Battery consumption

How important is battery consumption due to media playback?

Avoiding unnecessary battery consumption is an important aspect of developing a performant Android app. Media playback can be a major cause of battery drain, however its importance for a particular app heavily depends on its usage patterns. If an app is only used to play small amounts of media each day, then the corresponding battery consumption will only be a small percentage of the total consumption of the device. In such cases, it makes sense to prioritize feature set and reliability over optimizing for battery when selecting which player to use. On the other hand, if an app is often used to play large amounts of media each day, then optimizing for battery consumption should be weighted more heavily when choosing between a number of viable options.

How power efficient is ExoPlayer?

The diverse nature of the Android device and media content ecosystems means that it's difficult to make widely applicable statements about ExoPlayer's battery consumption. Performance varies by hardware, Android version, and the media being played. Hence the following information should be treated as guidance only.

Video playback

For video playback, the display and decoding of the video stream account for most of the power consumed during playback.

Choosing between SurfaceView and TextureView for output can have a significant impact on power consumption. SurfaceView is more power efficient, with TextureView increasing total power draw during video playback by as much as 30% on some devices. SurfaceView should therefore be preferred where possible. Read more about choosing between SurfaceView and TextureView here.

Audio playback

For short audio playbacks or playbacks when the screen is on, audio does not have a significant impact on power.

For long playbacks with the screen off, it's advisable to use ExoPlayer's audio offload mode. Audio offload allows audio processing to be offloaded from the CPU to a dedicated signal processor. See the track selection guide for more details on how to enable it.