Review: Scorpio Player UWP
Taking its name from an XBox model's code name, of course, Scorpio Player is a new media player UWP for all Windows 10 hardware. From the XBox itself to Windows 10 laptops and hybrids to - yes - Windows phones. And, this being AAWP, I'm looking at it mainly on the phone. Summary? Immensely powerful and promising, but quite unstable at the moment, despite numerous updates.
From a phone perspective, and with both Microsoft's built-in 'Groove Music' and 'Films & TV' being very capable and mature, you might wonder why an extra media player is needed. Why indeed, although Scorpio Player does have some extra decoding and playback tricks up its sleeve. On other form factors though, the idea of a single UWP application that can handle anything thrown at it is attractive - in fact, this is exactly what VLC (also UWP) does, though the latter suffers from exactly the kind of playback logic instabilities that are seen here, so I'm guessing we're just looking at the inadvisability of trying to insert third party players into the back end of a complex OS like Windows.
Heres the official Store description for Scorpio Player UWP:
Build the best local player for Windows 10. not just UWP, but also the ultimate detail optimization for each platform.
Universal format support. Video playback, subtitles customize display, music background play, keyboard mouse optimization operation, take care all of it, Single Window interaction mode, Multiple Window Instance, convenient comparable to traditional desktop applications. The UI design style is worthy of modern UWP applications. Integrated management of the Media Library.No mater how many video on the device can be manage with ease.
- subtitle download, load, subtitle styling, transparent, color, font size, subtitle delay, all customize, all format encode auto detect and display correctly.
- universal media player.
- PC keyboard mouse optimize, shortcut is coming
- graghic: free transform, picture in picture, cut the black edge, transform size
- multiple loop mode, single, list, A-B loop, shuffling
- Favorites: Media Library management
- Remember playback progress, whether it is the favorites last play file, or video playback time, all real-time record. I'll never lose progress
- Voice: Left and right channel selection switch, track switch selection.
- Decoder: Decoding the soft solution of the hard solution system decoding, saving power or kill Ren June choice.
- Advanced Features: Subtitles to show which line to show which line, bilingual subtitles can become a single language subtitles
- Advanced Features: Display subtitles time, adjust the caption delay time is no longer confused force.
- Advanced Features: Playback Video Effect
- Multiple Window Support on Desktop Windows 10
- Select Render Sound Device
- Screenshot save as image
- lock mode support
- Casting: DLNA Miracast Server
- DLNA Client in Xbox & PC
- Inking support when pause video
You'll notice that quite a few of the features are PC/desktop-specific, but that didn't stop me trying out Scorpio Player on the Lumia 950 XL here:
What can't be shown in screenshots is the instability of Scorpio Player - numerous times in testing the audio for one video kept playing while the next's picture was frozen. Or, as shown above, one video played while the title of the previous one was shown top left. And sometimes the UI/control bar wouldn't appear at all, requiring me to close Scorpio Player from the multitasking carousel and then start it again.
10/10 for effort by the developer, not least the several updates a week over the last month - this is still being very actively developed, so I'm hopeful that the instabilities will decrease as the year goes on. There's little use case for Scorpio Player on the phone, to be honest, at least for casual users, but if you're big on the Microsoft ecosystem (laptop/Surface/XBox, etc.) then this might just be the all-singing, all-dancing player that is your go-to on all devices.
Reviewed by Steve Litchfield at