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Zoom Player Pros and Cons


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#1 ennuianmoie

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 06:51 AM

I've been using this player since v 4. I've been waffling between the free / pirate / demo versions. I have played media with QuickTime, WPM, VLC, KMP, Media Player Classic etc..... for years. I've installed every codec pack imaginable and painfully uninstalled every codec pack as well with every player I can think of. I've been playing with media players through XP, Vista and Windows 7. Finally.. today I layed out the 65.00 bucks CDN for this media player.

Why? Because it works for me. Period.

PROS
=========================
Full screen controls are intuitive and functional. You can map anything to any key or control.

The video decoding for the beginner or the most picky tweaker... it's all there. Control everything or nothing.

Video Quality = superior!

Install Centre... pure genius.

The native skin allows border-less playback and F-keys suit your taste for control display.

CONS
==========================
The ugliest skins every seen. WTF? It's like winamp 2 puked on WMP 9 beta in a ketamine-fueled orgy of yuck yuck yuck. And what's with the crappy multiple fake-quicktime skins from OS9.. why bother?

END troll
===========================

Excellent player... great controls. Awesome video playback and quality regardless of source.

Hideous design and branding. End of the day - this player is in part about how much control you need and how much you care about the prettiness of your computer. If you care about the pretty - go iTunes or WMP.

Moving Forward
===========================
Zoom Player folks ===> Design. If you don't know how.. go minimal.

Would love to see this developed as a Winnows Media Centre replacement for those of us that use MCE to stream throughout our home.

Overall
===========================
Excellent.

#2 Shadrach

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 10:34 PM

Personally I think the UI design is great, the default skin looks quite good and is usable without being cluttered. ZP is heaps in front of usability-horrors like VLC for instance.

I love the ability to customize the keyboard, and the huge number of features that exist to tweak stuff without actually being "forced" to change it. Smart Play just works. The install center is brilliant, I never have to think about having the right codec anymore.

The only drawback I can think of is that because of this complexity bugs are bound to occur which leads to long times between releases.

#3 ehathgepiurhe

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 01:29 AM

complexity


That is Zoom's biggest strength and biggest weakness right there. For those of us who want a little more, it allows us to do things we couldn't do with other players - yet for people who just "want it to work", getting Zoom to simply play a file can be a nightmare. That has been slowly changing though - Install Center was a big step in the right direction for removing some of the complexity. Smart Play is also great, as is Basic Mode and Advanced Mode for the Zoom Player options.

Nice first post too ennuianmoie - welcome to the forums! If you have any skin suggestions specifically, write them down in a post. Godwin - who does a lot of the skinning stuff for Zoom - passes through the forums occasionally, and the last time he did, posted that some more skins for Zoom would be upcoming:
http://forum.inmatri...indpost&p=45454

Regards,

ehat

#4 Mark_W

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 10:21 AM

I've always liked the look of Zoom Player.

Looks a lot better than MPC-HC.


As for the complexity, I'd really like a search function in Advanced Setup. Let's face it, there are a bewildering number of options, spread all over the place, sometimes you know there is a setting but you just can't find it...
But overall ZP is the best high end video player around.

But the biggest con of ZP is it won't play audio seamlessly. Therefore I use JRMC as my music player. Very annoying, and the lack of that feature drove me to purchase a competing product.

#5 ehathgepiurhe

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 12:12 PM

I'd really like a search function in Advanced Setup.


ala Directory Opus - yes, that would be brilliant. I did once ask for this feature (many moons ago), but it obviously hasn't been implemented as yet :(

ehat

#6 Abraham

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 11:00 AM

If I were to name only one feature for which I like Zoom Player it would be its ability to create a play list on the fly. By that I mean, you go to a folder, play a file, click on "next" and it will automatically play the following file in the folder (and it is very configurable).
I am not saying it is the only good feature in Zoom Player of course, but that's the one that made me choose it at the very beginning (was version 4 or 5, not sure anymore).

#7 ehathgepiurhe

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 03:43 AM

If I were to name only one feature for which I like Zoom Player it would be its ability to create a play list on the fly. By that I mean, you go to a folder, play a file, click on "next" and it will automatically play the following file in the folder (and it is very configurable).
I am not saying it is the only good feature in Zoom Player of course, but that's the one that made me choose it at the very beginning (was version 4 or 5, not sure anymore).


It's funny - that is the exact same feature that made me choose Zoom too - and around the same version (v4.x something). Single most important feature in a media player, ever! :) The Zoom implementation is still un-matched by any media player that I have seen (some like MPC-HC now do have it in a form, but not as polished as it is in Zoom) - and I can't use a player as my main player that doesn't have this feature.

ehat

#8 pint

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 07:28 PM

I switched from MPC to Zoom Player 3 or 4, because I was totally annoyed of black bars when watching 16:9 media on my 16:10 display.
ZP also played very nice with Girder, an automation tool in which I had build a custom Media-Center-Frontend for my ATI Remote.
I use ZP mainly for Movies and Videos, sometimes Audiobooks and Music.


