QuickTime vs. RealPlayer vs. Windows Media Player

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Roadblock asks which is better: QuickTime, Real Player, or Windows Media Player?

It depends on what you want to use them for. I you want to just play MP3 files then any of those players will do; however, if you want to use specific files (MOV, WMA, etc.), you’ll probably want to use the media player built specifically for that format.

QuickTime is a popular choice from Apple, which support the infamous MOV file format:

Whether you are creating content for delivery on cell phones, broadcast, or the Internet, or a software developer looking to take your application to the next level, QuickTime provides the most comprehensive platform in the industry.

With a rock-solid foundation that you can trust and a host of innovative features that create the most cutting-edge multimedia experiences for your customers, QuickTime is the obvious choice for all of your digital media needs.

RealPlayer has a sordid past but has recently undergone a dramatic change (although it still bundles SuperPass with its software install):

Whether your’re downloading music, burning CDs or watching a ballgame, RealPlayer gives you greater control of your media than any player out there. Download, surf, boogie and burn with these incredible RealPlayer features.

For the Windows user in all of us, there’s Windows Media Player (wMP to the geeks out there):

Windows Media Player 11 offers great new ways to store and enjoy all your music, video, pictures, and recorded TV. Play it, view it, and sync it to a portable device for enjoying on the go or even share with devices around your home – all from one place.

The chatroom recommends VLC, a media player that plays practically everything:

VLC media player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, etc.) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network.

So, what media player do you use?

28 thoughts on “QuickTime vs. RealPlayer vs. Windows Media Player”

  1. I use Media Player Classic it plays all the formats and is tiny. I like the ability to customise the aspect ratio’s to exactly what best fits. Some of the older TV recordings are in 4:3 but on a widescreen TV you may have to fiddle with remotes to fix the ratio presented but MPC allows one to change the aspect to a sqeeze onn the monitor but present correctly on the TV.

    Al

  2. I use Media Player Classic it plays all the formats and is tiny. I like the ability to customise the aspect ratio’s to exactly what best fits. Some of the older TV recordings are in 4:3 but on a widescreen TV you may have to fiddle with remotes to fix the ratio presented but MPC allows one to change the aspect to a sqeeze onn the monitor but present correctly on the TV.

    Al

  3. Hi.

    I’d kept Windows Media Player at version 6.4 because of privacy, phoning home, etc., and didn’t use RealPlayer at all, for similar reasons. Then I heard of QuickTime Alternative and Real Alternative, free downloads that let you play QuickTime and Real videos – and both come with Media Player Classic, which plays most everything and behaves.

    Then I found Crystal Player, also freeware, which plays plays most everything – and what it doesn’t play, Media Player Classic does. The great thing about Crystal Player is that you can adjust brightness/contrast/color on the fly (or pause and adjust). So many videos need adjusting, this is a feature that’s hard to live without.

    tg

  4. as an animator, Quicktime beats all the others hands down.
    You get ultimate control, while the other players can’t even scrub properly, much less skip frame by frame.
    I cringe when they provide me with reference footage in WMP or real format, it’s totally useless for me.
    my two pesetas

    (sorry for my clumsy formatting in the previous post)

  5. as an animator, Quicktime beats all the others hands down.
    You get ultimate control, while the other players can’t even scrub properly, much less skip frame by frame.
    I cringe when they provide me with reference footage in WMP or real format, it’s totally useless for me.
    my two pesetas

    (sorry for my clumsy formatting in the previous post)

  6. I primarily use 2 “Free Media Players.

    Primarily Windows Media Player 11, and 2nd jetAudio Basic. The latest current release is v 7.0.2.3010.

    Windows Media Player 11 primarily because of aesthetics and playback.

    jetAudio Basic does not have as many plug ins as WinAmp but does a lot more in the Free version. The Plus version has several extra feature that I normally would not use. Only complaint is the ad that pops open when starting. Oh for those that have looked at or used jetCast, it is not bundled with this release (jetCast has not been updated for a few years)

    In Addition I also have installed Quick and Real Alternative.

    The reason for not using the actual Free Quick Time is simple.

    I do not think Quick Time NEEDS to run at StartUp and Apple does. I tried to use Start Up Monitor and Start UP Control panel to no avail, (really really persistent to aggravating)

    I do not use Real Player because of the original inclusions it had in its install package, and the annoyance of when using Real Player clicking on links to watch, finding that to watch you must upgrade and pay for the Real Pass.
    There were TOO many times when I clicked on a link I was told I needed to pay for the Real Pass. My frustration and annoyance is that I did not find out till “after” I clicked on the link.

    UncleDoug

  7. I use Windows Media Player 9.0 with a few installed codecs such as Xvid and AC3Filter, I used VLC for a long time but I had problems viewing high resolution videos at full speed. I have also used mplayer. QuickTime and RealPlayer don’t interest me at all.

  8. “UncleDoug” said it best. Quick Time is indeed “persistent to aggravating” with its insistence on being in StartUp. I wasted no time removing it from my computer. For my simple needs, WMP 11 works just fine for me.

  9. I just assumed that Quicktime was the best since it seems to be the most ubiquitous. I recently tried putting up a seven minute promo video I shot and I was having real problems with Quicktimes quality.

