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What media (music and video) players are there?

Please list one piece of software per answer, as per this meta post.


38 Answers 38


VLC Media Player

VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files as well as DVD, Audio CD, VCD, and various streaming protocols.


  • Simple, fast and powerful media player.

  • Plays everything: Files, Discs, Webcams, Devices and Streams.

  • Plays most codecs with no codec packs needed: MPEG-2, DivX, H.264, MKV, WebM, WMV, MP3...

  • Runs on all platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Unix...

  • Completely Free, 0 spyware, 0 ads and no user tracking.

  • Can do media conversion and streaming.

From the VLC media player home page.

Install via the software center
(source: hostmar.co)

I was using it the other day to play back 3 720p videos simultaneously on a 1 1/2 year old HP notebook. Performance was flawless.

Very advanced customizations/settings.

enter image description here enter image description here

Separate window that includes playlist, file browser, external devices and local network access, internet features (radios, postacasts, Freebox TV channels for registered users)

enter image description here enter image description here

(Using skins reduces the easy access to some of these features.)

VLC media player supports many audio and video compression methods and file formats, including DVD-video, video CD and streaming protocols. It is able to stream over computer network and to transcode multimedia files. (from Wikipedia)

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

It can use extensions, plugins and skins - to be downloaded from addons.videolan.org.

Among these, some that can find movie subtitles. (More answers on this: here and here.)

  • 13
    The best player for any platform. Can't live without it. VLC.
    – Owais Lone
    Jul 31, 2010 at 5:28
  • +1. Although I've defaulted back to Totem for a couple of videos because of funny color problems.
    – Umang
    Aug 17, 2010 at 13:24
  • I have heard that the default VLC build in the repos is always out of date. Is there a good PPA for keeping VLC the latest and greatest?
    – teeks99
    Jan 13, 2011 at 19:39
  • @teeks99 -- that would make a great question post.
    – belacqua
    Jan 25, 2011 at 7:52
  • 2
    *nix system lack of video players. If VLC is best, we are doomed. It just sucks.
    – atilkan
    Sep 9, 2015 at 22:10

Clementine Music Player - http://www.clementine-player.org/

Clementine is a multiplatform music player. It is inspired by Amarok 1.4, focusing on a fast and easy-to-use interface for searching and playing music.

Clementine screenshot

  • This is really good too. And pretty stable for a 0. release.
    – Ignacio
    May 13, 2011 at 18:33
  • 3
    Tested many media players before and still stuck on Winamp with no real solution for Ubuntu. Clementine import my music awesomely fast compared to amarok. Neat GUI. Important feature configurable (like behavior when double click on album). Powerful tag edition embedded. I am a fan. Thank you. you made my day
    – Ugo
    May 13, 2011 at 22:32
  • For what it's worth, on my work laptop (which has an 8 core i7-6820HQ CPU @ 2.70GHz and 16GB of RAM and was running Ubuntu 16.04 when I was using Clementine), Clementine's audio playback was pretty poor. The audio often (probably once every song or every few songs) skipped a second or two Aug 31, 2017 at 16:56

MPlayer is also a good one, which makes a good choice for scripting, since it provides feedback when exiting (e.g. Exiting... (End of file)), and allows you to react upon this, e.g. mark the file as played.

It's available in Ubuntu, in different flavors (e.g. mplayer-gui or just mplayer).

You can use VLC for scripting, too:

if vlc -f --play-and-exit $FILE | grep 'main playlist: end of playlist, exiting$' ; then
    echo "File played completely."
  • 5
    For Mplayer GUI (Grafical User Interface), I recommend SMPlayer. It's a modern and complete GUI for Mplayer. Jul 29, 2010 at 10:58
  • Did you mean "Graphical"?
    – User
    Jul 30, 2010 at 20:15
  • mplayer-gui is (hopefully temporarily) dead. It wouldn't build against the shared codec libraries so had to be binned. The bug has since been fixed but now the packages have been simplified, it might never return.
    – Oli
    Oct 13, 2010 at 14:39

Banshee - http://banshee.fm/

Having used several media players for my large music collection I have found this to be the best so far.

