Old-school media player for Windows
GOM Player is part of the classic school of media players, a leftover from the days where when you wanted to listen to a song or play a movie, you’d have to open up a standalone app to do so. For many of us, those days are over, but if you still like to have a media player among your software arsenal, you may well be giving GOM Player a run for its money. So, how does it shape up?
Play many file formats with total ease
Traditional media player won’t present any difficulties
GOM Player for Windows is a media player that will tackle audio and video with ease. It’s a traditional looking piece of software with an easy, quick download. A word of warning—keep your eyes open during the installation. The player offers you other downloads during the process. You can refuse them, obviously, but if you’re sleepwalking through installation, you might easily install without even realizing.
If you’ve ever used a media player, GOM won’t phase you. It’s got an old-fashioned interface in the format of a CD player, so you have the usual play, pause, and stop buttons, as well as a new file button in the shape of an eject icon. Nobody would try to argue that GOM is an attractive tool - it’s not. You can choose to change the appearance almost completely with skins, but this is an old-fashioned concept and not an excuse for such an unattractive default skin. When you’re ready to play your media, you can choose from file or drag and drop new media into the player. Alternatively, line up a playlist to play automatically. GOM is by no means hard to use, but you might need to poke around for a while to find all the options, as they’re fragmented across the interface and settings.
GOM Player’s major selling point is the wide variety of file formats it accepts. It will handle most files you throw at it with ease and, if you happen to find something really obscure, will search for the codec itself. It also supports 360-degree VR video, which includes videos from YouTube (via a built-in window) or even interactive videos you’ve shot yourself. GOM isn’t alone in this ability - VLC, for example, can do this too.
Two other features we really like - GOM’s in-built subtitle support and the wide range of settings you can tweak. One group of people who enjoy using standalone players are those who really like to customize their media experience, and these users will see lots of potential in GOM’s settings. Likewise, if you’re a fan of foreign movies, the built-in subtitle finder will make the job of understanding your movies a whole lot easier.
One thing GOM Player doesn’t excel at: the support is very poor. There isn’t much developer-created support (just an underwhelming FAQ) and since it’s not one of the more popular media players, there isn’t much in the way of user-created support either.
Where can you run this program?
This version of GOM Player is for Windows machines running XP SP3 or later.
Is there a better alternative?
Yes, there is. GOM works fine, but the lack of support and slightly dodgy installation process means that something a little more trustworthy and popular, like VLC, is a better option.
On the face of it, GOM Player does everything it’s supposed to do and even excels at some aspects, like in-built support for file formats and subtitles.
Even so, the sneaky install process is real no-no these days and is very off-putting. Add that to the almost non-existent support, and it’s not looking great for GOM. Standalone media players have been around for years and are ten a penny. If you want to stand out in this crowded and demanding market, you have to perform a little bit better than the competition and, unfortunately for GOM, it just doesn’t.
Should you download it?
No. Unless there is something very specific that you think GOM Player can do for you, just stick to a proven champ like VLC.
- Supports many formats
- Fine-grained control over playback
- Subtitle tool handy
- Sneaky software install in set-up
- Looks very old-fashioned
- Terrible support