Yesterday, I reviewed a little known Chinese download manager called Xunlei Thunder. Today, I will take a look at another gem from China – SPlayer. I am a big fan of KMPlayer and have been using it for a long time. KMPlayer provides high quality of video output along with plethora of audio and video filters. The UI is nothing ground breaking, but it is definitely miles ahead of Media Player Classic or VLC Player. However, according to the product comparison chart on SPlayer’s website SPlayer is a superior alternative. Let us find out if how good SPlayer really is.
Although, I don’t agree with SPlayer’s categorisation of KMPlayer as ugly, I have to admit that the first thing which grabbed my attention in SPlayer was its user interface. I have been a big fan of on-screen interfaces ever since I tried Crystal Player. On-screen interfaces allow me to do whatever I wish to, without getting in the way, even in full screen mode. SPlayer implements on-screen UI in an effective and elegant manner. All the features are accessible through the play bar (at the bottom) and the menu bar (at the top).
Although the main player interface is elegant, the playlist looks absolutely horrid, while the Options dialogue box is counter-productive and ugly.
SPlayer supports a wide range of media formats and was able to play everything I threw at it. It includes all the basic features you have come to expect from a modern media player including equalisers, loop mode (Repeat), screenshot capture and subtitle support. But that is not all. SPlayer has plenty of unique features to catch your attention. Some of them are:
Automatic Subtitle Download: SPlayer is capable of automatically downloading matching subtitles from the web.
Resizable Video Window: SPlayer allows you to freely resize the video and even drag it around the screen even while in full screen mode. You can easily zoom in and out of videos, change its aspect ratio or even rotate it.
Powerful Volume Amplifier: SPlayer can amplify volume up to ten times. This is great for notebook users who have become frustrated with their barely audible notebook speakers.
Hardware Acceleration: SPlayer uses GPU acceleration to improve playback performance.
Lightweight: SPlayer consumes very little CPU (lower than both KMPlayer and Media Player Classic). However, its memory usage was higher than others.
Video and Audio Filters: SPlayer contains a decent number of video and audio filters. It also includes something called EyeCare. This basically makes the display blander. in order to reduce stress on your eyes. Have a look at the screenshots to see some of the video filters in action.
PowerTravel: I wasn’t able to test this, but SPlayer claims to consume less power and hence prolong battery life. This is yet another features laptop users would appreciate.
Subtitle Editor: SPlayer includes a full-fledged subtitle editor which can come in handy in case you couldn’t find a good subtitle.
ShooterPlayer is a commendable media player. It has minor UI issues and the English translation isn’t perfect. As far as picture quality is concerned, NeuView remains the best I have seen. KMPlayer still knocks the socks out of both when it comes to playing low res videos. But, that doesn’t mean that SPlayer is too shabby. It managed to play HD videos quite comfortably, without any performance issues. Although, some users have reported unpredictable issues with SPlayer, I didn’t encounter any problems other than messed up file icons. Although I miss certain KMPlayer features like the ability to resume playback, SPlayer will remain my default media player for the time being. Give it a try, if you are looking for a simple, intuitive and powerful media player.
Download ShooterPayer (5.75 MB) *
License: Open Source (Free)
Version Reviewed: 3.3 (Build 1021)
Operating System: Windows all
*Splayer is also available as a portable software. The portable version is slightly larger (7.7 MB)