Media Player Classic (MPC), Media Player Classic - Home Cinema (MPC-HC), and Media Player Classic - Black Edition (MPC-BE) are a family of free and open-source, compact, lightweight, and customizable media players for 32-bit and 64-bit Microsoft Windows. The original MPC, along with the MPC-HC fork, mimic the simplistic look and feel of Windows Media Player 6.4, but provide most options and features available in modern media players. Variations of the original MPC and its forks are standard media players in the K-Lite Codec Pack and the Combined Community Codec Pack.
|Developer(s)||MPC Community Forum|
|Initial release||May 30, 2003|
188.8.131.52 / March 20, 2006
|Size||Original: 2.2 MB (Zip)|
184.108.40.206: 2.1 MB (Zip)
|Available in||11 languages|
|Website||Original MPC on Doom9|
MPC 220.127.116.11 on Doom9
This project is now principally maintained by the community at the Doom9 forum. The active forks are Media Player Classic - Home Cinema (MPC-HC) by clsid2 (same developer known as clsid responsible for MPC 18.104.22.168), and Media Player Classic - Black Edition (MPC-BE) by aleksoid.
The original Media Player Classic was created and maintained by a programmer named "Gabest" who also created PCSX2 graphics plugin GSDX. It was developed as a closed-source application, but later relicensed as free software under the terms of the GPL-2.0-or-later license. MPC is hosted under the
guliverkli project at SourceForge.net. The project itself is something of an umbrella organization for works by Gabest.
Media Player Classic development stalled in May 2006. Gabest, the main developer of the original version, stated in March 2007 that development of Media Player Classic is not dead but that he was unable to work on it. MPC 22.214.171.124, released March 20, 2006, is the final official version.
In August 2007, an unofficially patched and updated build became available, from Doom9 member clsid, hosted under the
guliverkli2 project at SourceForge.net. Known as Media Player Classic 126.96.36.199, it was meant for fixing bugs and updating outdated libraries; its branch's development has been inactive since 2011. MPC 188.8.131.52 Revision 107, released February 14, 2010, is the final release version. The community at the Doom9 forum has since further continued the project with MPC-HC.
|Developer(s)||MPC-HC Community Forum|
|Initial release||September 2007|
184.108.40.206 / April 15, 2022
220.127.116.11 (x64 only) / May 9, 2022
|Size||IA-32: 15.6 MB (Exe)|
x86-64: 17 MB (Exe)
|Available in||42 languages|
|Website||MPC-HC official website (inactive) |
MPC-HC on Doom9 (active fork by clsid)
MPC-HC updates the original player and adds many useful functionalities including the option to remove tearing, additional video decoders (in particular H.264, VC-1 and MPEG-2 with DirectX Video Acceleration support), Enhanced Video Renderer support, and multiple bug fixes. There is also a 64 bit-version of Media Player Classic - Home Cinema for the various Windows x64 platforms. MPC-HC requires at least Windows XP Service Pack 3.
As of version 1.4.2499.0, MPC-HC implemented color management support, an uncommon feature that nearly all video players on Microsoft Windows lack. Windows 8 support was introduced in version 1.6.5. Beginning with version 1.6.6 the stable releases are signed.
Apart from stable releases as published, nightly builds are also publicly available. MPC-HC is also distributed in the PortableApps format. MPC-HC 1.7.8 released in 2015 was built with the MediaInfoLib 0.7.71.
MPC-HC 1.7.1 added support for HEVC format.
MPC-HC 1.7.13 is the final version and the program has been officially discontinued as of July 16, 2017, due to a shortage of active developers with C/C++ experience. Its source code on GitHub was last updated on August 27, 2017, a month and a half after the official final version.
MPC-HC 1.7.xx Maintenance versions released, bug fixes.
MPC-HC 1.8.xx Youtube-DL integration, maintenance, bug fixes.
MPC-HC 1.9.xx Black Theme added, modern toolbars, better subtitle handling, video preview on seekbar, improved translations, various small features, maintenance, bug fixes.
Updated builds of MPC-HC, a fork from the same developer (known as clsid2 on GitHub/SourceForge) responsible for MPC 18.104.22.168, started appearing in January 2018. This fork contains updated internal codecs (LAV Filters), AV1 support, youtube-dl integration, a new dark theme, video preview on seekbar, support for MPC Video Renderer, A-B Repeat, subtitle performance improvements, updates to some other external components, other improvements, and many bug fixes; support for Windows XP was also dropped in these builds. Binary releases are available, as well as source code.
|Initial release||September 12, 2012|
22.214.171.12445  / January 30, 2022
126.96.36.19943  / January 10, 2021
|Size||IA-32: 13.1 MB (Zip)|
x86-64: 14.3 MB (Zip)
|Available in||25 languages|
Media Player Classic - Black Edition (MPC-BE) is a fork of MPC and MPC-HC. It moved away from MPC's aim to mimic the look and feel of Windows Media Player with updated player controls and provides additional features on top of MPC-HC such as a video preview tooltip when hovering the mouse cursor over the seek bar, as known from video platforms such as YouTube and Dailymotion, though many of these features, including the video preview on seekbar, were added to MPC-HC at a later date.
MPC-BE, however, doesn't include LAV filters by default, making it less efficient than MPC-HC for decoding. This is most noticeable with higher resolution files, newer codecs, or on lower end hardware.
Player development began in February 2011. Developers used a modification of MPC-HC made by a programmer nicknamed "bobdynlan".
The first version (188.8.131.52) was released on September 12, 2012.
Media Player Classic is capable of VCD, SVCD, and DVD playback without installation of additional software or codecs. MPC has built-in codecs for MPEG-2 video with support for subtitles and codecs for LPCM, MP2, 3GP, AC3, and DTS audio; along with native playback of the Matroska container format. MPC also contains an improved MPEG splitter that supports playback of VCDs and SVCDs using its VCD/SVCD/XCD Reader. On October 30, 2005, Gabest added MP4 and MPEG-4 Timed Text support. Adobe Flash movies (SWF) can be played and frames jumped to.
Supported media formats within the latest builds of MPC-HC and MPC-BE have been considerably expanded compared to the original MPC, as these builds are bundled with iterations of libavcodec and libavformat. MPC-HC version 1.7.0 and newer utilize LAV filters, while MPC-BE uses FFmpeg directly. Consequently, they support all formats from those libraries.
Media Player Classic is primarily based on the DirectShow architecture and therefore automatically uses installed DirectShow decoding filters. For instance, after the open source DirectShow decoding filter ffdshow has been installed, fast and high quality decoding and postprocessing of the MPEG-4 ASP, H.264, and Flash Video formats is available in the original MPC. MPC-HC and MPC-BE, however, can play videos in these formats directly without ffdshow.
In addition to DirectShow, MPC can also use the QuickTime, RealPlayer, and SHOUTcast codecs and filters (if installed on the computer) to play their native files. Though some of these files may play without the external codecs or filters installed. Alternatively, QuickTime Alternative and Real Alternative can be used in place of their player installations for expanded support of their respective file formats.