Zoom Player


Zoom Player

Infobox Software
name = ZoomPlayer



caption = Default Onyx skin in DVD mode
developer = Inmatrix Media Solutions
released = ?
frequently_updated = yes
programming language = ?
operating system = Windows
language = ?
genre = Media player
license = Proprietary
website = [http://www.inmatrix.com/ Inmatrix Media Solutions]

Zoom Player is a computer program that plays video and sound files on Windows-based personal computers. It is a general player that can play, essentially, anything that is playable on a PC, depending on what "filters" (or "codecs") are installed with it. This dependency on third party filters is both the strength and the weakness of the player. It is only as good as the filters used, and the user may have to acquire and install filters from third parties for many media types. The need to install and understand the right filters can be difficult for non-technical users (although the latest versions of the program give the user considerable help with that process). On the other hand the player is highly customisable, and is therefore popular with Home theater PC enthusiasts.

Features

Zoom Player features a large on-screen interface for browsing files, which makes it good for use with televisions or projection displays.

Zoom Player can be used with post-processing filters such as ffdshow. Post-processing may in some cases enhance the playback quality of DVD-Video or other home cinema applications, or provide other effects such as remixing audio. Likewise, Zoom Player can be used with third party subtitling filters, popular for users with external subtitle files.

For expert users, one strength of the player is its ability to make use of open source filters and other advanced filters, and to provide them with a fully controlled environment in terms of connections to other filters, and renderers used, without grappling with the Directshow merit system. (Note that the program itself is not open source, but it can be used with third party open source filters written for Windows.)

Another strength of the player is the ability to adjust many details of the playback, including display size, borders (or "overscan") which, uniquely, can be negative so as to place some of the video outside the display area - good for zooming in, aspect ratio, fast forward and rewind rates, colour, brightness and gamma, and audio/video synchronisation ("sync"). Adjustments can be made on-the-fly using keyboard controls or an appropriate remote control, while the media is playing.

Setting up these advanced features of the player can be daunting for many users simply due to the huge number of parameters available.

Setting up the filters for all media types correctly requires significant experienced knowledge of the Windows DirectShow system and digital media generally. This can be difficult for many users, in particular because many third party filters are not well documented and may conflict with each other in some circumstances. The 'Smart Media Management' element of the player is designed to help users to overcome these difficulties (which would affect any DirectShow player on a Windows PC) although perseverance from the user is required. Free help is available from the userbase and from technical support people through the program's online forum.

The player can be used with media with multiple audio tracks and it switches correctly between them. It can also be used with external audio tracks (for example, a separate .ac3 file) although a current issue is that any attempt to "seek" when playing with an external audio track will cause the media to restart at the beginning of the file.

The player can be set to save some details of its configuration (known as a "definition file") on a per-DVD or per-file basis. These details can include audio levels, brightness and other color controls, aspect ratio, position on screen, blanking (to cover up unwanted parts of the image); and for DVDs it can also include the start point, so as, for example, to start the DVD at the main menu so as to skip introductory trailers.

The player can be manually set up by the user with a "cut file" so as to make pre-determined edits to certain titles, for example for viewing with younger children. In practice few users seem to make use of this facility. This process can be controversial in some countries, for example it can be viewed as a breach of copyright, although it probably cannot be described as censorship where the cuts are determined by the user himself, rather than by some central authority.

upported formats

Supported formats (depending on the filters) include:

Live television viewing is also possible at both standard and high-definition television (HDTV) resolutions.

Licensing

Zoom player is proprietary software distributed under a proprietary license. A version with some advanced features removed is available for non-commercial use without monetary cost but full-featured versions require payment.

ee also

*List of media players
*Comparison of media players

External links

* [http://www.inmatrix.com/zplayer/ Official website]


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