Tons of media players are available on the market, but they’re all so similar that the lines between them are very blurred. One of the recent media players we tested stood out from the rest, and a juicy new feature that lets you stream content from your smartphone to your TV is the cherry on top! We’re talking about 5KPlayer, the free music and video player with advanced hardware acceleration capabilities, AirPlay and DLNA wireless streaming support in the Mac version, and the ability to download videos and music from practically any social site including YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo and more.
5KPlayer keeps improving with every new iteration, and the latest one includes DLNA support. In case you’re not aware, DLNA is a technology with the same name as the organization that created it: the Digital Living Network Alliance. It was originally set up by Sony, but is now a universally accepted set of guidelines for digital media sharing.
How Does DLNA Work and What Can It Do For Me?
Essentially, 5KPlayer offers three DNLA-based technologies:
- The first is that it acts as a DLNA Controller to stream digital content like movies and music from your computer to another DLNA-compliant device such as an Android TV.
- The second is that 5KPlayer acts as a DLNA renderer so it can receive content from DLNA apps like AllCast. For you, that means streaming from a mobile device onto your PC or Mac.
- The third is that it converts your computer into a DLNA media server that can be used to allow compliant devices to operate between each other.
In short, it closes the circuit on media sharing between your PC/Mac, your smart TV and your mobile devices.
Key Features of 5KPlayer
But that’s just the new feature introduced in the latest version of 5KPlayer. Other features that have been around for a while include:
- A comprehensive video audio downloader that will let you download content from all the top social sites including Facebook, YouTube, VIne, DailyMotion, Vimeo, etc.
- Full support for 360-degree, VR and 8K video downloads.
- Extract audio from video files and convert to MP3.
- Built-in radio tuner with preset live radio stations including XFM, Heart and BBC Radio.
- Low-powered CPU/GPU consumption with built-in hardware acceleration supported by Intel, NVIDIA and DXVA 2.0
- Detects surround sound technologies in any audio format.
- Use AirRecord and AirPlay mirror to record and cast the screen of your iPhone or iPad directly to your computer.
- Drag and drop, create playlists, play DVDs and even play directly from ISO image files.
- Associate 5KPlayer with all media file types to use as default player.
- No need to download movies to extract audio. Just input URL, analyze, set format as ‘audio’ and hit ‘Download’ to get the audio file.
Opinion and Ratings for 5KPlayer
On the whole, we found 5KPlayer to be a very flexible and comprehensive media player. You can manage your media library, create a hub for streaming content, keep adding to your library with the download feature and pretty much do everything except edit videos. We did find the navigation to be a little lacking because you have to keep going back to the home page to open different sections, but we did like the fact that the home page gives you one-click access to wherever you want to go. Right-clicking gives you some important context menu items like file associations and such.
As such, the software is not naturally intuitive, but the controls are very straightforward considering the amazing capabilities of this absolutely free media player. You’ll find that the platform is recommending other software from its same company, but these aren’t intrusive or excessive. After all, the team has to make money somehow in order to keep the lights on, right?
In summary, we’d rate this media player a 9 out of 10, and the only points lost are for navigation. If that could be simplified a little, with something like a features map with links that users can take advantage of, we wouldn’t hesitate to give 5KPlayer a 10 out of 10, and not just because it’s a free application. You can also check out their other software, DearMob iPhone Manager, which we have reviewed here and encourage you to download and try. It’s a comprehensive data transfer utility for managing data between iOS and other devices. But the star of the show is 5KPlayer, one of the most feature-rich media players we’ve seen in a long time.