MX Player

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MX Player

MX Player is a solid media player that will support just about any format you can throw at it, but that just overdoes it with the ads.

4

Our rating: 

4
Get It: Android
License: Free (Ads)
Review & Alternatives: Best Free Media Player for Android
Categories: Video Player

Pros & Cons:

Plays a large variety of different file formats; Great interface while playing videos; Great crop/resize controls
intrusive video ads that are made to be hard to close

Summary:

MX Player is an excellent media player, with one glaring problem. Initially meant only to play videos, it expanded to audio and can play a huge range of media formats. Recently they've put their intrusive video ads back in, so I can no longer recommend it.

Our Review:

MX Player is an app that has been around for ages, and for good reason. It's a solid app with hardware codecs for just about any format you can imagine - more on that later. In order to use it for audio files, you simply have to add a small tick in the settings. However, they've been playing around with their advertising model recently, and now the ads are so intrusive I can no longer recommend it.

As mentioned, MX Player supports a wide array of codecs. And, they're not only supported as software codecs - there is the "H/W+" decoder. What that means is you can use hardware decoding on your videos, even if hardware decoding support isn't available for that format on your device. What it means (in plain English): you get the same performance and battery life here as when you use your default video player. Note: you will most likely have to turn on the H/W+ decoder in the settings.

When you open the app, you will find a list of folders on your device that contain videos. Recently added videos have a "New" label on them, as well as on the folders they're in. Now, some folders are "greyed out" for some reason, although they can still be accessed, and you can still play the videos in those folders. I've tried to figure out why they're greyed out but have yet to find a reason.

The interface you get while playing videos is great. Slide your finger up or down on the right half of the screen to adjust volume. Slide your finger up or down on the left half of the screen to adjust brightness. If you want, you can also use automatic brightness, but it took me a while to find that buried in the settings. Slide your finger left or right to seek. Use two fingers to zoom the video - and you can even set it so that you can pan around the video while it's zoomed in. A lock control prevents your device's home, back, and menu buttons from having any effect. There are position controls, to control if your video is played at 100% size, stretched, etc. There is also a control to let you choose between "H/W" decoding (the way the default video app works, but only for native video formats), "H/W+" (similar but for other video formats), and "S/W" (Software decoding, which usually means worse performance and worse battery life). The only aggravating part: if you want to pause to see what's on a certain frame, it shows you an ad in the middle of the screen. It doesn't block the controls and disappears immediately when you hit play again, but if you want to see a certain frame, it's pretty dumb.

This app can also play audio files, however, it needs some extra configuration for this. Just go to the "Audio" section of the settings, and make sure "Audio Player" is checked.

There are many settings to let you adjust whatever you want, from changing the default video decoder, to fine-tuning the interface, to playing a video in the background - just about everything you could imagine.

This video player's black eye, however, is the advertising. They have added video ads back in again - with a timer until the button to close the ad can be used. They also have no worries about blasting you with the sound from the video ad. It's ridiculously intrusive and is, quite honestly, the kind of thing that leads to people using ad blockers (by the way, if you're looking for one, you can always check this one out - it's the one I use, when I'm not testing software for this site). At least the back button works - so to close the ad before the close ad button appears, just hit the back button. Mind you, this really shouldn't be necessary, and while I understand the need for advertising, this is really overdoing it. Unfortunately, I can't recommend it precisely for this reason.

Overall, this app would be an excellent media player if it were not for the ridiculously intrusive advertising.


MX Player was reviewed by on based on version 1.10.3.