Getting started

For simple use cases, getting started with ExoPlayer consists of implementing the following steps:

  1. Add ExoPlayer as a dependency to your project.
  2. Create a SimpleExoPlayer instance.
  3. Attach the player to a view (for video output and user input).
  4. Prepare the player with a MediaSource to play.
  5. Release the player when done.

These steps are outlined in more detail below. For a complete example, refer to PlayerActivity in the main demo app.

Adding ExoPlayer as a dependency

Add repositories

The first step to getting started is to make sure you have the Google and JCenter repositories included in the build.gradle file in the root of your project.

repositories {

Add ExoPlayer modules

Next add a dependency in the build.gradle file of your app module. The following will add a dependency to the full ExoPlayer library:

implementation ''

where 2.X.X is your preferred version.

As an alternative to the full library, you can depend on only the library modules that you actually need. For example the following will add dependencies on the Core, DASH and UI library modules, as might be required for an app that plays DASH content:

implementation ''
implementation ''
implementation ''

The available library modules are listed below. Adding a dependency to the full ExoPlayer library is equivalent to adding dependencies on all of the library modules individually.

  • exoplayer-core: Core functionality (required).
  • exoplayer-dash: Support for DASH content.
  • exoplayer-hls: Support for HLS content.
  • exoplayer-smoothstreaming: Support for SmoothStreaming content.
  • exoplayer-ui: UI components and resources for use with ExoPlayer.

In addition to library modules, ExoPlayer has multiple extension modules that depend on external libraries to provide additional functionality. These are beyond the scope of this guide. Browse the extensions directory and their individual READMEs for details.

Turn on Java 8 support

If not enabled already, you also need to turn on Java 8 support in all build.gradle files depending on ExoPlayer, by adding the following to the android section:

compileOptions {
  targetCompatibility JavaVersion.VERSION_1_8

Creating the player

You can create an ExoPlayer instance using ExoPlayerFactory. The factory provides a range of methods for creating ExoPlayer instances with varying levels of customization. For the vast majority of use cases one of the ExoPlayerFactory.newSimpleInstance methods should be used. These methods return SimpleExoPlayer, which extends ExoPlayer to add additional high level player functionality. The code below is an example of creating a SimpleExoPlayer.

SimpleExoPlayer player = ExoPlayerFactory.newSimpleInstance(context);

ExoPlayer instances must be accessed from a single application thread. For the vast majority of cases this should be the application’s main thread. Using the application’s main thread is also a requirement when using ExoPlayer’s UI components or the IMA extension.

The thread on which an ExoPlayer instance must be accessed can be explicitly specified by passing a Looper when creating the player. If no Looper is specified, then the Looper of the thread that the player is created on is used, or if that thread does not have a Looper, the Looper of the application’s main thread is used. In all cases the Looper of the thread from which the player must be accessed can be queried using Player.getApplicationLooper.

Attaching the player to a view

The ExoPlayer library provides a PlayerView, which encapsulates a PlayerControlView and a Surface onto which video is rendered. A PlayerView can be included in your application’s layout xml. Binding the player to the view is as simple as:

// Bind the player to the view.

If you require fine-grained control over the player controls and the Surface onto which video is rendered, you can set the player’s target SurfaceView, TextureView, SurfaceHolder or Surface directly using SimpleExoPlayer’s setVideoSurfaceView, setVideoTextureView, setVideoSurfaceHolder and setVideoSurface methods respectively. You can use PlayerControlView as a standalone component, or implement your own playback controls that interact directly with the player. setTextOutput and setId3Output can be used to receive caption and ID3 metadata output during playback.

Preparing the player

In ExoPlayer every piece of media is represented by MediaSource. To play a piece of media you must first create a corresponding MediaSource and then pass this object to ExoPlayer.prepare. The ExoPlayer library provides MediaSource implementations for DASH (DashMediaSource), SmoothStreaming (SsMediaSource), HLS (HlsMediaSource) and regular media files (ExtractorMediaSource). The following code shows how to prepare the player with a MediaSource suitable for playback of an MP4 file.

// Produces DataSource instances through which media data is loaded.
DataSource.Factory dataSourceFactory = new DefaultDataSourceFactory(context,
    Util.getUserAgent(context, "yourApplicationName"));
// This is the MediaSource representing the media to be played.
MediaSource videoSource = new ExtractorMediaSource.Factory(dataSourceFactory)
// Prepare the player with the source.

Controlling the player

Once the player has been prepared, playback can be controlled by calling methods on the player. For example setPlayWhenReady starts and pauses playback, the various seekTo methods seek within the media,setRepeatMode controls if and how media is looped, setShuffleModeEnabled controls playlist shuffling, and setPlaybackParameters adjusts playback speed and pitch.

If the player is bound to a PlayerView or PlayerControlView then user interaction with these components will cause corresponding methods on the player to be invoked.

Listening to player events

Events such as changes in state and playback errors are reported to registered Player.EventListener instances. Registering a listener to receive such events is easy:

// Add a listener to receive events from the player.

If you’re only interested in a subset of events, extending Player.DefaultEventListener rather than implementing Player.EventListener allows you to implement only the methods you’re interested in.

When using SimpleExoPlayer, additional listeners can be set on the player. The addVideoListener method allows you to receive events related to video rendering that may be useful for adjusting the UI (e.g., the aspect ratio of the Surface onto which video is being rendered). The addAnalyticsListener method allows you to receive detailed events, which may be useful for analytics purposes.

Releasing the player

It’s important to release the player when it’s no longer needed, so as to free up limited resources such as video decoders for use by other applications. This can be done by calling ExoPlayer.release.