Announcing Zoom Player v18

Zoom Player Beta

Published December 20th, 2023

What's new in this release:


  * A completely new IPTV (streaming live TV and VOD) interface (Adv. Options
    / Playback / IPTV) with support for:

     1. Stream list with Channel Logo and filtering.
     2. An Electronic Program Guide with live-highlighting and filtering.
     3. Automated downloading of Stream Lists and EPGs (every "x" days)
        in raw XML/M3U formats or in zip/gz archives.
     4. Smart Stream Grouping.
     5. Archive (VoD) playback support.
     6. Create easily accessible "Favorite" channels.
     7. Time-shift the EPG to ensure it matches your current time zone.
     8. Set a reminder to view programs directly from the EPG.
     9. Set a reminder to automatically play a program's stream
        right before it airs.
    10. A "Safe Mode" to prevent kids from altering favorites, hiding
        groups or time-shifting the EPG.     
    11. Hiding unwanted Groups.
    12. Hiding old EPG entries.
    13. Merging channel information from multiple EPG files.
    14. Extracting a Chanel's logo from either the M3U playlist or XML EPG.
    15. Matching M3U channel with EPG information based on both ID and Name.
    
    Any many settings to customize how IPTV dialog looks and behaves:
    
    01. Full customization of colors and font sizes used to display the
        Stream List and Electronic Program Guide.
    02. Disable Stream Grouping (show every stream in one list).
    03. Selecting the number of program description lines to show in the EPG.
    04. Selecting the Stream List logo size.
    05. Increasing the Stream List font size along with logo size.
    06. Alphabetically sort the Stream List.
    07. A button to toggle the EPG display on/off.
    08. A button to toggle IPTV window transparency on/off.
    09. A setting to keep the IPTV window on-top while in fullscreen mode.
    10. A setting to control the size ratio between the Stream list and EPG.
    
    And much more ...

    You can open the IPTV interface using the "Ctrl+G" keyboard macro or
    through the right-click menu, under the "Open Interface" sub-menu.

  * Opening the IPTV interface for the first time now offers you the option
    to automatically download free, child-friendly, publicly available IPTV
    channels from around the world through the Free-TV project:
    https://github.com/Free-TV/IPTV

  * New "Custom Action" button on the main window (near the top-left) that
    allows you to set any standard Zoom Player function to the button.
    
    By default this button opens the new IPTV interface.

  * This feature has been requested by many. The ability to scale
    Zoom Player's skinned windows to make them easier to use on
    4K and 8K displays:
    
    New Setting (Adv. Options / System) that allows you to resize
    the current windowed skin by 200-800%. Please note that this
    setting may not work well with some older Zoom Player skins.

  * You can now easily multiply Zoom Player's windowed skin resolution
    from the skin selection dialog (press "N" to open) to better match
    Zoom Player's skin to your monitor's resolution.

  * New Wakeup on LAN feature (Adv. Options / System) that allows you to
    turn on PCs. This feature is extremely useful when using NAS (Network
    Attached Storage) devices as your source for the media and you only
    want to turn them on when using Zoom Player.

    With this new feature, you can specify multiple MAC addresses to wake
    several PCs and you can trigger the wake-up action with a choice of
    conditions such as:
    
    1. When starting Zoom Player
    2. When opening the Media Library
    3. When opening the File Navigator

    If there are other use-cases where you would want Zoom Player to
    wake-up remote PCs, let me know.

  * New Setting (Adv. Options / Interface) that allows you to assign a
    function to the new "Custom Action" button.

  * New setting (enabled by default) to automatically hide the control bar
    when clicking the video area, making it much easier to quickly hide
    the control bar.

  * You can now edit the last play time and date directly from the media
    library meta-data editor.

  * New Setting (Adv. Options / Interface / Control Bar / Timeline Area)
    that allows you to control whether the timeline displays the current
    playlist track number.

    You can also toggle this setting through the control bar menu by
    right-clicking the timeline with nothing playing (or middle-clicking
    if something is playing).

  * Two new settings (Adv. Options / Interface / Fullscreen Navigation /
    Customization) that allow you to override the poster image and backdrop
    for Movies and TV show categories.

    The backdrop setting is an easy override, just place a "backdrop.jpg" or
    "fanart.jpg" in the same folder and Zoom Player will use it automatically.

    Updating a movie poster image requires you enable the "Do not use scraped
    image as thumbnail / backdrop" setting for each of the media library's TV
    or Movie categories, otherwise the poster image will still use the scraped
    image (due to image-caching maintaining a copy of the old image) and then
    re-scrape the movie folder.

