Introduction to Smart Play
Smart Play is a powerful feature that instructs Zoom Player as to how it should read and decode media files. When Zoom Player is run for the very first time, it will scan your system, looking for which currently installed components (on your computer) are best suited to play media (sometimes there can be multiple components on your computer, each telling the system that it should be used to decode media files).
By knowing in advance which components are best suited and scanning your system for matches, Zoom Player can automatically build an advanced play-profile which helps play files better and loads them faster.
Enable Smart Play (Overrides the Windows Decoder / Filter selection)
Enabling Smart Play lets Zoom Player pick the best (or user selected) components for decoding media files. When disabled, Zoom Player will let Windows choose the components. Under some system configurations, letting Windows chose the components can lead to instability, glitches during playback or outright failure to load certain file formats.
Pressing the Auto-Configure button will make Zoom Player re-scan your system for any changes (such as newly installed components which may improve playback) and automatically configure itself so it uses the best components it can find. Using this function will wipe any user-defined changes applied to the decoder profiles (see below).
Source Filters & Splitters
The "Source Filters" and "Splitters" contain a list of profiles which instruct Zoom Player as to which components to use when reading (Source Filters, which load the file) and parsing (Splitters, which split the media file into different types of content such as Audio/Video streams).
Each list entry represents a file format. You can configure each file format to use different components for reading/parsing. In most cases you wouldn't need to manually configure profiles as Zoom Player can detect and use the best components automatically.
Audio & Video Decoders
The "Audio Decoders" and "Video Decoders" contain a list of profiles which instruct Zoom Player as to which components to use when decoding Audio and Video content (after the media file has been read and parsed by the Source Filters & Splitters).
Each list entry represents a file format. You can configure each format to use different components for decoding. In most cases you wouldn't need to manually configure profiles as Zoom Player can detect and use the best components automatically.