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How Do I Choose the Best Open Source Media Player?

Choosing the best open source media player hinges on your needs: compatibility, format support, customization, and user community. Prioritize a player that consistently updates and has robust codec support. Consider the ease of use and interface aesthetics. What features are non-negotiable for you? Dive deeper into our comprehensive guide to find the media player that resonates with your digital rhythm.
G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

When considering an open source media player, you should think about the types of files you want to play, any physical media you want to use, and how you plan on playing media through the program. Different media players, including those created though open source development, can be used to play different types of files, so you should look for a program that can play the file types you need. You should also look for an open source media player that can burn to or rip from compact discs (CDs) or digital versatile discs (DVDs) as you may need, as well as look for a program that can be used as a web player or to interface with other devices you may have.

An open source media player is a software program that can be used to play different types of media, such as audio or video files. There are a number of different media player programs that can be utilized, including a variety of programs developed under open source development and licensing. Open source programs are typically developed with a license that allows others to use and modify the software in any way they wish.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

One of the most important things you should look for in an open source media player is the types of files it can play. You should consider both the audio and video files you may need to play and look for a program that can play these. Since open source software is often supported by a large community, you may also be able to find additional codecs or updates to some programs to play additional file types not supported by the standard release software. Some open source media player software may also have file types that are specifically associated with those programs.

You should also consider what types of physical media you might want to use with your media player. If you want to be able to rip audio or video from CDs and DVDs, for example, then you should look for a program that includes such functionality. You may also be able to use an open source media player to burn audio or video to CDs and DVDs; some video players include functions for creating chapter breaks and menus when burning to a DVD.

Any open source media player you choose should also provide you with any additional functionality you need. If you want to be able to have your media player easily communicate with a portable media player device you have, then you should look for software that can do this. There are also some media players designed to work well as a web application for playing audio or video that is streamed from a website or that can be easily embedded into a webpage.

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Discussion Comments


Quiet often, the best media player is the one that's already built into your operating system. If that media player won't handle a file you like, there's a good shot there's a CODEC package out there that will enable it to do that.

Even Microsoft's Media Player has CODECs available for it that will handle almost every major audio or video file format out there. So, start with what you have and see if it can be modified to handle the files you want. The chances are good you'll be pleasantly surprised.

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