Among the plethora of video players available for Windows (and other cross-platform applications), MPlayer has earned a name, quite of its own, owing to its support for various media formats and open source nature. Although Mplayer relies on a command-line interface, you can easily obtain optional media players off the internet that provide its GUI front-end. Rules Player, for the Windows operating system, is one such solution that uses MPlayer binaries and provide a simple and easy-to-use media player. It supports a wide array of video formats including AVI, MKV, MOV, SGP, MP4, OGG, NUTT, OGM etc., as well as various audio formats such as MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, AC3, FLAC and so on. Additionally, the application lets you play videos while they are being downloaded, thus saving you the agony of having to wait for the download process to be completed first. Lets delve inside and see if it’s worth a shot.
The installation process automatically downloads and installs the latest version of MPlayer. However, if you already have it on your system, you can simply select MPlayer and its Codecs ZIP files from the setup window.
If you take a look at its main interface, it might remind you of the famous Media Player Classic skin, with the same navigation scheme and overall design. There is a big funky RP logo in the middle, while the menu bar comprises of File, Playback, Video, Audio, Subtitles and Tools.
The application allows you to set a few parameters under its Video settings, where you can change OSD (on-screen display) mode, Framedrop, Postprocessing (may hog overall system performance so use it with precaution), Aspect Ratio etc. You can also enable/disable video deinterlacing and switch to Fullscreen or Compact mode.
There isn’t much to tinker under the Audio menu, other than adjusting the volume and choosing the audio output device. The Tools menu contain some useful options such as enabling Playlist (that also opens the color control pane, where you can adjust video brightness, contrast, saturation and hue), Console and Titlebar, or configuring other post playback behaviors like Shutdown after playback etc.
Even though we won’t call RulesPlayer the best media player application you can download, it offers a neat interface for MPlayer that’s quite easy to use and contains sufficient number of features. You can grab the application for free and it works on both 32-bit and 64-bit OS editions of Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.