Later, I discovered the File Browser / Media Library functions, which is the most important feature for me right now.
I can access all media files on my hdds and even in network.


PROS
=========================
File Browser / Media Library

Highly customizable in every way

Intuitive Interface

Awesome Teamwork with EventGhost (Open Source Automation Tool)

I like the Skins, especially Fusion v7. Though I wish there would be more "highly polished skins" like that.
Navigation Skins are nice too, could be more choices though, too.

Awesome Upgrade Policy (Bought v3 or v4, still getting free upgrades :) )

Install Center is nice too, never had problems with codec packs, but I feel like it's an
advantage that every codec is seperately downloaded so you have the newest versions of each one.

It's fast and stable.



CONS
==========================

Seriously, I can't even make up anything.


Future
===========================

Searchable Options really would be nice.

Slideshow Support for Pictures

More high-end skins

More Media-Center-Functions (Even though I'm not missing anything, I'm sure you have some nice Ideas :) )


Overall
===========================
I married Zoom Player and and we make a nice family. Not planning on a divorce. Maybe have some kids someday.

#9 ehathgepiurhe

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 08:16 AM

Overall
===========================
I married Zoom Player and and we make a nice family. Not planning on a divorce. Maybe have some kids someday.


Nice - may she ever be faithful to you! ;)


Just thinking quickly for my list:

PROS
=========================
Scrolling through a folder of videos without having to add them to a playlist first (even better you can map that to the mousewheel).

While skinning itself is probably a little complicated, I do really like the default Zoom skins (thanks Godwin - please make some more skins soon), and they really look far superior to my eyes to VLC, MPC-HC etc.

Lots of options!

Install Center - this was a big step forward in making Zoom usable for the "just works" crowd.

The upgrade policy is very generous - thanks Blight and co!


CONS
==========================
Lots of options makes for lots of complexity in setting the program up, and there is no filtering system in the options panel to help you find anything ala Directory Opus. I've been using Zoom since v4.x something, and I still struggle to find stuff in the options dialog :(

System codecs. Oh how I wish that Zoom would go down the MPC-HC and VLC route and include its own codecs, rather than relying on system installed ones. I know this will never happen, and I do appreciate the reasons why (time needed to do it, effort and cost needed to maintain it etc), but if I could change any single thing about Zoom, this would be it. I almost drool when I think of Zoom finally being released from its dependency on particular versions of ffdshow and not being as adversely affected by general system configuration as it is. It would help portability too - you could literally pick up your configuration and take it with you on a USB drive. Most importantly - every time I reinstall Zoom, it behaves slightly differently. Different problems to the last time etc and I can never predict what it is going to do. Programs that have their own codecs don't have this problem.

The skinning complexity. If you want to add a new button to your Zoom window, there isn't a simple drag and drop GUI function for it similar to a program like Total Commander for example. If I wanted to add a 'Always On Top' button toggle to a skin, I either have to find one - and there doesn't seem to be one in the Zoom gallery already made - or get out a text editor and go hunting inside the skin files. The outdated Zoom skinning documentation does not help this.


Future
===========================

Yes to this from above:

Searchable Options really would be nice.


More skins!

True portability - though I know Blight has explained the reasons why this won't happen recently over on Doom9 (I can still dream!).

(I am really easy to please, aren't I? There's probably other things I could think of though.)


That's just a quick list, but I'm sure it has given Booga some ideas for promoting Zoom a little more (wherever I go on the Internet I hear about VLC or MPC-HC, but apart from this forum and the occasional mention of Zoom in the madVR thread over on Doom9, I never hear anything about Zoom which always makes me a little sad).

Regards.

ehat

#10 ehathgepiurhe

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 12:15 PM

ala Directory Opus - yes, that would be brilliant. I did once ask for this feature (many moons ago), but it obviously hasn't been implemented as yet :(


Just for completeness, I ended up putting this one into the tracker as #106 (when I originally suggested it a long time ago, it was only via a forum post - I don't believe there was a tracker at that time, and if there was I certainly didn't have access to it anyway). The dev's have looked at this one, and have said it won't be implemented, as it requires a total rewrite of the entire options dialog interface which they aren't prepared to do at this point in time. I had been thinking - as an alternate, anticipating this suggestion might be rejected - of capturing the text of each option from Zoom's options dialog and then pasting that into a text file for easy searching. That would take me a while to do obviously due to the number of options in the options dialog, but I still have it in mind to do as I think it is important enough. If I do, I will put it up for download somewhere.

ehat