video player


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video player

[′vid·ē·ō ‚plā·ər]
(electronics)
A player that converts a video disk, videotape, or other type of recorded television program into signals suitable for driving a home television receiver.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

media player

(1) Software that "plays" audio, video or animation files in the computer. In the Windows world, Windows Media Player is the default player from Microsoft, but iTunes, RealPlayer and other software are also widely used. The media player in early Windows (3.x) versions was called simply "Media Player." iTunes and QuickTime Player are the default products for the Mac.

Organize, Play, Rip, Burn, Purchase and Stream
Media players provide most or all of the following features. They allow users to organize their multimedia collection, play songs and movies, rip CD tracks to MP3 and other audio formats, burn CDs, listen to Internet radio, download content from online music stores and stream content from the Internet. See Windows Media Player, RealPlayer, QuickTime and iTunes.

(2) Hardware that plays audio and video content. When referring to equipment, the term media player is very generic and may refer to a variety of devices. See portable media player, media drive and digital music player.

portable DVD player

A handheld device with a built-in DVD drive and flip-over lid that contains a screen, typically 6" to 10" in size. It may support rear seat passenger viewing, in which case the unit is hung upside down from the back of the front seat head rest, and a switch flips screen content 180 degrees. CDs can also be played, and players may support MP3 and other formats. See portable media player.


A Small DVD Player
DVD players such as this one with a 7" screen began to emerge around the turn of the century, costing USD $1,000. By 2006, players with the same size screen were available in the $100-200 range. The DVD in the picture is for size comparison.

portable media player

An umbrella term for a variety of handheld devices that play back audio, video or both. The device may also serve as a portable photo album for still images such as GIFs and JPEGs. The term "media player" without the "portable" typically refers to software (see media player), but may refer to the hardware devices mentioned here.

Flash Memory and Hard Disk (MP3 and MP4)
Audio-only MP3 players, which use flash memory (solid state) or hard disk for storage, are the most popular portable media devices. In addition to MP3, they typically support one or more other audio formats such as WMA and AAC. See digital music player.

An "MP4 player" or "video MP3 player" refers to a combination audio/video device such as the full-size iPod or a Portable Media Center device, which is bigger and has a larger screen. See iPod.

Optical Discs and Tape Cassettes
Although used less frequently, handheld DVD, CD and tape cassette players also fall into the portable media player category. See portable DVD player and direct media access.


The ARCHOS Multimedia Player
In 2009, ARCHOS introduced a line of Android-based tablets supporting high-resolution audio and video formats. See Android. (Image courtesy of ARCHOS, www.archos.com)
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