5 best free media players for PC and Mac

User interface

While all the players are skinnable, MPV offers the most minimalistic and barebones interface by hardly having one, as its already minimal user interface fades away when idle even in windowed mode.

Instead, MPV’s many control options can be accessed through a series of keyboard and mouse bindings. For folks who love keyboard shortcuts and minimalist design, this may be the video player for you.

PotPlayer and KMPlayer likewise offer dark, sleek-looking user interfaces.

On the flipside, MPC-HC’s default user interface covers the most of your screen out of all five video players, and has an ugly design reminiscent of Windows 98. 

Video Playback

All the players in this list handle most file formats just fine. However, colours in VLC Media Player, KMPlayer and MPV look more muddy and washed out compared to MPC-HC and PotPlayer’s higher contrast image quality.

MPC-HC, PotPlayer, and KMPlayer can also be accompanied by madVR video renderer for even better image quality. 

In conclusion, Mac OS users may want to stick with VLC Media Player as it remains one of the most robust media players to date. However, Windows users can opt for more versatile video players like MPC-HC and PotPlayer.