In Ubuntu, you can get many multimedia players – programs that play both audio and video – and you may find one that fulfills all your requirements. Personally, I don’t mind having different apps for different tasks, since I was already used to that with Windows (I mean, who seriously uses Windows Media Player for everything?). Amarok is a great flashy audio player, but I generally just use the default Rhythmbox for music; for DVDs, I prefer Kaffeine, but for playing all my video clips (and DVDs that Kaffeine is spitting the dummy over), I use SMPlayer.
It’s just an alternative to MPlayer, but has a lot more features, and can can be customised a fair bit. For example, you can skip backwards and forwards using the scroll wheel on your mouse, and you can edit the amount skipped. In fact, you can assign another function to the scroll wheel, just as you can change functions for all mouse actions, as well as edit and add to existing keyboard shortcuts.
You can also edit certain control buttons, like Skip Forward and Skip Back, with times like 10 secs, 30 secs & 1 min (note that with earlier versions, you would have 3 extra buttons on each end of the progress bar, while now they are inside a menu accessed by clicking the little arrow next to the single button shown on each end).
You can change the interface to a mini GUI, or to the Media PC (MPC) one if you prefer something different to the default. You can also choose to show the playlist as a separate window which becomes a handy way to access and add to your playlist (which you can then save for future use).
As far as advanced features go, you can tweak performance in many ways, fiddle with audio/video synchronisation for problem clips, and even get it to autoload subtitles for clips that come with subtitles files. Also, because of issues due to Ubuntu’s move to Pulse Audio, all my DVDs and movies had no sound for a while in the other players, but in SMPlayer it wasn’t an issue; not sure why that was, since MPlayer was mute, but I was certainly glad I had installed SMPlayer!
So there are a few reasons worth try SMPlayer. It’s lean, yet feature-rich, with a good level of customisability, and it will play any media file you throw at it, including YouTube (.flv) clips. It’s easily installed via the repos, and it might just end up your default movie player.
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