Searching for an ideal media player

Discussion in 'Linux' started by Chromace, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. Chromace

    Chromace MDL Novice

    Aug 10, 2015
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    Hi forums!

    The title pretty much says what I'm looking for: a nice media player for my Linux box. However, I can't just have any old media player - I have a set of criteria I'd like to meet.

    One: It should be able to play external .ssa/.ass subtitles with music files. I listen to Japanese music and as such, have multiple external subtitle files per song.

    Two: It should have an easy way to cycle through different subtitles. Sometimes I enjoy looking at different ones.

    Three: It should be able to display embedded album art and resize it according to the program's screen size.

    Doing some searching around, I have only found media players which satisfy the last criteria, but not the first two (excepting of course, Windows only media players). An example of this would be Baka MPlayer. Could I please have some help with this search? Thank-you! :)
     
  2. R29k

    R29k MDL GLaDOS

    Feb 13, 2011
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    :eek:That's because subtitles are on video players. You want it to play lyrics, which many can do.
     
  3. Cruze

    Cruze MDL Novice

    Apr 12, 2015
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    I use VLC media player.
     
  4. Chromace

    Chromace MDL Novice

    Aug 10, 2015
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    #4 Chromace, Sep 1, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2015
    (OP)
    @R29k
    Oh? :g:
    I was under the impression that the terms 'media player' and 'video player' were interchangeable. Seems like I was wrong. :p

    Anyway, I don't mind if the program can also play videos - I just want it to be able to play music as well, while also displaying subtitles, which I cannot seem to find. Thanks for your help!
     
  5. Cruze

    Cruze MDL Novice

    Apr 12, 2015
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    I think it will do what you want look at the setting,s at the top .I play music and video,s .It can do sub titles also and more .
     
  6. Chromace

    Chromace MDL Novice

    Aug 10, 2015
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    @Cruze

    This may be a little much to ask, but have you managed to play an audio file while displaying subtitles (and embedded album art)? I'll try it out soon, but I'm just wondering if you have had any success.
     
  7. Chromace

    Chromace MDL Novice

    Aug 10, 2015
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    I'm back forums! Time to report the results of experimenting with VLC media player. Ahem...

    Displaying album art worked like a charm. However, due to how Windows (yes, I dual boot. What gave it away?) handles audio files (adding one tiny, ugly, low-quality album images for a SINGLE album folder :mad:), it only did so when I copied the music out of the default folder. Linux won't do that unless I ask it to, so that's a non-issue.

    But like the many media players I have experimented with, VLC refused to play subtitles with my audio, even when I explicitly added the subtitle files to the player (which I really shouldn't need to do - it should have detected the subtitle files next to the audio files). Has anyone found better alternatives? Thanks!
     
  8. Michaela Joy

    Michaela Joy MDL Crazy Lady

    Jul 26, 2012
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    #8 Michaela Joy, Sep 4, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2015
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  9. Chromace

    Chromace MDL Novice

    Aug 10, 2015
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    #9 Chromace, Sep 4, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2015
    (OP)
    @Michaela Joy
    Very fascinating! This looks like a step closer in the right direction. Thank-you very much for your help! :biggrin: I will definitely have a look at karaoke players. PyKaraoke looks promising. It seems to be able to play audio files AND display subtitles (in some sort of different format). However...

    I must admit that as a Windows user, I'm rather spoilt for choice when it comes to programs. Windows has this excellent media player called 'Daum PotPlayer', which is able to play music with subtitles and album art. To be fair, it's a very pinpoint taste of media files, but even so...

    There are some possible solutions I have thought up that don't require me searching for extra applications:
    -Put PotPlayer in a VM, and use a RemoteApp client to connect to it
    -Benefits: Highest likelihood of working with my system
    -Drawbacks: Uses up precious resources (around 2GB RAM at minimum)
    -Run PotPlayer through WINE
    -Benefits: Lower resource usage than a VM + more seamless
    -Drawbacks: Currently not an option, but may be in the future (it installs, but when anything attempts to play, nothing happens)
    -Convert my audio files to MKV files
    -Benefits: May help media players work with my files (MKV are video files which support subtitles)
    -Drawbacks: The icky feeling that I really shouldn't have to do this - can playing subtitles with audio really be that hard?

    Once again, thank-you very much for your help! :)
     
  10. nailzuk

    nailzuk MDL Novice

    Feb 19, 2010
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    mpv is great it lets you watch you tube urls also streams from vodlocker etc, its a modern fork of the much loved mplayer, i cant say too many good things about mpv, try it. if you like GUI with menus and clickys, smplayer is decent. good luck
     
  11. Chromace

    Chromace MDL Novice

    Aug 10, 2015
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    @nailzuk
    Thanks for your suggestions! Interesting... :g:

    I've already tried a media player which uses 'mpv' as its back-end called 'Baka MPlayer'. Unfortunately, while a lovely, full-featured application, it was unable to play external '.ass' subtitles while playing audio, and thus I remained unsatisfied. I have also tried out SMPlayer, but sadly, I faced similar results. However, I used SMPlayer on my Windows partition, not my Linux one. There is a possibility that I could get subtitles with audio (not video - that works fine) if I had SMPlayer installed on my Linux box. Have you had any sort of success with playing external subtitles with audio files using these media players?

