Reviews by Nash

Splash 1.6.1 lite
on 22 August 2011
There are a few media players out there now that offload video to the graphics card. Splash is one of them and my favourite.

The interface is very clean, simple and "just works". you don't have to mess about with any codecs or settings. It loads very fast and plays most popular videos.

I ended up forking out for the Pro version for the video enhancements and that has cemented it as my favourite video playing software, beating the former champ VLC!. It smooths out low frame-rates, enhances the image quality and colours. It makes even standard definition videos look vibrant and HD.

The only criticism I have is that enabling the Pro enhancements does eat into the processor a little. If you have an Atom grade CPU or less (with an ION or other GPU) then stick to the lite version, which will still offload to the GPU.

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on 05 May 2007
I have been using JetAudio since 2003 and I have to say I love it!

this media player handles the same filetypes as Windows Media Player, plus a few extras. Like WMP, it doesn't have a lot of in-built codecs, so if you want to play stuff like DivX, QuickTime or Real then you will need a codec pack like CCCP or K-Lite. That said, if you have QuickTime/iTunes and RealPlayer installed on your computer, then JetAudio can use their codecs to play their files for you, which is handy.

All this doesn't really make JetAudio much more than a WMP clone, but you'd be wrong. JetAudio is also capable of converting both audio and video files into different formats. It was primarily designed for the Cowon mp3 players but you can easily adjust it to convert files for your iPod, PSP or whatever else you like. I don\'t really use this feature much, except to trim the odd mp3 for use as a ringtone. Other programs convert videos much better (Like Super)

The real beauty of this player is under the hood. When you enter the Preferences section you are presented with a host of nice little options that make this player really special. You can customise it to not show up on the taskbar, saving screen space. You can configure hotkeys to make files pause, skip or do whatever from your keyboard and give the mouse something to do, like to make the scrollwheel handle volume etc. Its all up to you. Configure it well and this media player will feel so natural that other players will just feel awkward and have you asking why they don't allow users to do the same to them.

Video output is good. The quality is as good as WMP or as good as the codec you're using really. However, the sound quality is really nice. Its clear and crisp, plus it can be customised also with equalisers and speaker setups that you normally only see on the DVD media players like PowerDVD. Be warned though, this is not for the bass lovers. WMP still handles bass heavy music with its SRS WOW feature. But personally, I like to be able to hear every instrument and lyric in my music so, JetAudio's sound works great for me.

The interface is also a case of preference. JetAudio is skinnable and there are three main types... Standard, Minimalised and Toolbar. they are all pretty easy to use and display what is nessesary... like an mp3 player, really. I prefer this over most media players because it saves space and loads up quickly. Plus if you have your hotkeys etc set up, then you can keep it hidden and view just the video screen or baloon tips to show you what song you are listening to. This makes JetAudio that little bit more 'natural'.

So far, I have mostly talked about JetAudio's good points. But every rose has thorns (well.. real ones anyway).

Back in the early 2000s, there was a big dispute over which was the best media player between JetAudio and Winamp. Eventually Winamp won out because it was more skinnable, was infinitely customisable via the plugins and had more of a community feel to it. Not much has changed since. JetAudio has a very limited number of skins available (about 50 or so, last time I checked the Cowon website) and they don't really change much besides the colours and the odd little addition here and there. The designs are nowhere near as creative as Winamp or even WMP.

As I mentioned earlier, the video quality is not perfect, and this truly shows when you try to play a DVD and compare with actual DVD playing programs. the difference is definitely visible.

JetAudio's reliance on external codecs is also a major weakness, depending on the codecs you install. Installing too many codecs can and in most cases WILL make your PC that little bit more unstable, so always stick to the minimalistic ones, such as CCCP. only install K-Lite if you really HAVE to.

The Media Library on JetAudio also leaves much to be desired. I have never used JetAudio for organising my music or video collection because, to be honest, it $uck$. iTunes and WMP handle libraries a million times better. JetAudio is only good for playing files, not organising them, which is a shame.

Having said all of that, would I recommend JetAudio? Well yes and no. Yes if you want a customisable media player and don't like switching between programs to play different files. No if you hate tinkering and just want a media player that just works and doesn't need codecs. VLC and GOM do that job better.

All in all, JetAudio is a solid general purpose media player which if you give a little time will really grow on you and work naturally as if it isn't there.

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VLC (VideoLAN Client) 0.8.6b final
on 04 May 2007
What can I say? VLC is one of the best players around. It plays most video files easily and without the need for extra codecs.
If you don't want to faff about getting codecs to play this and that then this will do the trick.
If you're into your P2P and BiTorrent downloads then this is essential because it can play incomplete videos without interrupting your download. Another nice thing about VLC is the way it handles high quality and high-def videos. It runs them really smoothly without as much lagging as most media players do, which is great.

Even though it plays most videos, there are the odd ones that it either completely refuses to play or just doesn't display properly. This can leave you stuck and scrambling for those codecs you were trying to avoid, but that's very rare and unlikely for the average guy.
Also, the video quality isn't really the best out there, but that's just me being fussy.

All in all, VLC is really popular for a reason. Its really convenient and works great. I definitely recommend it as a main player or at least a backup player, should your main one fail with a certain video type.
But if you want something that can handle absolutely everything and is configurable, then give GOM Player a try

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Gom Player final
on 04 May 2007
This little player is that unknown warrior who ends up beating everyone...

I heard about GOM completely by chance when someone mentioned in in a forum. At the time I was happy using JetAudio with CCCP for my audio and video (those two are dark horses that work amazingly well) and VLC for everything else I couldn't play.

That said, I didnt really need anything else, but I gave this a try and WOW. It plays everything just like VLC, runs quickly and smoothly like CCCP and is user-friendly, configurable and skinnable like JetAudio. PERFECT

I have been using it for 2 weeks now and tested it on many types of video, including the more rare types and it handled them all without a single glitch. even the YouTube/flash .flv and .swf and mobile phone .mp4 and.3gp worked. You really don't need anything else to play videos.

It's not completely perfect though. It does have the odd glitch whenever I play a video with external subtitles where it skips a line or two. Not sure if that's my fault for changing something or not. Also, dragging the player makes my whole screen blink like its having a seizure and again... not sure if that's just me.
These are minor issues though and nothing huge.

Basically if all you have is VLC and need nothing else then you might as well stick with it. But if you see the odd video which VLC doesn't play or you want to configure and tinker with your player in a less complicated way, then GOM is the one.

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Combined Community Codec Pack ( CCCP ) 2007.02.22
on 02 May 2007
For general playback, this plays the majority of video files.
It was made with anime in mind so it handles videos with subtitles and dual audio really well.

My favourite thing about the CCCP is its minimalism. Its tiny and only installs a few codecs, keeping things running fast and needing little to no configuration.

My only real gripe is the lack of Real and Quicktime support, but that's easily fixed with a Real and Quicktime Alternative codec.

Overall, this is my favourite general purpose codecs, and i recommend it. installing CCCP and JetAudio media player works great....

... Or you could can the lot and install VLC. That plays practically everything, including Quicktime and Real without any extra codecs. But that's another review. :-D

Hope that helps

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