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JRiver Media Center 20 Review

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PROS / The developer has a massive wiki and user forum.

CONS / It does not have free upgrades for life.

 VERDICT / This is a terrific option for audiophiles who also love to tweak code and scripts, no matter your operating system. It also has extensive media integration and features, and it plays well without much CPU consumption.

Cinephiles understand the importance of DVD player software having not just high-quality audio and video playback, but also access to plugins and other optimization options. The JRiver Media Center 20 offers this and more, along with a massive user forum and wiki, so you can find solutions and tinker your way to the best movie-viewing experience possible. Because of its massive customization capacity, and its excellent playback and variety of features, the software earns out Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award.

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  1. Whether the software works with a variety of formats, without excessive CPU usage.
    Higher is better.
  2. 3 JRiver Media Center
    96%
  3. 99%
  4. 96%
  5. Category Average
    89.00%

Performance

You can enjoy a large variety of video and audio with this easy-to-use movie player software. It works with discs and most digital formats, and it even has streaming video integration from sites like YouTube, Netflix and Hulu. It integrates with TV tuners to let you watch live TV or record your favorite shows. This digital video player also works well for playing and ripping audio files, and it can import audio by scanning your hard drive for any file type, including ISO and DRM-free MP4. It can easily convert file types and upmix or downmix audio, and its full 64-bit audio path ensures lossless audio playback with Dolby and DTS audio support, so you're assured high-quality sound.

This is the most flexible program on our lineup, capable of playing audio and videos on computers running Windows, Mac OS X or Linux. It allows you to integrate plugins, third-party software, and other scripts and tweaks so you can get the most out of your player. We were impressed at how little CPU power the player consumes, with an average of 7 percent. Despite its massive functionality and artillery of features and customization options, it leaves you plenty of processing speed for your multitasking needs.

Options & Settings

Playback is a cinch with this player's smoothing function, which eliminates annoying buffering and lag. The auto-resume function remembers where you leave off in a video and starts playback from that point when you're ready to continue watching it. The player allows you to change world regions multiple times. You can connect to social media sites like Twitter or YouTube to share what you're watching or post comments directly from the interface. You can even customize the player skin to your tastes.

You have full control over your video playback with various picture- and time-stretching options, digital zooming, looping, and captions and subtitles toggling. The player also integrates easily with home theater setups while maintaining lossless audio and video playback.

Help & Support

While JRiver doesn't have traditional contact resources, it does offer access to an impressive community user forum where you can ask questions and learn about various simple and complex customization and optimization options. If you don't want to talk directly with anyone, you can check out its custom wiki, which also has a variety of information about all aspects of the player. As a side note, you have to pay for additional user licenses and major upgrades, whereas most of the best DVD software offers free upgrades.

Summary

The JRiver Media Center 20 is a great DVD player software option for movie lovers who also like to play around with scripts and tweak the player to work optimally for them. The player has extensive operating system and media format compatibility, and it's packed with features. Plus, it looks terrific and is easy and fun to use.

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