Media players, be it for Linux or Windows, have started to lose their necessity. But, you need a Linux video player to watch the videos you shot on your phone/tablet or some other purpose. You have read about the best media players for Windows and the best Android video players on Fossbytes. I think there should be a list of best media player for Linux, too.
Some would say, VLC is best for videos and songs, no matter it’s Linux or Windows. Also, it’s open source, a thing most of the Linux users would consider when choosing a good Linux media player. I would agree on that, but I think there are other video players out there which can be a noteworthy consideration when choosing the best media player for Linux.
An important factor while choosing a Linux video player or audio player is the user interface. Even if a media player supports all kinds of video and audio codes, has a plethora of other features, a bad UI can ruin your viewing experience.
It isn’t surprising that this piece of free and open source software by VideoLAN is often one of the top contenders in the list of the best Linux media players across the internet. When it comes to supporting multimedia content, VLC can play every video and audio format known to the everyday users. No matter, whatever you throw at VLC, it’ll happily run it. However, that excludes 4K UHD videos that have recently started to populate our digital media collection. VLC can run 4K, but it lags.
VLC’s user interface isn’t what I’d like to call visually appealing. But it isn’t confusing at all. The added benefit of keyboard shortcuts enhances the viewing experience on VLC.
Here are some pros and cons that make VLC the best video and audio player for Linux:
Apart from these, the makers of VLC are also working to bring 360-degree video support to the VLC on computers.
You can use the Software Center in Linux distro like Ubuntu to install the VLC media player. Alternatively, use the command line:
SMPlayer is a Linux media player that was built by putting a graphical interface built on top of the MPlayer. Licensed under GNU GPLv2, Ricardo Villalba developed the Linux media player in 2006.
SMPlayer is also capable of running almost any type of audio/video media without requiring any external codecs. I would happily choose SMPlayer as an alternative to VLC. Although, it wasn’t able to play a 4K video smoothly but performed better than VLC.
Here are some pros and cons of SMPlayer:
Add the SMPlayer PPA to your Ubuntu system which will allow you to install SMPlayer on Linux:
Born as Sonance in 2005, the open source Linux media player Banshee is released under the MIT License. It’s maintained by a team of around 300 people along with support from GNOME project which provides the infrastructure for IRC, git hosting, issue tracking, etc. Powering Banshee is a multimedia framework known as GStreamer, it handles all the processing job for various audio and video formats.
Here are some features of the Banshee Linux media player:
To install Banshee on your Ubuntu system, you can take the help of the following PPA:
Many of the popular Linux media players have existed for more than a decade, but MPV is currently running in the fourth year of its existence. However, it is a fork of Mplayer2 (itself forked from Mplayer). One of the prime improvements in the case of MPV was the addition of a graphic interface to make things easier for novice users. But it appears things aren’t so easy with MPV; it’ll take some time for you to use the player smoothly.
Here are some pros and cons of the MPV Linux media player:
You can use the following repository for your Ubuntu system:
The XBMC foundation looks after the development of the open source media player Kodi. Originally, Kodi was built as a media center software for Microsoft Xbox gaming console. Kodi is primarily intended to run on remote-controlled set-top boxes for consuming local and internet-based multimedia content on larger displays. However, it can serve as a great media player software for Linux distros running on computers.
One of the USPs of Kodi is the ability to include add-ons, extending the capabilities of the media center software. However, this capability has motivated many users to use Kodi for the consumption of pirated content. This has triggered concerns among the developers of Kodi, and they are planning to introduce DRM in their software.
Here are some pros and cons of the Kodi media player for Linux:
Add the official XBMC PPA to install Kodi on your Linux distro:
Last entry on our best Linux media player list is MPlayer, which is another open-source media player for Linux distros. Originally, developed in 2000 by Árpád Gereöffy, based in Hungary, MPlayer was mainly a command-line application before various front ends were developed. A fork on Mplayer is Mplayer2 which itself led to the creation of mpv.
Other than command-line, MPlayer can also be used as regular Linux media player with the help of the different front-ends including SMPlayer, GNOME Player, KMPlayer, etc.
Earlier known as Totem, Gnome Videos comes is the default media player in the desktop environment GNOME. It first came into existence in 2003, and the GNOME project started bundled it with their desktop environment since 2005. The free and open source Linux media player, Gnome Videos takes its power from the GStreamer framework for playing different video formats and DVDs.
Here are some of the pros and cons of GNOME Videos:
If you’re running a Linux distro with GNOME desktop, the media player comes built-in as Videos. You can also find the same in the Software Center by searching the name Videos. Use the following commands to install GNOME via CLI:
So, these were the six best Linux media player you can give a try. Although they are arranged in a list form, it would be better to try some of them to see which media player suits the best for you.
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