SMPlayer is a very nice multimedia player which uses the Qt libraries for the GUI and mpv or MPlayer as back-end for video playback. It has a playlist you can drag and drop files to. It lets you open links to websites with videos on them as well as DVDs and BlueRays. You can easily choose subtitles, audio track and so on when playing a video.
Plays everything you throw at it perfectly
SMplayer itself can't play videos, it acts as a front-end for mpv (or the less updated mplayer). It is essentially just a graphical interface for mpv.
mpv is really good at playing any and all video formats. This means smplayer will too.
Secret compact mode
SMPlayer will by default present you with a menu and a toolbar on the top and a timeline and play and stop and fullscreen icons as well as a volume slider on the bottom. These things are useful when you initially choose and start playing a video but they are not that useful while you are watching. Pressing
f in smplayer gives you a fullscreen view. There is a secret compact mode you can use when you want to watch videos in a window on your screen. Pressing
ctrl-c activates it. You can also toggle it by right-clicking the video and choosing
The pianist in this clip is a Japanese singer-songwriter called shimamo.
Installation and configuration
The first thing you want to do once smplayer is installed is to configure some basic video playback options.
Go to the menu item
Preferences. Click the
Video tab in the
General section. Choose
gpu if you have a AMD or NVidia GPU and
vaapi of you have a Intel GPU. Using
vaapi is specially important on a weak Intel iGPU like a Atom or Pentium based notebook.
Next click the
Performance section and
Hardware decoding to
vaapi if you have a Intel iGPU or a AMD GPU. NVidia users should choose
One last important step is to select the
Advanced section and the
MPlayer/mpv tab. Here you need to enter
--gpu-context=x11egl in the
Options field for vaapi hardware decoding to work with the
gpu output option chosen earlier. We recommend that users of AMD graphics cards copy and paste all of this into the
--profile=gpu-hq --gpu-context=x11egl --video-sync=display-resample --interpolation --tscale=oversample --cache=yes --cache-secs=120
If you are using a 4K display you may want to add this too, btw:
This ask for the best format when streaming videos from websites, but only up to 1440p. Only videos running 30 fps or less would be requested with this setting. This is useful if you have bandwidth limitations.
If GPU accelerated video play does not work then make sure you have these packages on a AMD GPU system:
xorg-x11-drv-amdgpu mesa-vdpau-drivers libva-vdpau-driver vdpauinfo
or these on a Intel iGPU system:
libvdpau-va-gl libva-intel-driver libva-intel-hybrid-driver