M View

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The Goal

Build an alternate to Windows Media Player

Which has

  • The ability to remember the last played video and the position of playback
  • Support for single hotkeys for operation
  • The ability to advance frame by frame

Note: This project was started in 1999 and I stopped working on it in 2006.

What I Did

Assessed the resources I had and tried to create a solution.

I decided to develop a media player with my knowledge in Visual Basic.

Version 1.0 & Learnings

My first solution was to use the Windows Media Player (WMP) ActiveX control with a layer of customisation to suit my need.

  • Using WMP ActiveX control resulted in a sluggish application
  • I found there were others looking for a similar solution
  • The file size of the setup was too big to fit into a floppy disk

M View Second Edition

  • I kept what is required for the app and got rid of everything else
  • Switched to the WMP API instead of the ActiveX control, which reduced the app size and gave more control
  • Used a third-party application packaging software that dramatically reduced the installation file size
  • The new installation size is 1.2 MB from 6MB+
  • Bought my own web hosting and started distributing as a freeware
M View on Windows Vista

The reception

M View 2.8 - a great media player with a minimum of bells and whistles you don't need

- 3d2f.com

While this is not presented as an "all singing, all dancing" media player, it does have some excellent features and is very easy to use. It supports variable frame rate for animations, you can vary the sound level by using the up and down arrows, and it offers quite a few keyboard shortcuts to make life easier

- CompletelyFreeSoftware.com

One of my biggest gripes about Windows Media Player is their isn't a lightweight interface without all the extra tabs for ripping, burning and shopping for music. There's mini-mode, but even that is inelegant for many things. I want something that's little more than a playback window for video. MView SE accomplishes this nicely, with a very slim set of play controls and support for all the media types playable in Windows Media Player. In addition to the tiny footprint around your media, a set of single button keyboard controls makes play control reasonably easy with F for Fullscreen, M for Mute, O for Opening ...

- Jake Ludington

M View SE 2.8

Early 2000s, there were many better alternatives in the market for free.

I did one last addition to the app. Support for mouse wheel.

An ad for M View (2004)
Teaser for M View 3 (2006)
Skills used
Product Design, UID, Development, Marketing
Just me
Time period
1999 - 2006