Zoom Player is a commercial media player developed by Inmatrix.
There were three versions of Zoom Player when it was first incorporated into CCCP:
- Standard (free for non-commercial use)
- Professional (can play DVDs, is not free)
- Professional WMV (can play DVDs and DRM-WMV files, is not free)
The Standard version, free for non-commercial use, is included in the CCCP, but was discontinued by Inmatrix with the release of Zoom Player v6.
Currently there's no free version of Zoom Player available, and no plans to release one, nor plans for a maintenance release of v5 standard edition, despite reported instability under Windows Vista SP1.
There are three versions of Zoom Player currently available (all commercial software):
- Home Professional (the same as the v5 Professional)
- Home Premium (the same as the v5 Professional WMV)
- Home Max (new release introduced in v6)
This page details some basic and advanced configuration tweaks for your copy of Zoom Player.
Missing filters dialogue on first startup
The first time Zoom Player runs, it scans your system to determine what files cannot be played. This scan looks for all the basic formats (xvid, mp3, etc), as well as several esoteric ones (Monkey's Audio, Musepack, etc). If you have installed the CCCP, you don't need to install any of these filters to play back basic files. Some of the filters ZoomPlayer recommends are either very superfluous to have in DirectShow (like Monkey's Audio for example), and as long as you have CCCP, you should be set for all sane files (with the exception of QuickTime and Real stuff - for those, read this).
Zoom Player allows you to customise keyboard commands for most functions.
- Go to ZP's folder (something like C:\Combined Community Codec Pack\Zoomplayer\ or so) and make a copy of default.key. Let's name that copy KeyTest.key.
- Now, open ZP
- Right-click on the player window and then on Player Options (or just press Ctrl-O)
- Click on Advanced Mode in the lower left corner of the options menu to enter the advanced mode (it will display Basic Mode if you're in advanced mode)
- Go to the Keys tab. Now you will see above screenshot (left image). You can:
- see the default keys used by ZP
- search the key list by typing an expression and pressing enter
- specify a customized key file for ZP's DVD mode (DVD mode is only available in the professional version, so we'll skip it here)
- specify a customized key file for ZP's media mode (this is what we'll deal with)
- Click on the upper Browse (under Custom Media Key File) and find your KeyTest.key. This file will now appear in the field next to the browse button.
- Click on Edit. The window that pops up now let's you choose your own keys for the functions described. For example, scroll down a bit until you get to the line that says Play / Pause in the Description field (see screenshot, upper right image). Double-click that line and you'll see another window pop up (see screenshot, lower right image). Enter the key you would like to use for Play / Pause in the Key field and check Ctrl, Alt, etc. if you like. Now, click on OK in this window and click OK again.
- If you feel you have messed around sufficiently, you can press Close and use your own keys. (Note: Clicking on Default (again, under Custom Media Key File) sets the default keys that were used by ZP before you decided to interfere.)
Note: In fact, you can edit the keys by opening your KeyTest.key file in a simple text editor. Find more information on the syntax in default.key. It's recommended to use ZP for editing unless you feel more comfortable using a simple editor.
There's really only one menu, and it is accessed by right-clicking on the video area - it also works in fullscreen mode. Some of the more interesting options in it include:
- Controls submenu
- Color controls: Will put brightness, contrast etc. controls on top of the video. You will be asked if you want to turn them on, if you answer no they won't have any effects. Watch out for these in Windows 2003 and XP64, though - for these OS you have to enble the Color Controls as decribed here.
- Audio equalizer: What it sounds like. Maybe useful for audiophiles...
- Dialogs submenu
- Playing information: Displays lots of interesting information about the video played.
- Play List editor: What it sounds like. Add files here if you want to watch more than one episode in a row.
- Chapter editor: Lets you make your own chapters. Probably not very useful.
- Scene cut editor: Lets you edit scene cuts. Probably only useful for DVD's.
- Media Library Path Editor: Lets you create a Winamp 5-style media library. I personally wouldn't ever use it, but that's just me.
- Station manager: Useful for internet radio stations, but not for video playback, and therefore out of the scope of this FAQ.
- Skin selector: Chooses skins, duh.
- GoTo dialog: Jumps to a specific time or frame.
- Play history: Shows what you've played recently.
- Filter properties submenu
- You can get to the configurations for all filters currently used from here. Useful to check what filters are being used and for quickly changing their settings.
- Stream selection submenu
- One of the most useful menus. Lets you change/turn off/on audio languages and subtitles.
