Best open-source video player for Linux, Windows and Mac OS

Veda Swaroop
3 min readDec 3, 2021

By default, most users in the world use VLC media player. It is a simple and easy-to-use video player and serves its purpose. In Linux, there are a lot of video players, but I was interested in talking about one powerful open-source media player. It is an MPV media player. It can also be installed on Windows, Mac and even on Android OS. Below is a link to its official site.

I was particularly interested in writing about this player because it is a very powerful player if you know how to use it. By default, it looks like crap compared to vlc player on the outside. The vlc player has a user interface to play with its settings. In mpv player, one can change settings using a command line or by using a config file. All the details on how to change the settings are defined on its official site. I know nobody wants to go through the burden of reading all the settings and figuring out what works best for them. The open-source mpv player has a very basic or minimal user interface to interact with. But here I wanted to talk and recommend using it with a nice front-end GUI (mpv with a nice user interface just like the one vlc has). The mpv player has many front-end gui’s but I like the smplayer. I chose smplayer as the front end because it has a good-looking GUI and easy-to-use settings. Below is an official link for smplayer.

The appearance of settings may look slightly different on different OSes. The most important reason for recommending this video player is because, under the good-looking user interface, there is a powerful mpv player. The default look is as shown below.

SMPlayer default look

Go to options →preferences. Now we have the below window.

preferences window in SMPlayer

Choose an MPV player in the multimedia engine. Now go to the performance tab and set hardware decoding as auto as shown below.

performance tab in SMPlayer

These two are the essential settings required for a normal user. Now play any video file and see the playback. If you want to explore the true potential of the mpv player or want to know why it is a powerful player, go to its official site and check it’s manual on what one can do. Below is a link to a public GitHub repository of user scripts for mpv player.

If you don’t like the look of smplayer but want to try mpv player, then check out the below link for applications using mpv player.

Here, I just wanted to give an intro to mpv player and its basic usage keeping normal daily users in mind. If you like vlc then think of it as an alternative media player. But if one got to know how to create and write own script files and use mpv then one will understand how powerful mpv player can be.

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Veda Swaroop

I am Post Grad. Electrical Engineering graduate. I love Science, Technology, Linux and Computers in general. Machine Learning, Deep Learning Enthusiast.