Media Players
January 22, 2004 6:13 PM   Subscribe

Here's the problem. I like to watch movies on my computer (Win XP). However, sometimes I like to work / do other things at the same time. Is there a movie player that will keep the movie window on top at all times, yet still allow me to work in other programs simultaneously?
posted by banished to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
Media Player Classic will do this. Go to it's project page and download the package "MPC".
posted by LukeyBoy at 6:24 PM on January 22, 2004

Zoom Player will also do this, and many many other things. It's my media player of choice, and I recommend it highly.
posted by Jairus at 8:13 PM on January 22, 2004

I use BSPlayer (search for it), simply because all it keeps on top is the movie, none of the menu type stuff. I don't need to see that when I'm trying to do something else at the same time.
posted by graventy at 8:40 PM on January 22, 2004

second BSPlayer
posted by MzB at 9:31 PM on January 22, 2004

If screen real estate is an issue and you have some money (and the desk space) to throw at this, go with two monitors. Hell, I highly recommend it for general productivity. I have this setup at work (19" + 19") and home (20" + 15") and am now hopelessly attached to it.

Lots of graphic cards have this as an option - both a VGA and a DVI port on the same card, then you can get an adapter to convert the DVI to another VGA, if necessary. Look for cards labeled as "dual monitor support". Be aware, though, that DVD playback tends to work on only the primary monitor. It still ends up being a really sweet setup, if you can wrangle it.
posted by Sangre Azul at 9:47 PM on January 22, 2004

VideoLan Client has an "Always On Top" option (right-click in the video window), which keeps the video window on top (but not the control window). I don't know what format your movies are in, but VLC can play DVDs (apparently differently region-coded ones too) and several video formats (DivX, MPEGs). It's free and available for several platforms, but the windows version has most of the features of the other platforms. It's only at 0.7, but I haven't had any problems with it.

Also, if you want to avoid downloading anything an older copy of media player should be installed on your computer as mplayer2 (in C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player) which lets you select Always On Top. It might not be able to play your files though (the about box says it is 6.4 on my WinXP box).
posted by Nick Tamm at 9:55 PM on January 22, 2004

The short answer is "all of them." Just look for the 'always on top' in the menus. It's always there, trust me.

That said, I'm also a fan of Media Player Classic when coupled with the ffdshow codec replacement, on an old PC running XP. I watch 90-95% of all the video I see on my PC, fwiw.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:31 AM on January 23, 2004

My recent experience has been that BSPlayer is substantially more stable in heavy use than Video Lan Client. BSPlayer is also more feature-rich

My experience was in the last 3 mos, but both are still in development so this may no longer be accurate.
posted by Fupped Duck at 7:13 AM on January 23, 2004

my ATI player that came with my all-in-wonder card plays the TV and DVD on top, but with transparency to a level i set it at. i dont' know if BSPlayer does it, but i do know that if i were you, i'd look for a player that had variable transparency.

azul--- i have that setup, and it's trivial to switch which monitor is "primary" i set my big-ass TV as "Primary" and i watch everything through it. i can't tell you how many kids shows or videotapes i've time-shifted onto 2 year old can almost play a specific video herself, by using shortcuts on the TV.
posted by taumeson at 10:16 AM on January 23, 2004

A different approach to the problem would be to buy one of those LCD monitors (Samsung has several) that have multiple inputs: VGA, S-Video, Component, TV Coax. These allow you to do PinP with the VGA source in the main window. Hook up a DVD player, VHS player, cable, whatever, to the other sources and you're set.
posted by joaquim at 11:07 AM on January 23, 2004

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