I was looking for a good video player to replace VLC, something that is as good as vlc but has seek preview. I am tired of fast forwarding in vlc

EDIT: I meant seek preview with thumbnails

  • 2
    VLC is still my first choice. :-) Never heard of any that has seek preview. However, seek preview is still the same like fast forwarding, but of course fast forwarding could be tidious. – Aizuddin Zali Oct 9 '15 at 11:12
  • I just set the left and right arrows to jump back / forward 5 seconds, and the up and down arrows to change the volume in hotkey settings, so it is possible to find the place in the video very quickly and change the volume as needed – Wilf Oct 9 '15 at 11:30
  • Nowadays, at least several media players on Linux i.e. MPlayer-based players have "seek preview" feature built-in already. Or, do you mean "seek preview with thumbnails" like YouTube? – user37165 Oct 21 '15 at 15:32
  • @clearkimura yes, sneak preview with thumbnails – kernel_panic Oct 23 '15 at 4:48
  • Related on Unix.SE: Is there any video player which can seek with thumbnail like in YouTube?, which suggested a plugin for mpv (requires manual install and configuration). – user37165 Sep 9 '19 at 6:13

ExMplayer is an MPlayer GUI with thumbnail seeking. The graphical user interface is Qt-based and it depends on mplayer or mplayer2 package.



Features and performance

As version 5.0.1, it lacks some advanced features that you might expect it to have. While it plays any typical H.264/MPEG-4 video clip smoothly, it is not quite a replacement for VLC media player for three reasons below.

  1. Somewhat high memory usage

  2. Significantly high CPU usage

  3. Relatively no option to adjust performance

These are based on my brief experience, when comparing ExMplayer 5.0.1 (more than 90% CPU usage) to other players such as VLC media player 2.0.8 and GNOME MPlayer 1.0.5 (both were barely at 10% CPU usage) in Xubuntu 12.04.

Not tested for ExMplayer 5.5.0.


ExMplayer 5.0.1 (released on 2015-07-28) is available via older PPA on Launchpad for Ubuntu 12.04 until 18.04.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:exmplayer-dev/exmplayer
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install exmplayer

ExMplayer 5.5.0 (released on 2020-07-21) is available via newer PPA on Launchpad for Ubuntu 20.04 or newer releases.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:exmplayer-dev/exmplayer-qt5
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install exmplayer

Else, visit download page of their project site. While the project site is hosted on Sourceforge, the packages and source code for Linux distributions are linked to Launchpad and GitHub.

TL;DR ExMplayer is responsive and able to playback video clips without problem. But it is resource hungry, when compared to similar Qt-based VLC media player with default settings and GTK-based GNOME MPlayer.

  • That was a promising answer in 2015. Unfortunately, ExMplayer development seems to have stopped. the latest version being 5.0.1 from 2015 (github.com/rupeshs/ExMplayer/releases). I think we are left without any decent player with thumbnail seek preview. – Pierre Henry Sep 8 '19 at 15:54
  • @PierreHenry I left a comment with link under the question above. If you don't mind setting up manually, try mpv (just found the link, not tested myself). – user37165 Sep 9 '19 at 6:16
  • @PierreHenry There is a newer ExMplayer for Ubuntu 20.04, see updated answer. – user37165 Nov 14 '20 at 12:47
  • Nice, I'll try it. – Pierre Henry Nov 17 '20 at 23:19

Ever tried or thought about kodi, former xbmc? Reason why I suggest this: I couldn't think of a reason why you want to replace vlc or a similar player. Fast forwarding is usually used when the pc / nettop or whatever is connected to some kind of television. If that is the case - kodi is a very suited.

  • Kodi's nice, I used to have it on a box that was connected to my TV. But it's a bit heavyweight when you just want to open a video on your laptop. – Pierre Henry Nov 17 '20 at 23:18

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