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Posted 25 Apr 2007


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C# Movie Player

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4.89/5 (51 votes)
21 May 2007CPOL3 min read
Managed DirectX movie player
Screenshot - zmovieplayer.jpg


After I found that my previous movie player was broken by all the changes done to Vista, I started looking for a C# solution based on managed DirectX.

Everything I tried with the original Vista failed, until I downloaded the latest Microsoft DirectX 9L version from April 2007 that solved all my Vista problems.

Thus in order to use this code with Vista (no problem running it under XP), you must first download the latest DirectX SDK from here.

Then you will be able to use the Microsoft.DirectX.AudioVideoPlayback assembly.


Once you have installed the full DirectX SDK, and assuming you have installed it with the default setup, you can find the documentation about the AudioVideoPlayback assembly in this folder:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft DirectX SDK (April 2007)\Documentation\DirectX9\directx9_m.chm.

Using the Player

zMoviePlayer is able to play: AVI, MPG, MPEG, WMV, DivX, Xvid (assuming that you have installed the right CODEC first).

While in "full screen" mode, move the mouse to the bottom to show/hide the "command panel".

To select a movie, use either the Menu to popup the common dialog file selector, or use Drag & Drop from the Explorer onto the zMoviePlayer form.

Using the Code

The main DirectX class of the player is named Video and it is very easy to use.
You can get all the details about it from the Visual Studio popup contextual menu (get definition).

Because I wanted to have a nice looking interface "a la WMP 11", I have added a few classes myself to perform the skinning of the player. They are:

  • SkinButton.cs - User control to create skinned button using one single 5-image bitmap matching each of the button states: normal, down, disabled, focused, hover.
    You can use either "standard" push button or shaped button with region.
  • SkinTrackbar.cs - User control to create a mouse only skinned track bar. The thumb tracker can have any size or shape based on a provided bitmap. The control orientation is based on the ratio between width and height, if width is larger than height, then horizontal else vertical. To help the user figure out the moving of the thumb track, the control uses different colors to show the current value. You can inverse ranging swapping min/max values.
  • SkinEngine.cs - This class is responsible for the drawing of the skinned controls.

Points of Interest

To get rid of the "loaderlock" exception message while running in the Visual Studio environment:
Use "Ctrl + Alt + E" to open the Exceptions dialog box, select "Managed Debugging Assistants" and uncheck "Loaderlock".


Updated on 05-22-2007 (version 1.04)

  • COMMAND line support (works also to drag movie file from Explorer onto the player's desktop icon if any)
  • PROCESS DETECTION: see IsAlreadyRunning()
  • ICONIC mode detection to restore original location (when the command line is being used)
  • AUDIO LEVEL saved between sessions
  • New label ShowTime (to see the current time while running in full screen mode)
  • Private WM_STRINGDATA message to play a new movie, using command line file name

Updated on 05-15-2007 (version 1.03)

  • This version saves the latest folder being used into the registry and retrieves it between sessions to ease movie selection (very handy when all the movies are stored into the same folder inside a dedicated sub-folder sorted by movie type).
  • HD movies (WMV HD movies do not work on Vista)
  • MUTE problem has been fixed (MUTE was ignored when playing a new movie even when ON)

See My Other C# Demos - Make sure to try the "carousel" demo!

Patrice Terrier


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

Written By
Software Developer zapsolution
France France
I am a low level SDK programmer, focusing mainly on graphic imaging and multimedia applications.
I am using several languages, including C, C++, PowerBASIC, WinDev.
I wrote also a few demos in C#, but i never used DotNET in real code production.

Comments and Discussions

QuestionHow can I choose the audio or subtitle track? Pin
Member 1208859213-Apr-20 7:47
MemberMember 1208859213-Apr-20 7:47 
QuestionRunning the zmovieplayer on an x64 OS Pin
daddy35610-Feb-20 19:57
Memberdaddy35610-Feb-20 19:57 
Questioncannot run zMoviePlayer for clicking "zMoviePlayer.exe" directly in the "Debug" folder Pin
xiaoguang199924-Jun-13 21:26
Memberxiaoguang199924-Jun-13 21:26 
QuestionIm getting a null exception when trying to load a video file . Why is that ? Pin
chocolade28-Nov-12 2:43
Memberchocolade28-Nov-12 2:43 
AnswerRe: Im getting a null exception when trying to load a video file . Why is that ? Pin
Member 988500517-Mar-13 3:11
MemberMember 988500517-Mar-13 3:11 
GeneralRe: Im getting a null exception when trying to load a video file . Why is that ? Pin
xiaoguang199925-Jun-13 1:47
Memberxiaoguang199925-Jun-13 1:47 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Manoj Kumar Choubey26-Feb-12 20:00
professionalManoj Kumar Choubey26-Feb-12 20:00 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
realbanda26-Oct-10 18:12
Memberrealbanda26-Oct-10 18:12 
GeneralRe: A little bug Pin
Infinity82716-Oct-10 14:44
MemberInfinity82716-Oct-10 14:44 
GeneralRe: A little bug Pin
Steph17x20-Jan-11 3:33
MemberSteph17x20-Jan-11 3:33 
GeneralRe: A little bug Pin
neonyourself16-Feb-11 4:43
Memberneonyourself16-Feb-11 4:43 
GeneralRe: A little bug Pin
zapsolution16-Feb-11 5:22
Memberzapsolution16-Feb-11 5:22 
GeneralRe: A little bug Pin
sandven29-Jun-12 13:21
Membersandven29-Jun-12 13:21 
QuestionAutoclose the player at the end of the movie? Pin
Jerry Jalenak16-Mar-10 5:47
MemberJerry Jalenak16-Mar-10 5:47 
AnswerRe: Autoclose the player at the end of the movie? Pin
silversurfer023-Mar-10 17:38
Membersilversurfer023-Mar-10 17:38 
Generalshow black bars above and below the video for video of resolution 720*576 Pin
iuril2-Mar-10 8:53
Memberiuril2-Mar-10 8:53 
GeneralUn-managed version Pin
zapsolution31-Jan-10 5:11
Memberzapsolution31-Jan-10 5:11 
Generalcapture image Pin
chtoph13-Nov-09 19:38
Memberchtoph13-Nov-09 19:38 
GeneralRe: capture image Pin
zapsolution13-Nov-09 20:12
Memberzapsolution13-Nov-09 20:12 
GeneralRe: capture image Pin
LEM38-Jun-10 11:17
MemberLEM38-Jun-10 11:17 
QuestionAudioVideoPlayback.dll [modified] Pin
KEL329-Sep-09 8:52
MemberKEL329-Sep-09 8:52 
AnswerRe: AudioVideoPlayback.dll Pin
Diamonddrake5-Nov-09 14:54
MemberDiamonddrake5-Nov-09 14:54 
GeneralThanks Pin
o3yoon23-Apr-09 18:57
Membero3yoon23-Apr-09 18:57 
GeneralGood work Pin
Dr.Luiji26-Dec-08 9:58
professionalDr.Luiji26-Dec-08 9:58 
Generalhelp 2.0 assembly... Pin
deching28-Oct-08 22:14
Memberdeching28-Oct-08 22:14 

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