Multimedia players for Gnu / Linux; the best programs to watch movies and listen to music

Multimedia elements

Possibly all users by now know what a multimedia player is, but here we are not going to explain what a multimedia player is but what are the best options that exist for Gnu / Linux. We will focus on the best known and not only those that play audio or only video. In this list we have included the best audio players and those that in addition to audio can also play video.

Currently, all media players seek to offer more than just playing audio or video files, seek to offer connection with third-party services, communicate with devices or directly be one of the lightest and most lightweight programs of the entire operating system.


rhythmbox 3.2 soundcloud

The most famous multimedia player of all is called Rhythmbox, a player that is integrated into the Gnome desktop and that has made it known to all of them. Like other programs of the genre, Rhythmbox has full compatibility with audio files, but it offers something more. Rhythmbox not only supports various third-party services such as, Soundcloud or Jamendo but it can also connect with podcasts and other services thanks to its possibility of expansion through add-ons.

Rhythmbox supports playlists and has an online radio service that allows us to listen to the radio without having this device. Like Amarok and other proprietary programs like iTunes, Rhythmbox allows the synchronization of music between our computer and other devices such as mp3 or iPod. We can find this multimedia player in the official repositories of all distributions since it is inside Gnome.


Cantata Player

Cantata is a music player that comes bundled with the Plasma desktop. The program offers a quick and easy solution for users of the KDE desktop. It does not allow to play videos or music files little known but in return we will find the search for music files through directories, communication with certain music devices and the ability to connect and download files from music services via streaming or with podcast services. The official Cantata website is this.


Chromecast VLC Player

VLC was born a few years ago and has quickly become the king of media players. VLC is a player that plays any type of file without requiring an excess of resources. Both video and audio are compatible with this program which makes users have only one program instead of two. During the latest versions VLC has included Chromecast support and communication with services like Youtube, which makes it even more interesting.

But, everything has its negative side. The latest versions of VLC are heavier than the first versions and that has made many users who have computers with few resources, look for other alternatives. VLC is available in the repositories of all Gnu / Linux distributions but if we don't find it, we can always download the program from the official VLC website.


LPlayer is a minimalist music player that works on Ubuntu, Linux Mint and derivatives. It is created by the famous developer The Atareao. Its intention is to offer music and podcast playback without consuming operating system resources. In addition, the player integrates seamlessly into Cinnamon and Gnome desktops and offers continuous playback, sound equalizer and music lists.

Its installation is done through an external repository, we have to execute the following in the terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:atareao/lplayer
sudo apt update
sudo apt install lplayer



Amarok is a player for environments with Qt libraries, although its popularity has meant that it can be used on almost any desktop. Amarok is a complete multimedia suite since it not only reproduces audio but is also compatible with services via streaming, podcast, own services, etc ...

Amarok is compatible with external devices with which you can sync and share music and video. The negative point of this multimedia player is its high consumption of resources, a consumption that is not suitable for computers with few resources. Amarok is available in the repositories of all Gnu / Linux distributions, something that makes it easy to have this program on our operating system.



Clementine is a player born from Amarok but updated and taken to other platforms such as Windows or macOS. Clementine not only plays audio but alsoSupports third-party services such as Spotify,, Soundcloud, etc ... and you can even connect with virtual hard disk services such as Dropbox, Box, Drive, etc ... to search for music and play these files.

Clementine is a music player that, like Amarok, connects with external devices to the computer and can even be controlled via through the smartphone thanks to an app that exists for Android. Clementine is a great option but it doesn't support video files like other programs.


Banshee, media player

Banshee is a very complete multimedia player. It does not have the appearance of iTunes but offers almost the same as Apple's service. In addition to playing audio and video, Banshee allows you to play and manage devices such as iPods, Mp3s or even smarpthones.

Banshee is connected to services via streaming and payment services, allowing us to have music and video to our liking at any time. Podcasts are also present in Banshee as well as the information of the file played in a side panel. Banshee is present in any Gnu / Linux distribution although we can know more in its official website.


SMPlayer is a multimedia player similar to Miro or Parole. In this case we have a light option that will allow us to view audio and video files. It's based on the old MPlayer and is available not only for Gnu / Linux but also for other operating systems like Windows or macOS.

SMPlayer is compatible with Youtube and with subtitle download services, which allows a viewing of any foreign movie. Unlike other players, SMPlayer has a skin or customization function that It will allow us to install any interface or directly the artwork of the distribution.

We can install SMPlayer in any distribution by following the steps indicated in the official website of the project.


Parole is a multimedia player for light or low-resource desktops. It mainly plays video files, but it can also play audio files. It does not offer compatibility with other services or functions, it just plays video and audio, but does it very well.

Hence, it is very popular with many users who have light desktops or are simply looking for a minimalist solution. Parole has been used on desktops like Xfce or Lxde so if our distribution has these desktops, it will surely have Parole in the official repositories.


Miro multimedia player

Miro is a media player that looks and feels like iTunes. Miro is a free multimedia player but it offers the same services and has a similar appearance to iTunes. For a while it was quite popular but we have to say that its development has stopped and its latest versions date from 2010.

Even so, if we want a player similar to iTunes but that does not consume many resources, Miro is a good option. In the official website We will find the installation methods depending on the Gnu / Linux distribution that we have.

Which one have I chosen?

Many of you surely have or have one or more favorite multimedia players, others will be testing or changing as a result of this article. And many of you will wonder what media player I use. He to confess that I am a VLC Player lover, a player that I have always installed on every computer that I use and that I always use.

It is practical, complete and my computer supports it perfectly. But if I have to choose another option than VLC, possibly the option I would choose would be Parole or Amarok, complete programs that offer a lot of entertainment through multimedia content. And you What media player do you use?

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  1.   urumov said

    I use Parole in Xfce and I am very satisfied. It is simple, visually it is not overloaded with options and it does its job perfectly. Of course I came from using alsaplayer hahaha

  2.   ProletarianLibertarian said

    SMPlayer for video, and VLC and Clementine for audio under KDE Plasma and Cinnamon. Parole is not bad, although SMPlayer works better for me with video formats in general.

  3.   Troll_erotic said

    Smplayer for video and cantata for audio, in plasma, with that I have all my tricks covered

  4.   chiwy said

    MOC for music and Smplayer and MPV for videos ...

    1.    Carachon said

      The same, Smplayer for video and cantata for audio, also in plasma, it shows that you know

  5.   Dj scihacker said

    Me like you, always faithful to VLC, since my Windowsero days. Second I have used Totem, which came in LinuxMint. On limited desktops I always used Xine. Today on my laptop I have Mixxx, VLC, Parole, Videos (ex-Totem), Smplayer and Mplayer. The latter automatically loads the subtitle files if they are in the same directory and with the same video name, which makes it convenient to automate TV.

  6.   Chichero said

    VLC is the most overrated player out there: it wants to cover all existing OSs and play everything with a lot of add-ons, although any player with MPV is worse.

    SMPlayer + MPV are the dick.

  7.   Trungus said

    I discovered Sayonara some time ago, before I used Clementine, Amarok, VLC, SMPlayer, Videos (ex-totem) and some more that I do not remember now and I definitely prefer Sayonara, it is super light, I like the aesthetics and functionalities it has .

  8.   jose said

    the truth is that I wanted to know which of them reproduced the music with the best quality, but about that it says nothing, ...