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.
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.