Banshee screenshot

  • I have very mixed feelings about Banshee player's quality, design and features. Bottom line -- could (and should, almost must be improved (after all Canonical chose that player to replace Rhythmbox)). Lacks genre browsing (why?), not so nice way to manage radio streams and/or audiobooks (no import/export) no nice refresh method. There are many cool features, but these inabilities just ruin my impression. Half cooked. Jul 6, 2011 at 1:26

Smplayer : Great Qt4 GUI front-end for mplayer

enter image description here

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:rvm/smplayer
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install smplayer smtube

Can download subtitles

enter image description here

and can play youtube videos externally reducing the load on the GPU (see this, question) enter image description here

the toolbar is editable enter image description here

subtitles font, position etc are editable enter image description here

  • Thumbs up for the SMPlayer. So far, the best balance of most efficient (in terms of memory and CPU usage) and feature rich (like, open ISO files, open DVDs, handling various formats). Jan 21, 2019 at 10:50
  • Switched to this after VLC gave me audio glitches for x265 videos.
    – paulplusx
    May 3, 2020 at 17:06

Audacious - http://audacious-media-player.org/

Apparently this is a very lightweight player that can apparently use Winamp skins.

Audacious screenshot

  • how can i see lyrics in audacious?
    – user47206
    Apr 3, 2012 at 18:59



Front end for MPlayer, well designed, allowing on the fly skins and well set out preferences including editable shortcuts. Similar to KMPlayer on Windows. Available in Ubuntu Software Centre.

umplayer default skin umplayer modern skin

  • 1
    Wait... that's a Windows screenshot...
    – user10962
    Apr 26, 2014 at 17:30
  • The software seems to be no longer maintained. @user10962 Act accordingly when you see such things, flag if it's Windows only software, or edit accordingly, at best replace the screenshot.
    – LiveWireBT
    May 18, 2014 at 9:46

Rhythmbox - http://rhythmbox.sourceforge.net/

Another contender for managing your music library, I have found it to be a bit cumbersome when tagging mp3 also it does not like to handle a large library (yet again that is my opinion).

Rhythmbox screenshot

  • I wonder how to make Rhythmbox look just like that. All recent versions have a wide separate bar for the title and progress slider. Feb 4, 2012 at 15:00

Deadbeef audio player that has all the features you are describing: http://deadbeef.sourceforge.net/

enzotib screenshot

deadbeef with file browser

Recent versions (now 0.6.2) bring it even closer to the purpose of becoming a Foobar2000 alternative by the 'Designer mode' feature that lets you add or remove features. The main addons like the File browser and Infobar (lyrics and biography) can be added in this way.

enter image description here

enter image description here

More plugins: http://deadbeef.sourceforge.net/plugins.html

  • the way it handles media library and playlist makes it the best - install file browser plugin
    – user47206
    Apr 3, 2012 at 19:00
  • deadbeef is much lighter than other music players with comparable (but still inferior) features.
    – user47206
    Apr 3, 2012 at 19:20

Totem comes as standard on Ubuntu.

Totem screenshot


Quod Libet - http://code.google.com/p/quodlibet/

I have never heard of this player before.

Quod Libet screenshot

  • 5
    You make this answer yet say you've never heard of this player before...
    – Oxwivi
    May 14, 2011 at 16:18
  • I'd recommend against using Quod Libet. I've found it to be buggy and to eat too much RAM.
    – sjakobi
    Jan 18, 2014 at 17:04

GNOME Media Player - https://launchpad.net/gnome-media-player

This media player supports the vlc, xine and GStreamer engines for playing media. Since some file formats play well only on a certain engine, this media player was made with 3 engines, so that the user can select the required engine required for playing a particular file type. It also has an engine auto select mode, in which the player automatically selects the best engine for the particular type of file being played.

GNOME media player screenshot


Exaile Player - http://www.exaile.org/

Exaile is a music manager and player for GTK+ written in Python

Exaile screenshot

  • posted already in this question.
    – ulidtko
    May 18, 2011 at 20:00
  • Yeah , but I was the first one.
    – Binarylife
    May 18, 2011 at 20:08
  • as this is community wiki, you'll not get your rep for upvotes anyway.
    – ulidtko
    May 19, 2011 at 0:11

Guayadeque - http://guayadeque.org/forums/index.php?p=/wiki/page/home

Another great music playing application, constant updates from the author who does all of the work himself, and takes on board suggestions from users.

Guayadeque screenshot


If your music collections is on a remote server (very handy to control you music from everywhere in the house) then Music Player Daemon (mpd) is a go to, full documentation and list of client there: mpd


A nice and interesting media player: Gmusicbrowser. Its web describes it as:

An open-source jukebox for large collections of mp3/ogg/flac/mpc/ape files, written in perl.

It has a nice GUI. The default view shows the artists and bands from your collection and for the selected item it shows the list of albums including a thumbnail of the coverart (if available). It also offers themes so that it looks like Exaile, QuodLibet or Rhythmbox.

