Developing Video Player for Android

This post is also available in: Russian

Android Video Player

One of the issues you may face when developing an application for Android is embedding of a video player into your application. A standard SDK provides two ways of solving this problem. You may use a low-level MediaPlayer class or a ready visual VideoView component in conjunction with MediaController, a standard playback control panel. Both approaches have their downsides, so we decided to develop our own video component, AVideo. In this post, we will discuss how you can use this component in your application and what are its benefits.

First of all, let’s mention shortcomings of the standard class. Well, MediaPlayer is a low-level class. So it offers the maximum capabilities, but still it is too complex to be used directly. To hide complexity of the MediaPlayer from the developer, SDK offers the VideoView class. Below is a simple program based on VideoView and MediaController:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
<pre>
public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
    super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
    setContentView(R.layout.main);
    mVideo = (VideoView) findViewById(R.id.videoView);
    MediaController controller = new MediaController(this);
    mVideo.setMediaController(controller);
    mVideo.setVideoURI(Uri.parse(STREAM_URL));
    mVideo.start();
}
</pre>

However, the VideoView class is suitable only for the simplest applications. It is not so easy to add new functionalities or even re-design playback panel controls, as this is not supported by the SDK. Developers can only implement their own MediaPlayer-based component from scratch or cut and paste the needed components from the publicly available Android sources and make necessary changes. That’s what we have done when developing our AVideo player. As a result, we obtained a set of video classes which are compatible with the standard interface, but additionally implement the following functionality:

  • Modified design of video playback panel controls.
  • Volume control and mute button.
  • Screen backlight brightness control.
  • Correct operation of the component and its controls within a complex layout, when the video is only part of the screen.
  • Layout toggling between normal and full-screen display by double-click, with changing of size of the playback panel controls.
  • Pausing and resuming playback, with restoring the current position after the device screen has turned off or application has quit.

Our video components are easy to use. Download the archive with the source and samples from github.com. Import projects from the archive to the Eclipse workspace and add them to your application as libraries (Project Properties, Android, Library, Add …). The code of a simple video player based on these components will be exactly the same as with the standard components. Only class import lines will change. Also, in the layout file, our package ru.denivip.android.video will be added to the VideoView component name. Here is a simple layout code:


1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
    &lt;?xml version=&quot;1.0&quot; encoding=&quot;utf-8&quot;?&gt;
    &lt;FrameLayout xmlns:android=&quot;http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android&quot;
       android:id=&quot;@+id/videoContainer&quot;
       android:layout_width=&quot;wrap_content&quot;
       android:layout_height=&quot;match_parent&quot;
       android:layout_weight=&quot;10&quot;&gt;
     
        &lt;ru.denivip.android.video.VideoView
           xmlns:android=&quot;http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android&quot;
           android:id=&quot;@+id/videoView&quot; android:layout_width=&quot;match_parent&quot;
           android:layout_height=&quot;match_parent&quot;&gt;
        &lt;/ru.denivip.android.video.VideoView&gt;
     
    &lt;/FrameLayout&gt;

In addition, to correctly restore playback position on quitting the application or turning off the screen, we recommend to add to your activity the property

1
android:configChanges="orientation"

and the following Java code:


1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
@Override
protected void onPause() {
    super.onPause();
    mVideo.suspend();
}

@Override
protected void onResume() {
    super.onResume();
    mVideo.resume();
}

@Override
public void onConfigurationChanged(Configuration newConfig) {
    super.onConfigurationChanged(newConfig);
}

On the snapshots, you can see the test application operating in the normal and full screen modes:

We hope that you will enjoy our video component. Looking forward to your bug reports, suggestions to implement new functionality and patches.

13 thoughts on “Developing Video Player for Android

  1. Thank-you so much for releasing this component. I was wondering what is the license for the code?

  2. May I have a question? What about the performance of cpu loading while playing full screen video? Thank you very much.

  3. Thank you guys you’re awesome! Just tweak your server better for appropriate git cloning :)

  4. By the way it’s to much code for vertical seek bar implementation, when you can use such implementation of seek bar which is more lightweight IMHO.

  5. hi
    I can’t test the code.
    links to download don’t work…;
    any solution? thanks for your answer

  6. ” anra on October 31st, 2012
    hi
    I can’t test the code.
    links to download don’t work…;
    any solution? thanks for your answer ”

    same with me :(

  7. hai i’m facing error while running the application itself its showing “DenivipVideoComponents] Could not find DenivipVideoComponents.apk!”

  8. Hi,
    this is not working. Getting the following error:
    09-19 13:19:39.419: E/AndroidRuntime(16168): java.lang.NoSuchFieldError: ru.denivip.android.video.R$id.mute

    Could you explain the importing of the library in more detail? Should be both libraries added(denivipvideocomponents and verticalslidebar)?

    Please help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box