    I edited the video in Avid and exported it as a Quicktime.dv. I have found this export setting gives me the best initial export. I then compressed it into a Quicktime.mov within Sorenson Squeeze.

    I initially posted my vid at my site with a link to open up a Quicktime movie. The QuickTime would take at least FIVE minutes to download before it started playing anything, and then, the quality was very degraded, especially the audio, it sounded all garbally and phasey.

    On a lark, I took that original Quicktime.dv file and compressed it in Sorenson into a Windows Media File and I was shocked by bothe the quality and performance difference. I took down the Quicktime link and replaced it with the .WMV file and my video looks and sounds perfect. The WMV iteration of my video has a sharper picture and no degraded audio. On top of all that…it only takes like 10-15 SECONDS for the .WMV file to load completely and start playing.

    After this experience, I’m left with the question. Why the hell is QuickTime so popular out there. If Windows Media Player has better audio and video AND performs a thousand times faster, why is it more common to see links to QuickTime videos?

  10. highmarcs –
    “I initially posted my vid at my site with a link to open up a Quicktime movie. The QuickTime would take at least FIVE minutes to download before it started playing anything, and then, the quality was very degraded, especially the audio, it sounded all garbally and phasey.”
    …sounds like operator error. Don’t blame the software if you don’t know how to use it.
    I’m obviously mostly a quicktime guy since I’m more mac, and a video editor, but on the windows side I’ve got to cast a vote for VLC. Works great and has tons of features if you’re savvy enough.

  11. highmarcs –
    “I initially posted my vid at my site with a link to open up a Quicktime movie. The QuickTime would take at least FIVE minutes to download before it started playing anything, and then, the quality was very degraded, especially the audio, it sounded all garbally and phasey.”
    …sounds like operator error. Don’t blame the software if you don’t know how to use it.
    I’m obviously mostly a quicktime guy since I’m more mac, and a video editor, but on the windows side I’ve got to cast a vote for VLC. Works great and has tons of features if you’re savvy enough.

  12. I would never use Quicktime Realplayer or Windows Media Player. They are all bloated with unnecessary features that slow your computer and startup processes down.

    I recommend Media Player Classic. It is a self contained program that is very small and effective.

    1.  Quicktime actually starts up in one “bounce” in the dock; my personal record for any program. wMP also is very quick off the mark. Some of the freeware ones, such as VLC, however, do take awhile. It might be because of my intel duo core processor on a 2006 or 2007 imac, but VLC does take awhile to startup, and takes a moment pause audio or video.

  13. I would never use Quicktime Realplayer or Windows Media Player. They are all bloated with unnecessary features that slow your computer and startup processes down.

    I recommend Media Player Classic. It is a self contained program that is very small and effective.

  14. I have had no problem with QuickTime putting itself in Startup.
    You can always go to start. run >type in msconfig. And at the top of the configuration utility click on the “Start” at the top of the page , then scroll down until you find Quicktime and simply take out the check mark. Then click okay. It will not start up. You can also install Win-Patrol and it will take care of it.

  15. I converted a power point to a .MOV. I noticed when playing the .mov file simultaneously on Quick time and VLC. The VLC player, plays the titles much smoother than quick time, but the colours are ‘richer’ in quick time!! Why?

  16. QuickTime putting itself in Start-Up is a deal breaker. No, I don’t want to go to MSConfig and take it out. I want it to NOT put itself there. There was a point in time where you basically couldn’t uninstall QuickTime to remove the system tray icon, as well, since it would install itself (on Windows, no less) as a system component (WTF?!). Since those days, I’ve sworn off of it.

    That being said, as far as the internet is concerned, I don’t see many QuickTime video Links. Most stuff is in Flash, and WMV. Microsoft uses Silverlight on their Website, and more places are starting to use that as well.

    Back in the day I used to see lots of websites using RealPlayer files (*.rm, *.ra), but I hardly ever see those anymore.

    I use Windows Media Player. It syncs to my Windows Phone and manages Photos, Music, Videos, can play DVDs, etc. Performance is good, and the application looks very nice. I also use the Microsoft Zune Player, since I have Zune Pass.

    I’d probably have iTunes, but it’s way too bloated on Windows, and User Interface Guidelines only matter to apple when an application is ignoring theirs on their own OS.

  17. Definitely VLC & occasionally Jetaudio. Windows MP is just too much to deal with as is QT & Real is dead, imo.

    T

      1. Yes, I agree. It was great. Windows 7 media player is pretty good, but quicktime is my favorite. I’m very annoyed with itunes as a media player because it always adds the song to its library. I just want to listen to my song, not form another copy of it in my itunes folder. Plus, quicktime has many add-ons, one of which can even play WAV files.

        1. QuickTime is quite nice on OS X – not so much on Windows. But, at least Apple provides something for Windows users, as opposed to Microsoft who stopped developing any kind of WMP on OS X. Luckily, open source players have swept in and saved the day for Mac users.

          1.  Yes, it is a good thing that Apple at least offers quicktime 7. I use VLC for anything that quicktime 10, perian, and flip4mac do not cover. Which is pretty rare. However, VLC is not the greatest media player. You should use the media players that came with your os.

          2. What I mean to say is that VLC is great, but the built in media player is usually enough. Definitely note the usually.

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