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SMPlayer – Free Open Source Video Player

by James 30 May 2009 5 Comments


SMPlayer is a free, open source, media player able to play almost any video file format. It also has a portable version and a Linux version.


My favorite video player was so far GOM Player, a solid freeware program able to play many file formats. Now I decided to give SMPlayer a try, mainly because it’s open source and you already know that I have a particular weak spot for open source programs because I really believe that they represent the future of computer programs. Anyway, overall I am satisfied with GOM Player although I hoped that the new versions would bring some more features.

SMPlayer is based on MPlayer, maybe the best video playing engine out there. The people that made SMPlayer tried to add more features to this solid base and after a first look I can say that they did quite a good job. The GUI (graphic user interface) is very well designed, you have access to selecting subtitles and audio tracks right from the main toolbar. Overall the interface has no flaws, all the important commands are right there. 


If you need access to the more advanced features you can either right click on the video or go through the menus in the top toolbar. 


An interesting feature is that you can search for subtitles on opensubtitles.org right from the program.


The most interesting feature of SMPlayer is that it remembers your settings. If you play a movie and you have to leave and shut down the computer, when you come back and play that file it will play with the previous settings, from audio track and subtitles to the audio volume. 

SMPlayer will play a wide range of video files, from DVD files on your hard disk to flash video or avi. Here are a few more features for your consideration:

Configurable subtitles. You can choose font and size, and even colors for the subtitles.
Audio track switching. You can choose the audio track you want to listen. Works with avi and mkv. And of course with DVDs.
Seeking by mouse wheel. You can use your mouse wheel to go forward or backward in the video.
Video equalizer, allows you to adjust the brightness, contrast, hue, saturation and gamma of the video image.
Multiple speed playback. You can play at 2X, 4X… and even in slow motion.
Filters. Several filters are available: deinterlace, postprocessing, denoise… and even a karaoke filter (voice removal).
Audio and subtitles delay adjustment. Allows you to sync audio and subtitles.
Advanced options, such as selecting a demuxer or video & audio codecs.
Playlist. Allows you to enqueue several files to be played one after each other. Autorepeat and shuffle supported too.
Preferences dialog. You can easily configure every option of SMPlayer by using a nice preferences dialog.

The one that I like the most is the seeking by mouse wheel, it’s so easy and it works so well… If GOM Player would have added such a feature I might never have tried another program…

Version Tested



Ricardo Villalba

Operating System

Windows, Linux

Download link


 Open source and multi platform.

 A few interesting features and a portable version.



I’m switching to SMPlayer starting today, it’s better than GOM Player and it’s open source. The features that made me make this decision are the possiblity to seek by mouse wheel, the fact that it remembers the settings for each file that I play and last but not least the very good graphical user interface. I also liked the fact that you can customize the subtitles and the portable version, which means that I can take this program on my USB stick and use it on my computer at the office. 

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If you have any trouble with this software just leave a comment, I’ll help you out! If you know better free programs in the same category, please let me know!



  • rono said:

    i feel proud that at last you have tested the sm player and switch to this awsunm player but you can also try this palyer called mpcstar it has a lot of feature and it is one of the best competetor for sm player.

  • Johnny Karp said:

    I’m always open to your suggestions and it’s not that I don’t want to try new programs, it’s just a matter of time. And since I had less and less spare time lately I barely found a few moments now and then to take care of this blog.

  • Rono said:

    I’m switching to mpcstar from smplayer because sm player has some bugs so that it crashes several times when i try to play a video file & it doesn’t support dvd menu option yet.You can try this software.
    MPCStart 6.4 is an amazing software for view your movies and play your songs it came with a Dvd player and you can open the mayority of the format.
    It also have a conversor for iphone and psp that can transform any file to mp4 format for use in your iphone and psp.
    Has a big package of codecs that make it unique and make easy the vision of users, the majority of media players fail in that point, but this program is as good or better than the smplayer.
    Totally intuitive we can in View and Options choose the Files types that we want to associate or not. The Hotkeys is for manage the program from our keyboards, the appearance in wich you can change and save the playlist or disable the screen saver while the full-screen is playing. Another function is to charge the subtitles.
    You can choose between two languages English and Chinese.
    The formats that support the program are: avi, mkv, ogm, mpg, mpeg, mpv, wmv, asf, rmvb, rm, mov, mp4, m4v, 3gp, 3gpp, 3g2, 3gp2, flv, swf, vob and ifo.
    I recommend this software because is very intuitive and we can view all the formats with only one program.

    * Converts any file to mp4 for use it in your iphone and psp.
    * Charge the subtitles.
    * Support formats: avi, mkv, ogm, mpg, mpeg, mpv, wmv, asf, rmvb, rm, mov, mp4, m4v, 3gp, 3gpp, 3g2, 3gp2, flv, swf, vob and ifo.


    * Hasn´t Disadvantages.

    Reviewed by: rono

    Reviewer rating:5

  • Johnny Karp said:

    Rono, I never experienced any crashes with SMPlayer, it’s still working very well for me.

    P.S.: The reviews that you submitted will be published soon, I checked them out and they are OK.

  • Jocelyn Peterson said:

    the best video player that i use is none other than VLC Player, it is free and i think it is open source too,`~

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