Pros and cons: embed Windows Media Player, or use Microsoft Multimedia Control 6.0?
Posted on 2007-04-07
I'm writing a new application using VB6 (I'm still not ready for .NET), and in the application, users may include their video files, are play them.
( I think ) the good old Microsoft Multimedia Control 6.0 (MMC) will play AVI, MPG, MP4, WMV, MPEG, MPEG2, and MPEG4. (I haven't actually tested MP4 and MPEG2.)
Microsoft Multimedia Control 6.0 seems to be a good choice for this task, where the users will be taking small video clips, probably in AVI format, from camcorder uploads into their computers. Even video camera files in other formats can be pretty easily be converted to one of the compatible file types with little trouble to the end users. The other reasons the MMC might still be a good choice is that it will use up the least system resources (compared to Windows Media Player, "WMP" ), and will not have headaches for me in support. Embedding some version (v.9?) of WMP and dealing with different WMP versions and different Windows OS versions will probably create some support headaches.
My new application runs on Win2000, WinXP, and after testing and debugging, I'll include Vista on that list. I mention that because of the different WMP player versions distributed with those OSs.
What other considerations am I forgetting? The application in general, and the form that plays the videos in particular (and the .bas modules behind it) are pretty resource intensive, if that will affect your answer.
WMP plays SWF (Macromedia Flash files), which may be a bonus for some of the users, but is not mandatory. It appears to me that when codecs are installed on a computer, the good old MMC does indeed get to use those. I have my own UI, with my own controls that will allow users to interact with the video files (Stop, Play, start at the Beginning, etc.) Because those controls are already necessary to move through a presentation that includes JPG files and a bunch of data being displayed, I would need to hide the WMP controls anyway, so they provide no benefit. I know that Microsoft is actively doing development on the WMP, and the MMC is relatively "dead", but their are advantages and disadvantages both ways to a programmer.
So, will you please share your expertise and insights: Should I embed Windows Media Player, or use Microsoft Multimedia Control 6.0?
Thanks in advance!