Update: Make sure to read our list of 13 great video players for Android phones and tablets.

When it rains it pours. For the first two years of Google Android’s life there weren’t really any all purpose video players for the platform. The built in video player is bundled with Android’s picture viewer and only supports a handful of video formats. But recently RockPlayer launched an excellent video player with support for a wide range of formats including MKV, Xvid, WMV, and DiVX.

RockPlayer comes in free and paid versions, with the free version including some advertisements.

Scan to download

Today I ran across another Swiss army knife video player called arcMedia. It’s completely free — at least while in beta. It  uses open source FFmpeg libraries and can handle a similar range of video formats including DiVX, Xvid, MOV, Mp4, WMV, and RMVB. The arcMedia video player supports all versions of Google Android.

The new video player has an attractive file browser and a nice big pause/play button on the video playback screen. There’s also a button you can press to adjust the video size to fit your display, and a timeline allowing you to skip ahead and back in a video. There’s no fast forward, rewind, or skip button. The overall UI is pretty basic. But video playback is smooth and I haven’t noticed any audio video synchronization problems on my Google Nexus One.

The arcMedia video player is available as a free download from the Android Market.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...

7 replies on “arcMedia video player for Android supports divx, mkv, wmv, more”

  1. I’m a big fan of this and rock player, but I’ve had a hard time finding android hardware that supports smooth playback of 720p mkv files. (Which is a little ridiculous to want on a phone, I know.) For example, on the droid x, rockplayer would play a 720p mkv, but it was choppy and the audio immediately lost sync. I imagine it’s just a matter of time before an android phone with the chops to do that comes out — have you had any success with larger files?

  2. I’ve not tried this arcMedia player, but I do have Rockplayer (paid version) on my Samsung Galaxy S. The default Samsung video player plays MP4, AVI and MKV (720p with AC3 audio, not DTS) just fine, but SRT subtitle support was lacking (or I didn’t know how to enable it).

    Rockplayer solves the subtitle issue and plays just as smoothly when set to ‘System Player Mode’ (i.e. using codecs native to the phone and with GPU-acceleration) but stutters when playing HD videos using its own codecs (probably minus GPU). Oh yeah, in the latter mode, it also plays RMVB video files.

    Am gonna try this arcMedia thingy now on my phone.

  3. To be honest, I haven’t tried any 720p files, just 480p and lower resolution videos that I happen to have lying around.

    My guess is that these apps use software decoding, which means you need a pretty fast CPU to handle standard definition video. While many newer Android devices have support for hardware video decoding, the chips tend to only support a handful of formats such as H.264 and MP4. So while you might be able to watch 720p videos in those formats using the default video player (and maybe even third party players like this), I wouldn’t expect HD MKV, DiVX, or other files to work properly.

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