Android’s default video player is an efficient, but spartan app. It is simple to use, but it only plays a limited number of formats. Hence, most users will want to download a third-party app that fills in the gaps and plays those videos that the stock video app cannot handle. Additionally, third-party apps will also have some other useful features such as subtitle support, streaming functions, and more. In this article I have highlighted five popular video playing apps for Android.
VPlayer is a solid video playing app that plays a number of video formats including DivX/xvid, wmv, m4v, flv, rmvb, avi, mkv, mov, mp4, 3gp, ts, and tp. Additionally, it supports most common streaming formats including http, rtsp, mms, and m3u. Furthermore, this app is fairly basic and straightforward to use. So, if all you want to do is watch your video files then this is probably the best choice. On the other hand the quality of some video files were lacking
Unfortunately, the free version of VPlayer lasts for 7 days before you must purchase the unlocker to be able to use the app beyond that period.
In the past few months, RockPlayer has become the de facto alternative Android video playing app. It does not perform one function extremely well, however it has enough bells and whistles to ensure that the user is satisfied. It plays virtually every video format possible and it also supports external .srt subtitle files. The only problem I have noticed is that the player sometimes hangs when I attempt to stream a video over the internet. However, if I wait long enough, it starts playing.
The free version of RockPlayer displays a bright red “R” in the top left corner of your screen whenever you are viewing a video. To remove the “R” you must pay USD 9.99 and upgrade to the full version from the RockPlayer website.
MoboPlayer, like the others, plays almost all video and audio formats and supports external subtitles. What sets this app apart is its slick playlist support and continuous playback of similar files. This makes it easier to queue up multiple videos. Additionally, videos on your SD card are displayed with their thumbnails making it easier for you to pick one to watch.
In some cases, MoboPlayer requires you to download additional codecs. These can all be found in the Android Market and you will be prompted to download them if the need arises.
4. MX VideoPlayer
This is the newest video playing app. In addition to supporting the standard video formats, it also supports Google’s .webm format which may become useful in the future. It also supports a wide range of external subtitle files including .srt .ssa .ass .sub .smi .mpl .txt .psb and Matroska subtitle track. In fact, if you watch a lot of foreign films or films with subtitles, I would recommend this app simply because the subtitles look the best on screen due to the way they are displayed. Lastly, the app automatically optimises its performance according to the CPU of your device which makes playback a lot smoother. However, I have noticed some problems playing .mkv files, such as jerky playback and artefacts appearing on the screen.
You may be prompted to download additional codecs from the Android Market should the need arise.
This app is probably the weakest app in the list as it only plays the video codecs that are already supported by your device. Hence, it just brings a better UI and other enhancements to your default Android video player. I would only recommend paying for this app if any of its features are particularly useful, otherwise skip it.
Android provides a plethora of choices. After trying all the video players above, I have decided to use RockPlayer Lite for the simple reason that it has given me the least number of problems and it has worked with every video without any issues. It does not have the best looking UI, and if that is important, then I would recommend MX VideoPlayer, but if you just want to watch a video without any issues, RockPlayer is the best choice.