Top 5 Alternatives to Media Player Classic

April 07, 2024Jenny Ryan

Media Player Classic and MPC-HC were once the standard for media playback on Windows. However, with development on MPC-HC ceasing in 2017, it's time to explore some worthy alternatives to replace MPC.

This article talks about the reasons why you might need a Media Player Classic alternative and introduces five compelling options that cater to various user preferences.

Media Player Classic Alternative

Part 1. Why You Need a Media Player Classic Alternative

There are several reasons why you might need an alternative to Media Player Classic (MPC) and MPC-HC.

As mentioned above, the development of Media Player Classic ceased in 2017. That means the software won’t receive updates to address security vulnerabilities. Also, it can’t ensure compatibility with the latest codecs and file formats. Using outdated software may expose your system to security risks. You may also get playback issues of newer media files.

While Media Player Classic supports most common formats like MP4, AVI, and MKV, it might require additional codecs for less popular ones. That can be inconvenient, as you will need to search for and install compatible codecs for each unsupported format you encounter.

Media Player Classic is restricted to Windows users. It excludes Mac, Linux, and mobile platforms. If you use multiple devices or prefer a media player that works across different operating systems, you will need to look for an alternative.

While some users like the simplicity of MPC-HC, others might find it lacking in features. If you want functionalities like streaming, advanced customization options, or built-in tools for managing subtitles, you will need a more feature-rich Media Player Classic alternative.

Part 2. Key Features to Consider in a Media Player Classic Alternative

When searching for an alternative to Media Player Classic, you should consider the features below to find the best fit for your needs.

Format Support: Does the Media Player Classic alternative support the file formats you use for videos and music? Ideally, you want a player that handles a wide range of formats, including common ones like MP4, MKV, AVI, and FLV, along with less common formats like HEVC, VOB, or FLAC. Alternative players with built-in codec packs or the ability to automatically download codecs are preferred.

Platform Compatibility: When selecting an alternative to MPC, you should consider the devices for media playback. Is the player available on your preferred platform (Windows, macOS, Linux, Mobile)? If you switch between devices frequently, turn to a cross-platform player like VLC to get a consistent experience.

Resource Usage: Do you prefer a lightweight player for older machines, or are you willing to trade some resources for additional features? Players like MPC-HC are known for their efficiency, but some advanced options might consume more system resources. Evaluate your computer's capabilities and choose a Media Player Classic alternative that runs smoothly without bogging down your system.

Interface and Features: Make the balance between a user-friendly interface and features you find important. Do you need advanced playback controls, streaming capabilities, or extensive customization options? You need to find players that can meet these needs.

Security and Updates: Choose a player that receives regular updates. Open-source players like MPV benefit from community contributions that often focus on security fixes.

Community and Support: A large and active community can be a valuable resource for troubleshooting various playback and software issues.

Part 3. Check the 5 Best Media Player Classic Alternatives

This part gives a closer look at five media players that can be worthy successors to MPC-HC, catering to different user needs.

VLC Media Player

VLC Media Player reigns supreme in the media player landscape. It works as a feature-rich alternative to Media Player Classic and MPC-HC. VLC carries exceptional format support. It can play virtually any media file without requiring additional codecs.

Media Player Classic Alternative VLC

VLC works seamlessly across Windows, macOS, Linux, and even mobile platforms (Android and iOS). Moreover, its development team actively updates the software. That ensures compatibility with the latest formats and addresses security concerns. More than just a player, VLC carries other useful features, including streaming capabilities, subtitle downloads, conversions, and screen recording.

Check for Updates VLC

Aiseesoft Blu-ray Player

If your media collection includes Blu-ray and DVD discs, Aiseesoft Blu-ray Player is your best alternative to Media Player Classic. This software specifically caters to 4K Blu-ray playback. It gives high-fidelity video and audio output to guarantee a great viewing experience. The MPC alternative can also handle DVDs and various digital video formats. Aiseesoft Blu-ray Player supports DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD to offer high-definition surround sound. It provides smooth playback with hardware acceleration.

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Getting Started


PotPlayer is a powerful Media Player Classic alternative with advanced playback options. It excels at smooth playback, even for high-resolution videos. Similar to Blu-ray Player, it uses hardware acceleration for optimal performance. Moreover, PotPlayer offers extensive customization. Like Media Player Classic, it is only compatible with Windows devices.

Media Player Classic Alternative PotPlayer

Despite its feature set, PotPlayer maintains a relatively lightweight footprint. While more resource-intensive than MPC-HC, it strikes a good balance between power and efficiency.


If you are an Apple user and are searching for a sleek media player to replace Media Player Classic, Infuse is worth considering. It seamlessly integrates with your Apple devices, allowing you to stream media from your Mac or PC to your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. It has a beautiful and intuitive interface for easier media browsing and playing. This Media Player Classic alternative can manage your local media library, including movies, TV shows, and music.

Media Player Classic Alternative Infuse-7

The free version of Infuse allows basic playback. However, advanced features like background playback or syncing across devices require in-app purchases.


If you prefer a lightweight and customizable video player with a focus on keyboard shortcuts, MPV might be your perfect match. It is ideal for users with older or less powerful machines. Like PotPlayer, MPV offers a high degree of customization through configuration files. That allows users to tailor the player to their specific needs. MPV lets you use keyboard shortcuts for playback controls.

Media Player Classic Alternative MPV

Part 4. FAQs of Media Player Classic Alternative

What happened to Media Player Classic?

Media Player Classic development officially ended in 2006 due to a lack of developer resources. MPC came out in March 2006 as the final official version. Even though official development stopped, a community effort continued the project under the name Media Player Classic - Home Cinema (MPC-HC). This fork added new features, fixed bugs, and updated libraries to keep it relevant. Unfortunately, development on MPC-HC also ended in 2017 with version 1.7.13. There are still some downloadable versions available, but it won't receive any more official updates.

Is VLC better than Media Player Classic?

Both VLC and MPC are excellent media players, but they cater to slightly different needs. If you want to play almost any media file format without needing extra codecs or want access to advanced features, choose VLC. If you use an older computer that needs a lightweight player and prioritize customization options, you should turn to Media Player Classic.

Can Media Player Classic convert videos like VLC?

No, Media Player Classic and MPC-HC don't have built-in video conversion functionality like VLC.


Media Player Classic (MPC-HC) has long been a favorite for its lightweight design and smooth playback capabilities. However, due to the development ceasing in 2017, you may start to search for worthy alternatives. If you are unsatisfied with MPC, select your desired one from the five alternatives above.

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