Lifehacker Awards 2014: Best Media Player

Lifehacker Awards 2014: Best Media Player

The triumphs continue in the Lifehacker Awards 2014! This morning, we’re revealing the winner of Best Media Player.

Readers’ Choice: XBMC

There’s a whole lotta love for XBMC out there — so much so that we’d question the wisdom of the forthcoming name change to Kodi. Available on a huge range of platforms and constantly evolving, it’s a fabulous media tool — especially once you power it up with extensions. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

Editor’s Pick: VLC

VLC is usually the second piece of software I install on any new machine (Chrome comes first). It’s lightweight, efficient, and can handle any media format you’re likely to encounter. Plus it has stacks of hidden features

Thanks everyone for voting! Keep checking back throughout the week for more winners.


    • I’d say Plex gives plenty of worthwhile reasons to go past XBMC, primarily with just the ability to stream media to any device on the same network.

      • I stand corrected. PLEX has been making a lot of noise lately and I’ve been seriously considering it as a better option for my DLNA setup now that I have a ROKU and it has a PLEX channel plugged in.

        • Yeah, after spending a year with XBMC and getting frustrated with its limitations, I’m pretty overjoyed with Plex and have sunk dozens of hours and hundreds of dollars into setting up my media server, network and devices to make the most of it.

      • Except for the fact that Plex stores information about your media, passwords and what you watch and says they will hand it over when asked to do so in order to comply with laws etc etc. But then, nobody uses Plex to watch illegally gotten content right?

        Also, have you checked out XBMC of late? If you’re on Android, install the paid version Yatse ( and you can stream all your content to any of your Android devices on your home network, without your data being stored by a third party.

    • I much prefer Media Player Classic with MadVR and Smooth Video Player, I know a lot of enthusiasts perfer Daum Potplayer which is extremely feature rich but I find a bit too much. Using FFD show to configure audio has a lot of advantages over VLC.

      Pretty much only recommend VLC to my low tech mates as configuration is much simpler.

    • Literally no reason? I can name two: The Plex app on my NAS and the Plex app on my TV.
      I’ve never liked VLC either.

  • Great timing! I have almost blown my eardrums last few weeks listening to uni lecture videos. The lecturers either speak too close to mic and you hear a loud interference like blowing on mic, so I have to turn up volume to hear what they are saying, and blow my eardrums when they breathe into mic (could be interference or something, have no idea, it just hurts).
    Else, they use the lectern mic and walk away from it, so I have to turn up volume to hear what they are saying, then they jump back on and yell out “So!… That means blah blah” that blows my eardrums too.
    Have tried everything to moderate sound through windows or vlc but no luck.

  • I’ve got a pvr that is tl format.i can copy to a usb but can’t really watch on anything else.any ideas.can I put on seagate wireless ( portable hard drive ) to watch later on iPad via VLC app?

    • If you have a PC or laptop then Plex is the best option for you, I currently have Plex on the PS3, TV via Samsung app store and on two iPads and even an iPhone, plus can be launched in any browser.

  • They deserve the Award and I already thought it was the best Media Center Ever…..Kodi Rocks and I love this guys and have suported them and will again and again when I feel like it 🙂 it gives me the pleasure to my collection of movies and TV Series plus the Extra LIve TV add-ons….Power To Kodi 4 Ever 🙂

  • Can’t believe PLEX didn’t win. so much better than XBMC in my experience. and for everyone that sais you need a PC to stream to ,etc… buy a $35 model B raspberry-pi, put RASPLEX (Raspbian based plex distro for the pi. think it’s loosely based on openELEC) and so cheap! i’d buy a pi over a chromecast or rokou also.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!