Getting started

For simple use cases, getting started with ExoPlayer consists of implementing the following steps:

  1. Add ExoPlayer as a dependency to your project.
  2. Create an ExoPlayer instance.
  3. Attach the player to a view (for video output and user input).
  4. Prepare the player with a MediaItem to play.
  5. Release the player when done.

These steps are described in more detail below. For a complete example, refer to PlayerActivity in the main demo app.

Add ExoPlayer as a dependency

Add ExoPlayer modules

The easiest way to get started using AndroidX Media3 is to add gradle dependencies on the libraries you need in the build.gradle file of your app module.

For example, to depend on ExoPlayer with DASH playback support and UI components you can add dependencies on the modules like this:

Kotlin

implementation("androidx.media3:media3-exoplayer:1.2.1")
implementation("androidx.media3:media3-exoplayer-dash:1.2.1")
implementation("androidx.media3:media3-ui:1.2.1")

Groovy

implementation "androidx.media3:media3-exoplayer:1.2.1"
implementation "androidx.media3:media3-exoplayer-dash:1.2.1"
implementation "androidx.media3:media3-ui:1.2.1"

where 1.2.1 is your preferred version (the latest version can be found by consulting the release notes). All modules must be the same version.

AndroidX Media3 has library modules that depend on external libraries to provide additional functionality. Some are available from the Maven repository, whereas others must be built manually. Browse the libraries directory and see individual READMEs for details.

More information on the library modules that are available can be found on the Google Maven AndroidX Media page.

Turn on Java 8 support

If not enabled already, you need to turn on Java 8 support in all build.gradle files that depend on ExoPlayer, by adding the following to the android section:

compileOptions {
  targetCompatibility JavaVersion.VERSION_1_8
}

Enable multidex

If your Gradle minSdkVersion is 20 or lower, you should enable multidex in order to prevent build errors.

Create the player

You can create an ExoPlayer instance using ExoPlayer.Builder, which provides a range of customization options. The following code is the simplest example of creating an instance.

Kotlin

val player = ExoPlayer.Builder(context).build()

Java

ExoPlayer player = new ExoPlayer.Builder(context).build();

A note on threading

ExoPlayer instances must be accessed from a single application thread. For the vast majority of cases, this should be the application's main thread. Using the application's main thread is a requirement when using ExoPlayer's UI components or the IMA extension.

The thread on which an ExoPlayer instance must be accessed can be explicitly specified by passing a Looper when creating the player. If no Looper is specified, then the Looper of the thread that the player is created on is used, or if that thread does not have a Looper, the Looper of the application's main thread is used. In all cases, the Looper of the thread from which the player must be accessed can be queried using Player.getApplicationLooper.

For more information about ExoPlayer's threading model, see the "Threading model" section of the ExoPlayer Javadoc.

Attach the player to a view

The ExoPlayer library provides a range of pre-built UI components for media playback. These include PlayerView, which encapsulates a PlayerControlView, a SubtitleView, and a Surface onto which video is rendered. A PlayerView can be included in your application's layout xml. For example, to bind the player to the view:

Kotlin

// Bind the player to the view.
playerView.player = player

Java

// Bind the player to the view.
playerView.setPlayer(player);

You can also use PlayerControlView as a standalone component, which is useful for audio only use cases.

Use of ExoPlayer's pre-built UI components is optional. For video apps that implement their own UI, the target SurfaceView, TextureView, SurfaceHolder or Surface can be set using ExoPlayer's setVideoSurfaceView, setVideoTextureView, setVideoSurfaceHolder, and setVideoSurface methods respectively. ExoPlayer's addTextOutput method can be used to receive captions that should be rendered during playback.

Populate the playlist and preparing the player

In ExoPlayer, every piece of media is represented by a MediaItem. To play a piece of media, you need to build a corresponding MediaItem, add it to the player, prepare the player, and call play to start the playback:

Kotlin

// Build the media item.
val mediaItem = MediaItem.fromUri(videoUri)
// Set the media item to be played.
player.setMediaItem(mediaItem)
// Prepare the player.
player.prepare()
// Start the playback.
player.play()

Java

// Build the media item.
MediaItem mediaItem = MediaItem.fromUri(videoUri);
// Set the media item to be played.
player.setMediaItem(mediaItem);
// Prepare the player.
player.prepare();
// Start the playback.
player.play();

ExoPlayer supports playlists directly, so it's possible to prepare the player with multiple media items to be played one after the other:

Kotlin

// Build the media items.
val firstItem = MediaItem.fromUri(firstVideoUri)
val secondItem = MediaItem.fromUri(secondVideoUri)
// Add the media items to be played.
player.addMediaItem(firstItem)
player.addMediaItem(secondItem)
// Prepare the player.
player.prepare()
// Start the playback.
player.play()

Java

// Build the media items.
MediaItem firstItem = MediaItem.fromUri(firstVideoUri);
MediaItem secondItem = MediaItem.fromUri(secondVideoUri);
// Add the media items to be played.
player.addMediaItem(firstItem);
player.addMediaItem(secondItem);
// Prepare the player.
player.prepare();
// Start the playback.
player.play();

The playlist can be updated during playback without the need to prepare the player again. Read more about populating and manipulating the playlist on the Playlists page. Read more about the different options available when building media items, such as clipping and attaching subtitle files, on the Media items page.

Control the player

Once the player has been prepared, playback can be controlled by calling methods on the player. Here are some of the most commonly used methods:

  • play and pause start and pause playback.
  • seekTo allows seeking within the media.
  • hasPrevious, hasNext, previous and next allow navigating through the playlist.
  • setRepeatMode controls if and how media is looped.
  • setShuffleModeEnabled controls playlist shuffling.
  • setPlaybackParameters adjusts playback speed and audio pitch.

If the player is bound to a PlayerView or PlayerControlView, then user interaction with these components will cause corresponding methods on the player to be invoked.

Release the player

It's important to release the player when it's no longer needed, so as to free up limited resources such as video decoders for use by other applications. This can be done by calling ExoPlayer.release.