List of Raspberry Pi Video Players and How to Play Guide

List of Raspberry Pi Video Players and How to Play Guide

List of Raspberry Pi Video Players and How to Play Guide

You can easily create a DIY Raspberry Pi media player at home to play videos, music, and view pictures. But, which media player for Raspberry Pi is perfect? How can you play the videos on Raspberry Pi? Well, in this article, I will cover them both.

The Raspberry Pi is a tiny, affordable, and multi-capable computing board which can help you to design numerous electronics projects that can change the daily life of you the people around you. Also, the Pi boards like the latest Raspberry Pi 3 or its predecessor Raspberry Pi 2 help to finish great setups like a website hosting server or a commercial retro gaming console. There are so many electronics and robotics project ideas that can be accomplished using the Raspberry Pi 3.

But on the other hand, the Raspberry Pi can be an awesome media player too. It can stream your favorite videos and can display your pictures on the monitor screen to let you enjoy your moments.

First, we will see the top Raspberry Pi media player applications that you can get from the web to enjoy watching videos on your Pi.

Raspberry Pi Video Player


With a wide selection of plug-ins, the KODI (formerly XBMC) is one of the most famous and widely used media players for Raspberry Pi. This open source media center application was initially meant for the Xbox gaming consoles from Microsoft. The Kodi’s primary intent was to run the local as well as the web-based media files on bigger screens. But as the time progressed, and with the updates, it got frequently, this media player started gaining the attention of worldwide Raspberry Pi users.

Features of Kodi:

  • It has a user-friendly interface with various categories.
  • With an add-on, you will get the inbuilt download and subtitle synchronization functionalities.
  • You can operate Kodi software from multiple user accounts.
  • It supports Miracast technology, UPnP/DLNA and also can work as a web server on Raspberry Pi to receive a request from a client PC.
  • The Kodi media library has search, filter, and sort features to help you find and play your favorite videos easily and quickly.



2) VLC Media Player

The VLC media player is one of the most commonly used multimedia software in the world. Mostly, the Windows PC users enjoy watching the content on the VLC media player. But, this app supports the Linux environment as strong as it does to Windows OS. Even it can run 4K UHD videos; you watch for that lags though.

Features of VLC media player:

  • It has the simple and quick to operate user interface which means even the beginners can access it without any hassle.
  • It can play all the digital media content, online YouTube videos, flash drives, Blue-rays, or directly from your mobile.
  • You can use the inbuilt filters to enhance the video playing.
  • Inbuilt add-on for subtitle synchronization, download, and audio playback will help you to have the custom media playing experience.
  • It can connect with other devices on the same network to stream the videos.
  • The Video LAN Manager (VLM) function will help you to operate multiple streaming of videos from a single VLC occurrence.

VLC Media Player


3) OMXPlayer

If you are using the official Raspberry Pi Operating System, i.e., Raspbian, then you will get this media player installed with it. Even if you don’t have Raspbian or you have an older version of OMXPlayer, then you can download and install it easily on your Pi 3.

Features of OMXPlayer:

  • Though OMXPlayer does not have the user interface, it can play MP3, MP4, MKV, and other types of media files quite effortlessly.
  • Faster operation of opening and playing of media files results in smoother media playing without the problem of slowdown system.
  • Proper splitting of the memory will allow you to even play the HD videos and games on the Raspbian system without slowing it down.
  • It is almost a perfect Raspberry Pi media player if you want to play a single media file.
  • On OMXPlayer, you can directly play the MP4 file from the URL without downloading it on your system.



After getting the info about the top 3 media players for Raspberry Pi, I will explain how you can use this media player on your Pi device.

How to Play Videos on Raspberry Pi?

As we have seen that, there is a bunch of some top-quality media player software available in the market which lets you enjoy streaming the media content on your Raspberry Pi 3 or other Pi boards. But, how you will use such application to play multimedia content on Pi device? Here, I will show how you can play videos on Raspberry Pi with the default OMXPlayer on Raspbian.

The OMXPlayer will come by default on the official Raspbian Operating System. You can take benefits of its simple, user-friendly Linux environment. To enjoy watching the video on your Pi monitor screen, you will just need to specify the path of the media file. You can even play the video directly from the URL without downloading it.

Follow the steps below to play video on Raspberry Pi:

1. Open the Raspberry Pi command terminal

2. Enter the command line as shown below:

    omxplayer /opt/vc/src/pi_video/test_video_play/video_name.mp4

3. To play video with sound on HDMI port, enter the command below:

    omxplayer –o hdmi /opt/vc/src/pi_video/test_video_play/video_name.mp4

After you start to enjoy watching the video, the below are some keyboard shortcuts that can help you to do changes if you want:

Keyboard KeyFunction
QQuit OMXPlayer
+Volume increase
Volume decrease
1Speed increase
2Speed decrease
IPrevious chapter
ONext chapter
SToggle subtitles
Right ArrowSeek +30
Left ArrowSeek -30
Up ArrowSeek +600
Down ArrowSeek -600


Compared to a full desktop PC, the Raspberry Pi is a tiny yet powerful, somewhat complicated yet consuming low power, and feature-rich yet affordable computing board. You can even make the connection between your PC and Raspberry Pi 3 through a USB or HDMI port. And one of the most entertaining usages of Raspberry Pi PC is that it can play HD videos and can stream online multimedia content without downloading it. For enjoying the video playing, the above top three media software will help you at best.

Which media player software will you use for your Pi? Are you using any other multimedia application to stream the videos? Drop your words in the comment section below.


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