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Windows 7: Best Win Media Player alternative?

21 Jan 2017   #1

Win 7 64bit SP2?
Best Win Media Player alternative?

I'm on the hunt for a decent comparable, as easy to use, media player as WMP as it's long been frustrating me. I have about 7 or 8 playlists I use regularly and only about 5 folders it has to pull songs from, but while there's no great issue with songs I've had for a long time, WMP routinely never updates itself to add in new ones unless I actively open the song & stick it into a playlist that way.

In other words it doesn't appear to watch the so-called watch folders!!

So ideally I'd like another one that has playlists & DOES update its library regularly plus is easy to navigate & view items etc.

So far I've tried Real Player & VLC as well as another freebie but none of them really appealed. Ideally it would be great if I could also import my WMP playlists. Again, I appreciate VLC can do much of that but I just don't like the interface & the way it works. However, if the concensus is that it's the best fit for the job then I'll just have to maybe figure out a way to work it, but figured it worth checking before I made that assumption. Thanks.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2017   #2

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

If you want real time playlist monitoring/ updating then PotPlayer does just that. However since it has many more options than VLC installation and configuration is an issue. I use the 64 bit version of PotPlayer with MadVR and only ever use VLC when I using another video manager app that requires VLC.

If you want to try PotPlayer let us know. There are a few things you need to know when getting started.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2017   #3

Win 7 64bit SP2?

Hi Callender - thanks for that suggestion. Given how I'm awash with some other program configs that are a hassle, I don't have a problem considering another. So, please, fire away with any help you can provide. Will come back to you to let you know the outcome :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 Jan 2017   #4

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Okay well the first thing is your system is 32bit. I had hoped to provide a settings.ini file that you could use but my PotPlayer is 64bit version. Anyway if you get it installed you could zip and upload the Potplayer .ini file as it might be quicker to modify that instead of going through all the settings.

You need the English version. If you download PotPlayer from the manufacture's site you get Korean languge and although it can be switched to English you have to work out what the menus mean.

Download English version here:

Download Potplayer -

When you run the installer at the last step it will offer to install additional codecs. Just install them.

Also grab a copy of MadVR (zip) but just unzip it for now and don't try running it.


I will try taking a few screenshots for initial settings and post them soon.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2017   #5

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

RE: MadVR. Once Potplayer is installed and you've unzipped MadVR navigate to the MadVR folder and run install.bat - right click and run as administator.

Once that's finished run madHcCtrl.exe. You will see an icon in the system tray. Click it and choose Edit MadVR settings.

Suggest leaving everything on default except:

Processing> Image Enhancements> Luma Sharpen. Try setting at around .67

Rendering> General Settings> Disable Windowed Overlay Mode. Not used in Windows 7 and causes problems if enabled.

Exit MadVR via system tray.

Launch PotPlayer

Right click drop down arrow or right click play area for settings. Go to "Preferences"

Here are screenshots that hopefully you can follow:

PotPlayer Preferences:

Set this one to MadVR (Madshi)
Best Win Media Player alternative?-preferences-madvr.jpg
Choose available directories for playlists:
Best Win Media Player alternative?-preferences-navigation.jpg
Choose autosave playlists
Best Win Media Player alternative?-preferences-playlist.jpg
Choose to auto resize large or HD videos for smoother playback (if you want to)
Best Win Media Player alternative?-preferences-resize.jpg
Make sure settings are saved to .ini file
Best Win Media Player alternative?-preferences-save-settings.jpg
Leave this one as it is:
Best Win Media Player alternative?-preferences-startup.jpg
Apply these for borderless playback window with mouse hover activated controls:
Best Win Media Player alternative?-preferences-window.jpg
Now play a video and right click the playback window. Make sure Video Renderer selected is Madshi.
Do the same for all types of video file. You only need to play one of each )flv. mp4 and so on) and check the setting.
Best Win Media Player alternative?-video-renderer.jpg
Now for the important part - playlists:
Best Win Media Player alternative?-playlists.jpg
Right click the arrow to the right-centre of the playback widow. this opens/ closes the playlists window.

You can add or remove playlists and files based on their phsical location. Choose what to include.

EDIT: You can add multiple playlists using the tabs at the top of the playlist window.

Now if you add a video to a directory or delete it or move it somewhere else the playlist will update instantly.

Any questions and I will do my best to answer. I'm not expert on some of the more advanced settings but there's a guide here:

PotPlayer - PotPlayer installation, configuration and optimization wiki

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2017   #6

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

One more thing. You Potplayer .ini file needs to be backed up. It sometimes gets overwritten when installing a new version.
Best Win Media Player alternative?-simplysync-backup.jpg
You find it in %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming in the PotPlayer folder.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2017   #7

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

One more I forgot about. Enable this setting to show thumbnail previews on the timeline when hovering over it with your mouse.
Best Win Media Player alternative?-timeline.jpg

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2017   #8

Win 7 64bit SP2?

Oh my word - having done some walkthroughs myself in the past I know how much work you've put into that lot - THANK YOU so much. I've not yet had a chance to work through it all - might be midweek before I do get it under way but will see where I get to with it & what it's like - hopefully a winner after all your hard work :).

PS - I'm glad you pointed out my system is only 32Bit - I'd previously had it as 64 then stupidly didn't check which disk I'd pulled when reinstalling recently but might yet revert back to it as nearly all my programs are for 64.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2017   #9

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

No problem. PotPlayer should work okay with the default settings but it can be so much better if you tweak it a bit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2017   #10

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Sorry but one more setting I forgot to mention:
Best Win Media Player alternative?-video-sharpen.jpg

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Best Win Media Player alternative?

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