Media sources

In ExoPlayer every piece of media is represented by MediaSource. The ExoPlayer library provides MediaSource implementations for several stream types:

Examples of instantiating all four can be found in PlayerActivity in the main demo app.

MediaSource composition

In addition to the MediaSource implementations described above, the ExoPlayer library also provides ConcatenatingMediaSource, ClippingMediaSource, LoopingMediaSource and MergingMediaSource. These MediaSource implementations enable more complex playback functionality through composition. Some of the common use cases are described below. Note that although some of the following examples are described in the context of video playback, they apply equally to audio only playback too, and indeed to the playback of any supported media type(s).

Playing a playlist

Playlists are supported using ConcatenatingMediaSource, which enables sequential playback of multiple MediaSources. It’s possible to dynamically modify a playlist by adding, removing and moving MediaSources within a ConcatenatingMediaSource during playback. See the Playlists page for more information.

Clipping a video

ClippingMediaSource can be used to clip a MediaSource so that only part of it is played. The following example clips a video playback to start at 5 seconds and end at 10 seconds.

MediaSource videoSource =
    new ProgressiveMediaSource.Factory(...).createMediaSource(videoUri);
// Clip to start at 5 seconds and end at 10 seconds.
ClippingMediaSource clippingSource =
    new ClippingMediaSource(
        videoSource,
        /* startPositionUs= */ 5_000_000,
        /* endPositionUs= */ 10_000_000);

To clip only the start of the source, endPositionUs can be set to C.TIME_END_OF_SOURCE. To clip only to a particular duration, there is a constructor that takes a durationUs argument.

When clipping the start of a video file, try to align the start position with a keyframe if possible. If the start position is not aligned with a keyframe then the player will need to decode and discard data from the previous keyframe up to the start position before playback can begin. This will introduce a short delay at the start of playback, including when the player transitions to playing the ClippingMediaSource as part of a playlist or due to looping.

Looping a video

To loop indefinitely, it is better to use ExoPlayer.setRepeatMode than LoopingMediaSource.

A video can be seamlessly looped a fixed number of times using a LoopingMediaSource. The following example plays a video twice.

MediaSource source =
    new ProgressiveMediaSource.Factory(...).createMediaSource(videoUri);
// Plays the video twice.
LoopingMediaSource loopingSource = new LoopingMediaSource(source, 2);

Side-loading a subtitle file

Given a video file and a separate subtitle file, MergingMediaSource can be used to merge them into a single source for playback.

// Build the video MediaSource.
MediaSource videoSource =
    new ProgressiveMediaSource.Factory(...).createMediaSource(videoUri);
// Build the subtitle MediaSource.
Format subtitleFormat = Format.createTextSampleFormat(
    id, // An identifier for the track. May be null.
    MimeTypes.APPLICATION_SUBRIP, // The mime type. Must be set correctly.
    selectionFlags, // Selection flags for the track.
    language); // The subtitle language. May be null.
MediaSource subtitleSource =
    new SingleSampleMediaSource.Factory(...)
        .createMediaSource(subtitleUri, subtitleFormat, C.TIME_UNSET);
// Plays the video with the sideloaded subtitle.
MergingMediaSource mergedSource =
    new MergingMediaSource(videoSource, subtitleSource);

Advanced composition

It’s possible to further combine composite MediaSources for more unusual use cases. Given two videos A and B, the following example shows how LoopingMediaSource and ConcatenatingMediaSource can be used together to play the sequence (A,A,B).

MediaSource firstSource =
    new ProgressiveMediaSource.Factory(...).createMediaSource(firstVideoUri);
MediaSource secondSource =
    new ProgressiveMediaSource.Factory(...).createMediaSource(secondVideoUri);
// Plays the first video twice.
LoopingMediaSource firstSourceTwice = new LoopingMediaSource(firstSource, 2);
// Plays the first video twice, then the second video.
ConcatenatingMediaSource concatenatedSource =
    new ConcatenatingMediaSource(firstSourceTwice, secondSource);

The following example is equivalent, demonstrating that there can be more than one way of achieving the same result.

MediaSource firstSource =
    new ProgressiveMediaSource.Factory(...).createMediaSource(firstVideoUri);
MediaSource secondSource =
    new ProgressiveMediaSource.Factory(...).createMediaSource(secondVideoUri);
// Plays the first video twice, then the second video.
ConcatenatingMediaSource concatenatedSource =
    new ConcatenatingMediaSource(firstSource, firstSource, secondSource);