  * New Setting (Adv. Options / Interface / Playlist) to prevent embedded
    playlists (playlist files within playlist files) from loading when
    Zoom Player loads a playlist. This setting is enabled by default as
    embedded playlist can lead to unfortunate infinite-loops cases and
    other stability problems.

  * New Setting (Adv. Options / Interface) to control whether text that
    has no room to display fully starts scrolling. Currently this only
    applies to the main window's title text.

  * The Advanced Playlist Control interface is now accessible through the
    right-click menu under the "Open Interface" section.

  * On a clean install, Zoom Player now multiplies the skin resolution
    based on your screen's resolution. 200% for 4K skins and 400% for
    8K screens.

  + Redesigned the media library category editor layout. Hopefully it's
    clearer and easier to work with.

  + The playlist editor's search feature has been enhanced to support
    repeated search. Simply press Enter to cycle between all entries that
    contain the searched term.

  + Zoom Player's title text now scrolls if there is no room to show
    the entire text (can be disabled in the options).

  + Playing media from the Advanced Playlist Control now ensures the newly
    played item is visible in the Playlist Editor.

  + The Station Manager window now has an "X" in the corner to close the
    window (previously you had to click the "close" button).

  + Pressing ESC with the player window in focus now closes the IPTV
    interface window.

  + Pressing ESC now closes the "Patterns" interface instead of having
    to cycle through every pattern.

  - Trying to play a video with an external audio track, for example:
    "myvideo.mkv" and "myvideo.mp3" in the same folder with the "Load External
    Audio tracks" setting enabled, resulted in a lot of instability.
    
    I rewrote the whole interface and now it's much more stable. Please note
    that this feature also requires Zoom Player's DSP filter to be enabled
    (Adv. Options / Playback / Audio - Enable Internal DSP Filter).

  - Filtering the media library by Genre stopped working.

  - Using unicode characters in the ISO Auto-Mount command would not save
    the path properly after restarting Zoom Player.

  - The Advanced Options "System Sounds" and "Audio" sections did not scroll
    smoothly when using the scroll bar.

  - In the media library's category editor, specifying a category name
    containing unicode characters would not highlight the entry in
    the category list after clicking.

  - Media Title containing certain unicode characters (e.g. emoji) did
    not show when loading some playlist formats (m3u, asx, b4s, wpl).

  - The Media Libary's category editor's "Playlist" category option did
    not display categories correctly if they had certain unicode characters
    in the name (e.g. Emojis).

  - Loading M3U playlists containing links to other M3U playlists, no
    longer tries to insert the embedded playlists as part of the loaded
    playlists, which can cause many unforeseen issues.

  - Loading some M3U playlists in the playlist editor did not always show
    the media's title.

  - Under some conditions, the "Add Folder to Category" and "Remove Folder"
    buttons in the media library category editor were enabled for Plugin
    based categories which would have allowed you to mess up these categories
    if you were not careful.

  - When adding a new plugin based Media Library category, you can no
    longer add duplicate entries even after renaming the category.

  - In the media library category editor, you could press the "Remove Folder"
    button when selecting the "Folders:" entry instead of an actual folder.

  - Right clicking a history entry and selecting "copy" in the playback
    history interface returned a jumble result when copying links.

  - Trying to use Ctrl+V to paste a search term into the playlist editor's
    search field would result in "????" when trying to paste unicode
    characters or emoji.

  - Playing an entry from the Advanced Playlist Control interface no longer
    loses the entry's selection.

  - The Playlist Editor's search box did not support unicode characters.

  - Fixed a bug that could cause Zoom Player to freeze when trying to
    play YouTube URLs containing a space character after the URL.

  - The Playlist Editor's "Load Playlist" feature accidentally listed media
    files instead of playlists by default.

  - The Folder Browser dialog should no longer appear partially off-screen or
    hidden by the task bar.

  - Under some conditions, the play history fullscreen navigation interface
    could show a value of "00:00:-1" for the last play position.

  - When using a non-default font, the play history fullscreen navigation
    interface's last play position could mess with the alignment of the
    file/url.

  - IPTV Logo caching from EPG files did not work properly for some entries
    based solely on channel name.

  - Playing too many broken URLs or files is sequence could have resulted in
    play history entries being generated even though nothing was played.

  - Reduced the chances of showing IPTV EPG information for the wrong channel
    when using badly crafted playlist or EPG sources.


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