8 Free Open Source Media Players in 2024

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Most people prefer watching videos or playing music during their leisure time. In spite of the sheer amounts of media players on the internet, acquiring one that suits your exact requirements could be daunting. Making the right choice is further hampered by the huge amounts of new media formats such as MOV, MKV, FLV, and so on. Others still require to pay some money to use them or unlock some of their features.

There are simple media programs that are light and that get the job done with minimum fuss. Others give you complete control over each aspect of your video or audio playback. Whichever your choice, we provide you with 8 free open source media players that will suit your needs in 2022.

1. VLC Media Player

<#1 Best Free Open Source Media Player!>

vlc video playback

VLC tops this list because of the following reasons:

  • It supports most if not all file formats without any additional codecs
  • It can optimize your audio or video playback depending on the device you are using
  • It supports streaming
  • Users can extend its usage period almost indefinitely through the use of downloadable plugins

The media player offers different customization options that could change its skin and improve the user’s viewing experience.

Read More: 10+ Free Video Players similar to VLC Media Player.

Key Features of VLC Media Player:

  • It is highly customizable
  • Its lifespan is expandable through plugins
  • Supports multiple file formats

VLC Media Player: Cons

  • Editing its metadata can be quite complex especially for new users

Supported OS: Windows, Mac OS X, Unix, Linux, iOS, Android and more!

2. Kodi (formerly XBMC)

<Most Popular free open-source media streaming player>

Kodi TV media Payer

Kodi boxes have in the past been a source of controversy due to the illegal streaming of copyrighted films, TV, and other content through third-party plugins, but the Kodi software is fully legal.

Kodi has been available since 2002 but was previously called Xbox Media Player. In 2003 it was renamed Xbox Media Center and later to Kodi in 2014. Kodi allows you access just about any type of content on devices such as personal computers, phones, tablets, television, among others.

Key Features of Kodi.TV:

  • A vast range of add-ons
  • It supports multiple devices
  • Its open source roots provide infinite customization options

Kodi player: Cons

  • The media player can be difficult to control using the mouse or keyboard

Supported OS: Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, Mac OS, Raspberry Pi, and more.

3. MPV media player

<Open source media player with screen Controller & Streamlined CLI options>

MPV media player

If you are on the lookout for a minimalist application with a clean user interface, look no further. MPV is based on MPlayer and mplayer2 media players. Although the media player’s user interface has only the necessary controls, its capabilities should not be underestimated as it supports subtitles and can play YouTube and streaming videos. It can be launched from the Terminal or you could make it the default player.

Key Features of MPV:

  • The player has quality video output
  • Its controller is triggered by mouse movement
  • It supports video codecs
  • It has a minimalist GUI with only the basic controls

MPV media player: Cons

  • N/A

Supported OS: Windows, Linux Android, Mac OS, and BSD.

4. Media Player Classic Home Cinema

<The most Lightweight media player for Windows – Ads Free>

Media player classic home cinema

Just like its predecessor, Media Player Classis, Media Player Classis Home Cinema, shortly referred to as MPC-HC is simple to use. It has a simple and straightforward installation process but is packed with powerful features which include codecs that support DVDs, MPEG4, MPEG2, MPEG1, x.264 movie files, Ogg files, and MP3.

MPC-HC can also play RealPlayer and QuickTime’s native files if you have such installed on your computer. If not, you can download their codec packs. You do not have to install MPC-HC on your computer as you can run it from an external or a USB flash drive.

Key Features of MPC-HC:

  • It supports multiple file formats

MPC-HC: Cons

  • It only supports Windows operating systems

Supported OS: Windows 2000, XP, 7, 8, 10.

5. MPlayer

<The Best media player for Linux>

mplayer for linux

MPlayer plays a numerous media formats such as AVI, MP4, MOV, MKV, RVMB, and so on. The open source media player also allows you to save all your streamed content in a file. Additional features that you can access from MPlayer include X Video Extension and Framebuffer. You can also play media files from an external drive.

Key Features of MPlayer:

  • Saves all your streamed content

MPlayer: Cons

  • The media player can be a little complex for new users

Supported OS: Linux, Windows, MAC, and Amiga OS.

6. SMPlayer

Although SMPlayer is mainly used to play videos, it can also be used to play audios. It uses both MPlayer and MPV media players for playback. Like most modern players, it has inbuilt support for most video and audio formats, thus it does not rely on codec installation to operate.

SMPlayer’s most unique feature is its ability to remember where you’ve left off the playback when you close it down and resume from there once you resume.  The media player is stable, highly portable, and available in a number of languages

Key Features of SMPlayer:

  • It supports DVDs and CD
  • It is quite easy to navigate even for new users
  • It is highly customizable
  • It has advanced features including audio and video filters

SMPlayer: Cons

  • Not support streaming

Supported OS: Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

7. Bomi Player

Also known as CM Player, Bomi has been compared to the likes of VLC Media Player due to its lightweight nature, minimum UI, multiple customization options, and modern themes. Bomi Player is also quite keyboard friendly.

Key Features of Bomi Player:

  • It is easily configurable
  • It supports multiple subtitle formats

Bomi Player: Cons

  • Limited function to use

Supported OS: Linux and Windows

8. Amarok

Amarok is a sleek, modern, and powerful music player. Once you launch it, it tries to initialize Internet services and scans your local directories for audio tracks. Therefore, it might take some time before it plays your songs.

It displays the lyrics which scroll with the song, especially for English songs. You can edit them or any other track details if you feel they are wrong. The media player allows you to bookmark songs or even playlists.

Key Features of Amarok:

  • It is easily configurable

Amarok: Cons

  • Only support audio format

Supported OS: Windows, Unix, and Linux.

That's all! If you know some other great Open Source Media Players easily leave a comment! We would like to hear from you!

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