Player events

Listening to playback events

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

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

Player.Listener has empty default methods, so you only need to implement the methods you’re interested in. See the Javadoc for a full description of the methods and when they’re called. Some of the most important methods are described in more detail below.

Listeners have the choice between implementing individual event callbacks or a generic onEvents callback that’s called after one or more events occur together. See Individual callbacks vs onEvents for an explanation of which should be preferred for different use cases.

Playback state changes

Changes in player state can be received by implementing onPlaybackStateChanged(@State int state) in a registered Player.Listener. The player can be in one of four playback states:

  • Player.STATE_IDLE: This is the initial state, the state when the player is stopped, and when playback failed.
  • Player.STATE_BUFFERING: The player is not able to immediately play from its current position. This mostly happens because more data needs to be loaded.
  • Player.STATE_READY: The player is able to immediately play from its current position.
  • Player.STATE_ENDED: The player finished playing all media.

In addition to these states, the player has a playWhenReady flag to indicate the user intention to play. Changes in this flag can be received by implementing onPlayWhenReadyChanged(playWhenReady, @PlayWhenReadyChangeReason int reason).

A player is playing (i.e., its position is advancing and media is being presented to the user) when it’s in the Player.STATE_READY state, playWhenReady is true, and playback is not suppressed for a reason returned by Player.getPlaybackSuppressionReason. Rather than having to check these properties individually, Player.isPlaying can be called. Changes to this state can be received by implementing onIsPlayingChanged(boolean isPlaying):

public void onIsPlayingChanged(boolean isPlaying) {
  if (isPlaying) {
    // Active playback.
  } else {
    // Not playing because playback is paused, ended, suppressed, or the player
    // is buffering, stopped or failed. Check player.getPlayWhenReady,
    // player.getPlaybackState, player.getPlaybackSuppressionReason and
    // player.getPlaybackError for details.

Playback errors

Errors that cause playback to fail can be received by implementing onPlayerError(ExoPlaybackException error) in a registered Player.Listener. When a failure occurs, this method will be called immediately before the playback state transitions to Player.STATE_IDLE. Failed or stopped playbacks can be retried by calling ExoPlayer.retry.

ExoPlaybackException has a type field, as well as corresponding getter methods that return cause exceptions providing more information about the failure. The example below shows how to detect when a playback has failed due to a HTTP networking issue.

public void onPlayerError(ExoPlaybackException error) {
  if (error.type == ExoPlaybackException.TYPE_SOURCE) {
    IOException cause = error.getSourceException();
    if (cause instanceof HttpDataSourceException) {
      // An HTTP error occurred.
      HttpDataSourceException httpError = (HttpDataSourceException) cause;
      // This is the request for which the error occurred.
      DataSpec requestDataSpec = httpError.dataSpec;
      // It's possible to find out more about the error both by casting and by
      // querying the cause.
      if (httpError instanceof HttpDataSource.InvalidResponseCodeException) {
        // Cast to InvalidResponseCodeException and retrieve the response code,
        // message and headers.
      } else {
        // Try calling httpError.getCause() to retrieve the underlying cause,
        // although note that it may be null.

Playlist transitions

Whenever the player changes to a new media item in the playlist onMediaItemTransition(MediaItem mediaItem, @MediaItemTransitionReason int reason) is called on registered Player.Listeners. The reason indicates whether this was an automatic transition, a seek (for example after calling, a repetition of the same item, or caused by a playlist change (e.g., if the currently playing item is removed).


Calling Player.seekTo methods results in a series of callbacks to registered Player.Listener instances:

  1. onPositionDiscontinuity with reason=DISCONTINUITY_REASON_SEEK. This is the direct result of calling Player.seekTo.
  2. onPlaybackStateChanged with any immediate state change related to the seek. Note that there might not be such a change.

If you are using an AnalyticsListener, there will be an additional event onSeekStarted just before onPositionDiscontinuity, to indicate the playback position immediately before the seek started.

Individual callbacks vs onEvents

Listeners can choose between implementing individual callbacks like onIsPlayingChanged(boolean isPlaying), and the generic onEvents(Player player, Events events) callback. The generic callback provides access to the Player object and specifies the set of events that occurred together. It’s always called after the callbacks that correspond to the individual events.

public void onEvents(Player player, Events events) {
  if (events.contains(Player.EVENT_PLAYBACK_STATE_CHANGED)
      || events.contains(Player.EVENT_PLAY_WHEN_READY_CHANGED)) {

Individual events should be preferred in the following cases:

  • The listener is interested in the reasons for changes. For example the reasons provided for onPlayWhenReadyChanged or onMediaItemTransition.
  • The listener only acts on the new values provided through callback parameters, or triggers something else that doesn’t depend on the callback parameters.
  • The listener implementation prefers a clear readable indication of what triggered the event in the method name.
  • The listener reports to an analytics system that needs to know about all individual events and state changes.

The generic onEvents(Player player, Events events) should be preferred in the following cases:

  • The listener wants to trigger the same logic for multiple events. For example updating a UI for both onPlaybackStateChanged and onPlayWhenReadyChanged.
  • The listener needs access the Player object to trigger further events, for example seeking after a media item transition.
  • The listener intends to use multiple state values that are reported through separate callbacks together, or in combination with Player getter methods. For example, using Player.getCurrentWindowIndex() with the Timeline provided in onTimelineChanged is only safe from within the onEvents callback.
  • The listener is interested in whether events logically occurred together. For example onPlaybackStateChanged to STATE_BUFFERING because of a media item transition.

In some cases, listeners may need to combine the individual callbacks with the generic onEvents callback, for example to record media item change reasons with onMediaItemTransition, but only act once all state changes can be used together in onEvents.

Using AnalyticsListener

When using SimpleExoPlayer, an AnalyticsListener can be registered with the player by calling addAnalyticsListener. AnalyticsListener implementations are able to listen to detailed events that may be useful for analytics and logging purposes. Please refer to the analytics page for more details.

Using EventLogger

EventLogger is an AnalyticsListener provided directly by the library for logging purposes. It can be added to a SimpleExoPlayer to enable useful additional logging with a single line.

player.addAnalyticsListener(new EventLogger(trackSelector));

Passing the trackSelector enables additional logging, but is optional and so null can be passed instead. See the debug logging page for more details.

Firing events at specified playback positions

Some use cases require firing events at specified playback positions. This is supported using PlayerMessage. A PlayerMessage can be created using ExoPlayer.createMessage. The playback position at which it should be executed can be set using PlayerMessage.setPosition. Messages are executed on the playback thread by default, but this can be customized using PlayerMessage.setLooper. PlayerMessage.setDeleteAfterDelivery can be used to control whether the message will be executed every time the specified playback position is encountered (this may happen multiple times due to seeking and repeat modes), or just the first time. Once the PlayerMessage is configured, it can be scheduled using PlayerMessage.send.

        (messageType, payload) -> {
          // Do something at the specified playback position.
    .setPosition(/* windowIndex= */ 0, /* positionMs= */ 120_000)