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Customize Android Applications by Implementing ExoPlayer

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Introduction

ExoPlayer is an open-source media playback library for android by Google, written in Java. It is an application-level media player which is used to play audio and video both locally and over the internet in android applications. Over 140000 android applications in the Google play store are using ExoPlayer including YouTube, Netflix, Facebook, and WhatsApp. It is designed in a way that is highly customizable, flexible, and easy to use. As it is a library, we can use any of its versions as per our application requirement and we can update it by updating this library.

ExoPlayer Vs MediaPlayer

diff

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Steps to Implement

We are creating a simple player using the ExoPlayer library using Java as a programming language. We will fetch the video from the URL and play the video inside our ExoPlayer.

Step-1

  • Create a new project in the android studio with “No Activity”, give any name to your project, and choose Java as a programming language.

Step-2

  • Add the dependency of ExoPlayer in the build.gradle(Module:app)
  • There are different dependencies for core support, DASH support, HLS support, and UI support.
  • Add the dependency of UI and Core with the latest version for the basic Implementation of ExoPlayer.

Then enable the view binding by adding the following code in the same file.

  • After adding the dependency sync the project.

Step-3

  • Add permission for internet access to our application.
  • Navigate to AndroidManifest.xml inside the manifest folder of our app and add the following permissions.
  • Add the following parameter in the application tag of this file to allow the HTTP & Cleartext Traffic on our application.

Step-4

  • Implementation of ExoPlayer in XML file.
  • Navigate to app > res > layout > activity.xml and add the following code inside that XML file.
  • We are using the StyledPlayerView for a player view of our ExoPlayer which is the latest provided by the ExoPlayer library. Here we are using the default playback controls of our ExoPlayer but can also use our customized playback controls. For customized controls, create a new XML file in the layout folder and write the XML code as our requirement and replace the parameter app:use_controller=”true” with app:controller_layout_id=”@layout/ (XML filename)”.

Step-5

  • Implementation of ExoPlayer in MainActivity.java.
  • Navigate to app > java > com.example.(app_name) > MainActivity and add the following code in that file.

Output-

output

Conclusion

We implemented the ExoPlayer Application with default playback controls and with basic functionality. The important feature of the ExoPlayer is that it is highly customizable. Its library has lots of classes and predefined functions which we can use to customize our application as per our needs. There is an ExoPlayer official website available where we can read the official documentation of this library and it also provides a JavaDoc Overview (ExoPlayer library) where we can find the explanation of all the packages, classes, and functions of this library.

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Drop a query if you have any questions regarding ExoPlayer and I will get back to you quickly.

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FAQs

1. Is it supported on all android devices?

ANS: – No, Exoplayer is supported in android devices having an android version of more than 4.1 and an android API level of more than 16.

2. Can I use ExoPlayer to directly play YouTube videos?

ANS: – ExoPlayer cannot play YouTube videos, i.e., those with URLs like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=.

WRITTEN BY Rohit Lovanshi

Rohit Lovanshi works as a Research Associate (Infra, Migration, and Security Team) at CloudThat. He is AWS Developer Associate certified. He has a positive attitude and works effectively in a team. He loves learning about new technology and trying out different approaches to problem-solving.

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