    Once again, thank-you! :)
     
  12. manix

    manix MDL Junior Member

    Aug 18, 2012
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    The most advanced player I've seen on Linux is VLC.
     
  13. Chromace

    Chromace MDL Novice

    Aug 10, 2015
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    @manix
    Thank-you for your help! :)

    However...I'm not quite sure VLC is what I'm looking for. I have attempted to play an audio file with external '.ass' subtitles with the player, but to no avail. Even when I explicitly loaded the subtitles for VLC to play with my music, it did not show up. However, I was using my Windows box to test it out at the time, but I'm fairly certain it'll behave the same way regardless of operating systems. I'll give it a shot though. Once again, thanks!
     
  14. SOCRATE_MMXII

    SOCRATE_MMXII MDL Expert

    Jan 25, 2012
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  15. Chromace

    Chromace MDL Novice

    Aug 10, 2015
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    @SOCRATE_MMXII
    Thank-you for this idea! :) Admittedly, it didn't cross my mind. Way to go, thinking out of the box!

    How would this help media players display audio subtitles? I have checked the respective specs of VLC and MPlayer, and they both appear to have '.ass' subtitle support. Doing some research, I have found out that '.srt' subtitles have less features than '.ass' subtitles. Some of my subtitles have different colours, and formatting (to denote different singers and different emphasis respectively). Will converting '.ass' files to '.srt' files result in losing these changes?

    Thanks for your help!
     
  16. SOCRATE_MMXII

    SOCRATE_MMXII MDL Expert

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  17. manix

    manix MDL Junior Member

    Aug 18, 2012
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    I don't think that VLC supports any kind of subtitles with audio files.
     
  18. Chromace

    Chromace MDL Novice

    Aug 10, 2015
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    #18 Chromace, Sep 7, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2015
    (OP)
    @Kofuji
    Thanks for the insightful post! Perhaps having audio subtitles in media players is a less common feature than I have originally thought. Did you try manually loading the subtitles while the audio was running? Perhaps VLC just does not automatically detect them for audio (that's probably wishful thinking though - I've tried is with '.ass' subtitles to no avail). Great work investigating. :)

    @SOCRATE_MMXII
    Thanks! This is really awesome. Even with the news that VLC may not support audio subtitles, I've heard that '.srt' subtitles are compatible with more media players than '.ass' subtitles are - so with the knowledge that there won't be drawbacks, it's time to get converting (the programs you suggested will surely be helpful)!
     
  19. Chromace

    Chromace MDL Novice

    Aug 10, 2015
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    #19 Chromace, Sep 13, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015
    (OP)
    Hi forums! Apologies for the late reply. I've been busy. Without further ado, here are the results of my tests.

    Conversion from '.ass' files to '.srt' proved to be successful with 'DSRT', the program @Kofuji suggested to me. However, it removes any special formatting I that I specified in them. That is to say, custom fonts and colours were not supported. Even so, if these sort of subtitles could play with VLC (or any other media player), I could probably tolerate it. However, that was not the case...

    VLC does seem to acknowledge the fact that there are external subtitles next to my audio files - when I first attempted to play one, the message 'Building font cache' popped up. From my research, it enables the playing of subtitles (a good thing). However, even with '.srt' subtitle files, VLC was unable to display subtitles while playing audio files.

    It's a shame, but it seems that VLC cannot play subtitles with audio. But thanks for the support everybody! :)

    Perhaps there are other media players out there which can do this instead? :g:
     
  20. Chromace

    Chromace MDL Novice

    Aug 10, 2015
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    #20 Chromace, Sep 16, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2015
    (OP)
    Even with some further research, I have been unable to find a media player for Linux which is able to play subtitles with audio files.

    With this conclusion I can do a few things:
    -Curl up in the foetal position. Weep.
    -Advantages: I will feel better afterwards + I won't actually have to do anything
    -Disadvantages: I will lose manliness points + I'll get dehydrated
    -Convert my audio to video files
    -Advantages: Subtitles will be sure to work since videos work fine with them
    -Disadvantages: Possible quality loss + I really shouldn't have to do this
    -Run a virtualised Windows box, with Daum PotPlayer (Windows only media player, but an excellent piece of software. There's a thread about it in the forums here) installed in it. Play music from there
    -Advantages: I get to use the software I've used for the past few years + use software incompatible with Linux, even with the help of WINE
    -Disadvantages: A clunky workaround to what should be a simple problem (same as file conversion)

    As I am philosophically opposed to converting my audio files into videos just to make my music display subtitles on media players which don't support this feature, I am leaning heavily on the third option (yes, I'm against converting my audio, but am cool with experimenting with a VM. Go figure). But with this in mind, a few questions are brought up:
    -What kind of performance overheads will I experience if I run a virtual machine?
    -(Optional) Which VMs are best for gaming (for medium-intensity games when WINE doesn't work)
    -Which virtual machines offer the least performance reductions?
    I'll be waiting with bated breath for some answers.
    Thanks again! :)