1. Video players
- The most famous media player and maybe the most powerful in all platforms is VLC, which is now in the basic repositories, so it can be installed from Synaptic.
It has two levels of settings, the simple and the advanced.
The first can easily set subtitle dimentions
The advanced settings are very complex but their display is very poorly designed. A lot of useful stuff is buried under those margins that cannot be moved
If somebody would like a single player for all media, VLC would be the thing. Its playlist has an unusual design, but it includes a lot of features, among which the TV channels for the clients of French Freebox TV.
A very interesting feature is the volume boost, which goes up to 200%
- The Linux video player module is mplayer, which has different front-ends, the most developed being SMPlayer, also in Repos.
It is sleek and has a lot of customizations, which are more easy to use than those of VLC, which may look cumbersome. The buttons are also customizable.
A lot of customization for subtitles too
- Another front for mplayer is Gnome Player, which is somewhat older and simpler but has the advantage of being light and snappy. Customizations are limited.
2. Audio players
My first idea is that, beside stability and preferably a few other features like tabbed playlists, an audio player should be light. Most discussed and used audio players (Banshee, Rhythmbox, Amarok) are excessively heavy on resources, especially considering what they practically achieve with all this use of resources. On a very powerful computer they may be ok.
My favourite audio player is DeadBeef , tabbed, incredibly light, with folder-structure access to media library. Not yet in Sources, but available as .deb, here.
The left panel is added with a file-browser addon. There are also addons for lyrics etc. More here. It can also convert audio files, but is not the most recommendable (more here).
- Qmmp deserves attention because it is simple, straightforward, plays most formats, it is in repos and well integrated by the system, looks like Winamp and can use its v.2 skins:
- Audacious is very much supported by Ubuntu community as a simpler player, and therefore is in repos, is light and has tabbed playlists (media library support is tags-limited as usual, and the interface is not much but takes the system theme). I would have used it more without DeadBeef, which has all its features and more but at higher quality.
- To consider a more heavy player, I will chose Clementine. It deserves to be installed (in sources), because it is supported by own community, and although java-based and somewhat heavier, it really seems to bring power and stability. Also, considering power and capacity, it is less heavy then Banshee, for example. The worst thing about it is its striking orange tray icon that cannot be removed.