Gmusicbrowser screenshot


Gnome Media Player is new and doesn't come with too many features but for just playing movies, its great. It supports the VLC, Xine and Gstreamer engines for playing media. It also has the ability to switch between the engines, and an engine auto select mode which automatically selects the best engine for playing a particular type of file.

It's in the Ubuntu 10.10 official repositories so you can search for it in the Ubuntu Software Center.

For Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx, install it using these commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome-media-player-development/development
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gnome-media-player

Boxee - http://www.boxee.tv

It's a media center (in my opinion the best there is) for Linux, Windows and Mac. It supports lots of video / music portals as well as DVD, CD and local media in general.

It's currently not available in the Software center but I listed an idea on getsatisfaction: http://getsatisfaction.com/boxee/topics/add_boxee_to_the_ubuntu_software_center

Available for 32 bit and 64 bit as a *.deb file.

Boxee screenshot


Beatbox is the music player under active development for the ElementaryOS project.

It offers:

  • Automatic and manually arranged playlists
  • Last.fm support (scrobbler + similar tracks)
  • A play queue
  • An Equalizer with presets and custom settings support
  • A slick interface with 3 views

Beatbox Screenshot

  • Seems like the project is quite dead...
    – Jan M.
    Jun 7, 2016 at 16:17

There is GNOME MPlayer, a GTK+ frontend to MPlayer. Among its features are support for hardware acceleration and subtitles.

gnome-mplayer screenshot enter image description here

  • Already mentioned in this question.
    – ulidtko
    May 18, 2011 at 20:02
  • 1
    @ulidtko: no, there's Gnome Media Player, which is a different project. May 22, 2011 at 4:22

SMPlayer is recommended as it has a really good interface and uses the superb MPlayer as its backend. It supports a great variety of codecs, and plays practically any major format you throw at it. It uses Qt, and integrates reasonably well with an Ubuntu desktop.

You can install SMPlayer by either searching via Software Center or by running Terminal and passing the command:
sudo apt-get install smplayer


I recommend installing SMplayer instead of VLC. SMPlayer supports VDPAU. (I heard that VLC also supports VDPAU, but I have not been able to find any PPAs with a VLC package that supports VDPAU / VAAPI without errors.)


VDPAU: The VDPAU API allows video programs to offload portions of the video decoding process and video post-processing to the GPU video hardware.

VAAPI: VAAPI is an open source software library ("libVA") and the API specification which provides access to graphics hardware (GPU) acceleration for video processing on Linux and Unix-based operating systems. Accelerated processing includes video decoding, video encoding, subpicture blending and rendering.

  • vlc along smplayer won't hurt
    – user47206
    Apr 3, 2012 at 19:02
  • And VLC in the repos now supports VAAPI / VDPAU. Mar 20, 2017 at 14:04

XMMS - http://www.xmms.org/

This looks similar to Audacious judging by the screenshots, another player I have not used.


Bangarang Media Player - http://gitorious.org/bangarang

Offers a media—audio and video—player with a lightweight interface

Bangarang screenshot


Miro: http://www.getmiro.com/

It may be more of a podcatcher (or at least started off as one) that even supports bittorrent but it does play media as well.

Miro screenshot


Totem Movie Player (the default movie player in Ubuntu) is pretty good. You just need to get all the required codecs.


This is only a client for mpd, but I had to post it: ncmpcpp. Fast, nice features (library, automated lyrics download, playlists manager, tag editor), and can be used without X.

ncmpcpp screenshot

  • please, add a few more info for interested ignorants like me
    – user47206
    Apr 3, 2012 at 19:03

Bluemindo : http://bluemindo.codingteam.net/

Bluemindo Ubuntu Packages: http://packages.ubuntu.com/search?keywords=bluemindo

Bluemindo is a really simple yet powerful audio player in Python/PyGTK, using GStreamer.

Bluemindo screenshot




enter image description here

Main features player

  • Support for CUE (also wv, iso.wv) is the best under Linux (zavlab)
  • Formats MP3, MP4, AAC, CD Audio, WMA, Vorbis, FLAC, WavPack, WAV, AIFF, Musepack, Speex, AU, SND ...
  • Converter any format to any (mp3, ogg, mp2, ac3, m4a, wav)
  • Scrobbler tags with music and radio
  • Find and play music and videos
  • Equalizer
  • Online music download manager
  • Shortcuts
  • Displays the album cover, lyrics, photo artist
  • Integration with VKontakte (displaying all the friends and their music, downloading music from the group vkontakte)
  • Integration with Last.FM (Show plays the best songs, favorite songs, artists)

and great support for russian tags :-)

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