Freeware media/MP3 players, laughing baby, movies

Friday, November 9, 2007

As of this month I’ve lived in Oregon for six years. Now here are some random multimedia links for you.

Media Player Classic Freeware media/MP3 players

Just in case any of you are sick of bloatware media players like Windows Media Player, RealPlayer, and QuickTime/iTunes that hog system resources and are always trying to update themselves against your will, let me share a few lightweight freeware multimedia players I use and highly recommend:

  • Media Player Classic: This software is indispensable for playing all audio and video types, so along as you’ve installed the appropriate codecs. I’ve been using this program for many years. Be sure to get the K-Lite Codec Pack (which includes Media Player Classic; ffdshow; loads of DirectShow filters for video decoding, source, and subtitles; and these three tools: K-Lite Codec Tweak Tool, GSpot Codec Information Appliance, VobSubStrip). QuickTime Alternative and Real Alternative are also excellent additions to MPC; you’ll never have to use QuickTime or RealPlayer again!
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  • A couple of other good media/FLV players are VLC (VideoLAN Client) and Martijn de Visser’s FLV Player.

Now, for MP3 playback/shuffling, instead of using Windows Media Player or iTunes or even Winamp, I prefer to use highly functional audio players with the smallest footprint possible. Here are my top two programs (for Windows):

  • 1by1 – The Directory Player: The brilliant little player is my current favorite (and possibly the smallest Windows-based MP3 player in existence). It requres no playlists and offers extensive file navigation options as well as search, sort, and shuffle settings. It includes network and virtual folder support, plus features like audio dynamics and gapless mixing. It can also use a number of Winamp input plug-ins, thus enabling it to play many audio file types (flac, ape, ogg, wav, cda, midi, shn, mpc, aif, etc.) in addition to MP3s. And you can configure it to run out of the system tray, which is a big plus for me.
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  • SysTrayPlay (STP): Another very small MP3 player with a nice shuffle mode that runs from the system tray. The downside is that STP is a bit less stable than 1by1 and doesn’t have quite the flexibility for viewing/playing large directories of audio files. Still, I like it, even though it can’t handle as many file formats (or enable viewing of large folder contents).

Laughing baby video

This laughing baby video (in which the baby laughs so hard he falls over) is infectiously funny, even after multiple viewings: Ethan the Laughing Baby. Also, there’s this maniacal baby: Devil Laugh Baby.

Dynamic:01 - The Best Of Movies, DVDs, and other artistic consumables

There are some very cool short films at Brent Green’s Nervous Films.

South Park has been as good as it’s ever been lately, particularly with last month’s “Imaginationland” trilogy. I also continue to enjoy the Prawn To Be Wild game series.

Here are a couple of new movies I’m looking forward to seeing: The Darjeeling Limited and The Golden Compass.

Here’s a DVD I’m looking forward to getting: Dynamic:01 – The Best Of The Year Zero Remixed (AKA Y34RZ3R0R3MIX3D) album by Nine Inch Nails looks cool too. That’s all for today.

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