Media player is a term typically used to describe computer software that can play back multimedia files like text, graphics, and animation. Most software media players support an array of media formats including audio and video files. Some media players focus only on audio or video and are known as audio players and video players respectively. The producers of these players usually focus on providing a better user experience as they are specifically tailored toward the media type.
Although the term usually refers to computer software, the term is also used for the media playback devices used in digital signage. The term may also be used to describe analog electrical or mechanical playing equipment such as a phonograph or player piano.
There are various types of media players used by various operating system that are pre-loaded or media players that you, the user, can download and use. Here are a few:
* Windows Media Player – pre-loaded with most versions of the Windows operating system. This program can also “rip” music from and copy music to compact disks. It can synchronize content with a digital music player (Mp3) or other mobile devices and lets user purchase or rent music from a variety of online music stores.
* Shockwave – developed by the Adobe Company, Shockwave was meant to bring a variety of video in online movies and animations to computer user. However, Shockwave has also proven to be instrumental in the area of game development.
* Flash Player – also made by Adobe, this program was originally designed to display 2-dimensional vector animation. However, it has since become suitable for creating rich Internet applications along with streaming audio and video. Flash is a common format for games, animations, and GUIs embedded into web pages.
* Power Point Player – developed by Microsoft as part of their popular Office software, Power Point became and remains a staple in the business world as part of what has been dubbed “persuasion technology”. With Power Point, flashy presentations can be created for business applications such as sales pitches and informational lecture. The Power Point Player has evolved over the years to be able to include movies, audio, and more.
* Quick Time – the Apple Corporation also had to get in on the media player craze, so their version of a media player came about in the form of Quick Time. This media player is capable of handling various formats of digital video and media clips, sound, text, animation, and more. It is available for both Mac and Windows platforms and have proven to be one of the premier media players on the market available free for download.
Media players are almost a necessary component of most computer systems today with the conflux of video and audio content that is available on the Internet. Find the one that works for you and use it!