- Aspect ratio submenu
- You can force another aspect ratio from here. Not recommended, but might be useful sometimes.
Commonly changed Zoom Player settings
Most of these will make ZP behave in a more intitutive fashion for those used to Windows Media Player, MPC and their relatives. First of all, make sure that you are in Advanced Mode by clicking the "Advanced Mode" button in the lower left corner of the settings box.
- Settings tab: You may want to check the box "Auto-Show Control Bar on Mouse Movement".
- Other tab: Set the "Hide Control Bar (seconds)" value to your preference (the value decides how many seconds the control bar stays visible after you stopped moving the mouse).
- Interface tab: You may want to check "Move Mouse off-screen when entering Zoom/Fullscreen mode" and "Move Mouse off-screen when Mouse is hidden by inactivity".
- Mouse Toggles tab: You may want to change "Double Click" from "Toggle Control Bar" to "Fullscreen on/off", and "Middle Click" to whatever your preference might be.
- Key Toggles tab: You will probably want to change "Space Function" from "Toggle Control Bar" to "Play/Pause Video". Additionally, some people likes to change "Up/Down Arrow (Nav) Keys" to "Volume".
- Toggles tab: Some people like to have "On Play Complete" set to "Auto Rewind" or "Do Nothing" instead of "Play Next Dir File" (which starts playing the next file in the directory). If you have a lot of video on CD's/DVD's, you may also want to change "On CD/DVD Insert" to something appropriate. "Play (Media Only)" seems to be the most sensible choice, since only ZP Professional supports playing DVD's.
Values & Tools
- Interface tab: Change the "Hide Mouse Cursor (seconds)" value to your preference. If your mouse tends to be easily disturbed, you might want to set the "Unhide Mouse Distance (pixels)" value a bit higher.
- Other tab: If you plan on using ZP's internal framegrabber, you'll probably want to change the "Frame Capture (Screenshot) Path" path to something else than the default. Using ffdshow's grab function is probably a better idea, though.
- Most people don't find the "Zoom" feature very useful. Changing it to "Volume Control" or "Timeline Skip" instead might be a good idea.
- This is the place to set ZP to the default media player for whatever formats you might wish to use it for.
As above, make sure you're in Advanced Mode first.
- There's lots of interesting things in Settings/Interface, Settings/Playback and Settings/Other. Examples include allow multiple instances ("Other" tab), keep user interface on primary monitor ("Interface" tab), loading of external audio tracks ("Playback" tab), loading of MKV cue files and chapters files ("Playback" tab) and much else.
- People who like tweaking will find the "Values & Tools" area very useful. You can change lots of stuff there, including the seeking distance and lots of paths, etc.
- Most really advanced (and interesting) settings can be found in "Filter Control". Changing of renderers is done here, as well as advanced filter management.
- An interesting list of filters, including a list of who is claiming to be able to decode what can be found in Formats/System Overview.
How to take screenshots with Zoom Player
A tricky question. The default CCCP settings use the overlay mixer for output for a number of reasons, but that unfortunately disables screenshots. We didn't do this because we're evil, really - it's necessary. Now, to answer the question: yes, it's possible to take screenshots with ZP, although it's quite a bad idea and requires some tweaking. We recommend using ffdshow's grab function instead.
- Start ZP and go into the Options/Setup dialogue. Make sure that you are in Advanced Mode by clicking the "Advanced Mode" button in the lower left corner. If it reads "Basic Mode" instead, you're already in Advanced Mode.
- Go to the "Filter Control" page, and click the "Standard Media Playback" tab.
- Note that "Overlay mixer" is chosen by default. Now, if you're using Windows XP, choose the "VMR7" alternative and press OK. If you're using Windows 2000, you'll have to use "VMR9 Windowless" instead. But BE WARNED: VMR9 is far buggier than overlay. Sometimes, VMR9 tints the video green, changes the black to gray and/or make all edges horribly jagged.
- Now use Alt-F (or print screen and pasting into Paint or the picture editor of your choice) to take as many screenshots as you like.
- When you're finished, go back to Options/Setup -> Filter Control -> Standard Media Playback and put the renderer back to "Overlay Mixer".
- Latest stable version at the date of 2008-08-04: Zoom Player v5.02
- Latest beta version at the date of 2008-08-04: Zoom Player v6.00 RC 2
- Version included in latest CCCP: Zoom Player 5.5 Beta1 Standard