Zoom Player is a slick player of online multimedia content for Windows PCs.
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.
The 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).
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.
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.
Zoom 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 can now communicate with uTorrent's Web UI interface in order to display download progress within the Media Library and File Browsing fullscreen navigation interfaces. This feature is accessible under "Adv. Options / Interface / On Screen Display / Fullscreen Navigation / File Tracker". Press the "?" button on this page for additional information.
- Zoom Player can now keep track with eMule's temporary files directory in order to display download progress within the Media Library and File Browsing fullscreen navigation interfaces. This feature is accessible under "Adv. Options / Interface / On Screen Display / Fullscreen Navigation / File Tracker". Press the "?" button on this page for additional information.
- New "Download Manager" navigation interface (Ctrl+"J"), allowing you to get an overview of your currently downloading files (compatible with eMule and uTorrent).
- The Scene Cut editor has been simplified and enhanced. The Scene cut editor no longer requires you to click on the save button, saving is done automatically now. A new edit button allows you to edit entries without having to remove an old entry first. Lastly, the scene cut interface layout has been updated to make it simpler to use.
- New Setting (Adv. Options / Interface / Video / Aspect Ratio) instructing Zoom Player "Derived" Aspect Ratio mode to Automatically Adjust (fix) the Aspect Ratio for badly encoded content. This would convert 4:3 content encoded as 720x480 to display as 720x540, 720x576 to 768x576, 352x240 to 352x264, 352x288 to 384x288, etc... Badly encoded 16:9 content is also adjusted in a similar fashion.