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Parole is a really simple video player made with the Xfce desktop environment in mind. Xfce is not required and it has few dependencies which makes it suitable for other light desktop environments like LxQt. It has a playlist which supports drag and drop from file managers and a simple toolbar at the bottom with play/pause buttons. It is fine for watching video files as long as their are in a very standardized format and error-free.

Features and Usability

Parole in action.

Parole has a playlist on the right side of the players window. It supports drag and drop from file managers like thunar, dolphin and nemo.

There is a toolbar on the bottom with play, pause and fullscreen buttons. Those buttons have fixed-size icons. That's fine if you are using an ancient 720p monitor but it's a problem if you are using a modern 4K screen.

Parsole has absolutely no configuration options and no options for adjusting video playback, audio preferences or anything else all the decent media players have.

Video playback

Parole will play most video files just fine but it is not a universal plays everything you throw at it player. The gstreamer back-end Parole uses does a very poor job at playing corrupted video files. mpv will play everything you throw at it just fine, VLC will have a lot of video glitches and some audio stuttering and Parole, like all gstreamer-based players, will just give up and abort playback if there's minor bit-rot/corruption in a video file.

Parole does not have any good filters for playing low resolution videos on high resolution monitors. There is also no interpolation options for adjusting low-fps video files to high-refreshrate monitors.

Verdict and Conclusion

Parole is a fine player if you are using an ancient 720p screen and you only play totally clean and to-spec common video files. It's lack of icon scaling makes it a problematic choice on modern computer screens. It's problems with just playing even slightly corrupted video files is annoying if you play files like that from time to time. Parole's lack of upscaling and interpolation filters is disturbing.

mpv or a mpv front-end like SMPlayer are much better choice since they plays everything perfectly and they have actually got configuration options, the ability to configure audio preferences and so on.


Program rating framework backend highlights
Celluloid Sad hyemi2.jpgSad hyemi2.jpg GTK mpv Has a playlist. Otherwise very limited.
GNOME Videos Frustrated stallman cropped.jpg GTK/GNOME GStreamer Useless GUI, problems playing a lot of files
mpv Yeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpg libmpv On-screen controls. No playlist, no GUI. Plays everything.
Parole Frustrated stallman cropped.jpg GTK GStreamer Very basic media player. No features what so ever.
SMPlayer Yeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpg Qt mpv Fully featured. Playlist, advanced playback options, easy to use.
VLC Yeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpg libvlc Fully featured. Playlist, advanced playback options, video conversion, live stream recording

discontinued: Xine | GMPlayer | MPlayer