Advanced media player packed with features
Zoom Player Free is a slick player of online multimedia content for Windows PCs. This free version of Zoom Player is fully functional but some of the features are limited to the professional version.
Some features limited to pro version
In a market that's saturated with media players, Zoom Player attempts to be two players in one - a no fuss simple one and an advanced one with just about every imaginable tweaking and customization option. It's a unique offering and chances are that if you've found your current player lacking in some department, you'll find what you're looking for in Zoom Player. If you just want a bare bones media player, then you may be better opting for something like VLC Media Player but Zoom Player lets you have your cake and eat it if you need something with a little more to offer.\nThe basic version of Zoom Player comes installed with a graphic equalizer, playlist editor and everything else that you'd expect in a basic player. Zoom Player's professional version however comes with a whole lot more power, including a more powerful Playlist Manager, added safety features (such as password protection), Media Definitions plus Web Remote (so you can control Zoom Player from your web browser) and an Extended command line interface, exposing many Zoom Player functions directly from the command line. Finally, the professional version also supports playback of DRM protected movies and music (Windows Media DRM).
Automatically downloads codecs
On the plus side, one particularly useful feature of Zoom Player is that if you don't have the correct codec installed, it will tell you the exact one you need without the need for a third party inspection device. Playback is smooth, files are loaded quickly and the playlist supports ID3 tags. You can also easily change skins through the skins editor plus you can download more from the developer site.
Excellent two-in-one playerZoom Player is two players in one - a basic player that serves you well and an advanced player that offers a lot of options that you'll probably never need but will no doubt appeal to power users.
Zoom Player's interface is slimline but expandable very easily. By clicking on the circle of dots in the bottom right hand corner however, you reveal a top bar within the main screen which is packed with features. The symbols used in the menu aren't particularly helpful as they look like hieroglyphs so your only option is to work out what each one does by trial and error. These advanced features include a station manager (for streaming radio and TV channels), skin changer and media library editor.
Indeed, the amount of options in Zoom Player available will intimidate anyone that just wants a playback application. It takes quite a while to understand what all the audio options offer, for example, although there is an extensive list of help files that comes bundled with the installation to help you. This is probably the biggest annoyance of Zoom Player: the advanced options seem extremely "spread-out" and it's rather overwhelming to get to grips with where they all, let alone what they do.