUs, Aesthetics of the PC will still play an important role in dicideing if it is a good buy. Gigabyte explains the weird, Mountain Dew inspired design by the cooling mechanism, though; I wonder why PC OEMs are still digging on Mac Pros Trashcan-cylindrical design in 2016.

There are no talks about pricing on the product pages or from Gigabyte yet, but it won’t be long before we get the information from the company.

What do you think about the PC? Do you think the design is good or a bit too edgy to put it in the living room? Share with us in the comments below.

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