First post, by keenmaster486

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Rank l33t

I am drowning in media players!

I have several systems capable of running Windows 9x. I'm going to categorize them thusly:

  • High-end 486, DX4, and standard Pentium
  • Pentium MMX (representative of which is the MMX/233)
  • Low-end Pentium II/III class
  • High-end Pentium III and Pentium 4

I am, right now, targeting, at minimum, the MMX/233 era systems for performance for media players. Mostly because I know I can get acceptable quality MPEG-1 video files to play on them and stream over HTTP, with caveats mentioned below...

I have tested the following media players:

For streaming media files over HTTP

  • Windows Media Player 6.4: Not good. Only supports ASF and is utterly idiotic about what streams it will accept. Works on 95 and 98.
  • Media Player Classic (with the K-Lite codec pack): does everything, but is very slow
  • VLC 0.8.6i: Eh. It also does everything but it will slowly begin to clog the arteries of your computer the longer it remains open. Very annoying... you play a video and 5 minutes in it begins to start slowing down, until you have to stop it and restart your computer.

For just playing media files:
WMP 6.4 is probably the best here, as long as you install all the codecs you need for it. It seems to be the fastest at pretty much everything. WMP 9 also does a pretty good job! But it only works on 98SE, I think.

Can anyone recommend any other media players? I would really love something that:

  • Is very fast and not resource-heavy, and doesn't cause your computer to progressively slow to a crawl the longer it remains open
  • Streams media files over HTTP
  • Supports the usual formats (MP3, MPEG-1/2/4, AVI, etc.)

World's foremost 486 enjoyer.

Reply 1 of 4, by Zup

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Rank Oldbie

I used BSPlayer to play DivX on my Athlon... old versions (<1.0.0, before they launched a pay version) were clean, supported anything I needed (subtitles, multiple audio) and didn't require too much resources. I don't remember if it could play divx out of the box, or if it needed to install codecs to play it.

Also, it's old software... although it can play any AVI you could find (provided you had the codecs installed), it didn't support hardware acceleration (at least that old version) and I don't remember if it could play .mkv at all.

Besides that, WMP 6.4 (I'm not fan of Microsoft apps, but if an AVI can't play on it probably won't play in any other player) or any player that supports hardware acceleration on your card... but there are not many for Windows 9x, and they are for special files (i.e.: PowerDVD can only accelerate DVDs, not DivX).

I have traveled across the universe and through the years to find Her.
Sometimes going all the way is just a start...

I'm selling some stuff!

Reply 4 of 4, by dr.zeissler

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Rank l33t

I always use the build-in player from win9x (WMP). Very fast and lightwighted.
I recommend divx 3.11 alpha and xvid codec. that's mostly all I need.
Works with i815e and p3-600 very well.

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington