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SMPlayer – Best media player with built-in codecs support

By sk
Published: Updated: 650 views

SMPlayer is a free, open source graphical front-end for MPlayer, the popular media player that is capable of playing all kind of audio and video formats. SMPlayer comes with built-in codecs, so that we don't need to install any external codecs or plugins to play any kind of audio or video files. Just install SMPlayer, sit back, and start watching the media files. SMPlayer supports almost all popular media formats and codecs such as avi, mp4, mkv, mpeg, mov, divx, h.264 etc. THe complete list of supported formats are given in this link. It is a cross-platform player, so it supports GNU/Linux. and Microsoft Windows operating systems.

One notable feature of SMPlayer is it remembers the settings of your media. That means you close the video at any time, and you can able to watch the same video at the point where you left it earlier with same settings such as audio track, sub-titles, and volume. Another cool feature is we can download the subtitles of any movie using SMPlayer. It downloads the subtitle files from opensubtitles.org. Also, we can play YouTube videos without having to download and save them in our local drive. SMPlayer has bulit-in feature called 'YouTube browser' to search and watch your favourite videos and movies from YouTube.

Install SMPlayer in Linux

On Arch Linux:

SMPlayer is available in the official repositories of Arch Linux. To install it on Arch Linux and its derivatives such as Anterogs, and manajro, run the following command:

sudo pacman -S smplayer
On Debian 8 'Jessie':

Download and add SMPlayer signing key with commands as root user:

wget http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:smplayerdev/Debian_8.0/Release.key
apt-key add - < Release.key
apt-get update

Then, Add SMPlayer repository and install it as shown below.

echo 'deb http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/smplayerdev/Debian_8.0/ /' >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/smplayer.list 
apt-get update
apt-get install smplayer
On Ubuntu:

SMPlayer developers have developed an official PPA.

Add SMPlayer using command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:rvm/smplayer

Update the sources list:

sudo apt-get update

Then, Install it using the following command:

sudo apt-get install smplayer smplayer-themes smplayer-skins
On Fedora 23:

Add SMPlayer repository:

sudo dnf config-manager --add-repo http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/smplayerdev/Fedora_23/home:smplayerdev.repo

Install SMPlayer as shown below:

sudo dnf install smplayer
On Fedora 22:

Add SMPlayer repository and install it using the following commands.

sudo dnf config-manager --add-repo http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/smplayerdev/Fedora_22/home:smplayerdev.repo
sudo dnf install smplayer
On openSUSE:

SMPlayer is available in the default repositories of openSUSE. To install it on openSUSE distributions, run the following commands as root user depending upon the version you use.

openSUSE Tumbleweed:

zypper addrepo http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:smplayerdev/openSUSE_Tumbleweed/home:smplayerdev.repo
zypper refresh
zypper install smplayer

openSUSE Leap 42.1:

zypper addrepo http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:smplayerdev/openSUSE_Leap_42.1/home:smplayerdev.repo
zypper refresh
zypper install smplayer

openSUSE 13.2:

zypper addrepo http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:smplayerdev/openSUSE_13.2/home:smplayerdev.repo
zypper refresh
zypper install smplayer

Play media files

After installing SMPlayer, launch it.

The default interface of SMPlayer will look like below.


To play any media file, go to Open -> File from the menu bar, and select the audio or video file you want to play.

Download Subtitles

As I mentioned before, we can download the subtitle of any movie directly from the SMPlayer.

First play the movie, and go to Subtitles -> Find subtitles at opensubtitles.org from the menu bar. SMPlayer will search and display suitable subtitles. Just select the subtitle and click Download button.

Find Subtitles_003

The selected subtitles will be automatically downloaded and displayed while playing the movie.

The Bourne Identity (2002).mp4 - SMPlayer_004

Download YouTube videos

There are many applications are available to download the youtube videos and other similar sites. Not anymore. SMPlayer will download do it for you using the built-in YouTube browser feature.

Go to View -> YouTube Browser from the menu bar of SMPlayer. From the YouTube browser you can view the videos without having to go to the YouTube official website. Just enter the video name in the Search bar, and start playing the videos right away.

Results for %22kabali teaser%22_005

The selected video will start to play on the SMPlayer itself.

Kabali Tamil Movie | Official Teaser | Rajinikanth | Radhika Apte | Pa Ranjith - YouTube - SMPlayer_006

You don't need to go to YouTube website. Just open the YouTube browser from the SMPlayer, search the favourite videos and Have fun!

Performance tuning

If you encountered with any glitches while playing High Definition (HD) movies, you can improve the performance as described below.

Go to Preferences window from the Options menu. In the Preferences window, select Performance tab on the left bar. Then, increase the value "Threads for decoding" according to the number of cores of your processor. For example, If you have 2 cores, select 2 threads. If you have 4 cores, you can select up to 4 threads, and so on.

SMPlayer - Preferences_008


SMPlayer is my preferred player after VLC. It plays almost all audio and video formats. I have been using it for months, and I didn't face any issues so far. Also, it works pretty faster than VLC and other players. If you are searching for any best alternative for VLC player, I personally recommended you to try SMPlayer.

Any thoughts or suggestions about SMPlayer or other players? Feel free to drop a comment in the comment section below.

Happy weekend!


Reference links:

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