Media sources

In ExoPlayer every piece of media is represented by a MediaItem. However internally, the player needs MediaSource instances to play the content. The player creates these from media items using a MediaSourceFactory.

By default the player uses a DefaultMediaSourceFactory, which can create instances of the following content MediaSource implementations:

DefaultMediaSourceFactory can also create more complex media sources depending on the properties of the corresponding media items. This is described in more detail on the Media items page.

For apps that need media source setups that are not supported by the default configuration of the player, there are several options for customization.

Customizing media source creation

When building the player, a MediaSourceFactory can be injected. For example, if an app wants to insert ads and use a CacheDataSource.Factory to support caching, an instance of DefaultMediaSourceFactory can be configured to match these requirements and injected during player construction:

MediaSourceFactory mediaSourceFactory =
    new DefaultMediaSourceFactory(cacheDataSourceFactory)
        .setAdsLoaderProvider(adsLoaderProvider)
        .setAdViewProvider(playerView);
SimpleExoPlayer player = new SimpleExoPlayer.Builder(context)
    .setMediaSourceFactory(mediaSourceFactory)
    .build();

The DefaultMediaSourceFactory JavaDoc describes the available options in more detail.

It’s also possible to inject a custom MediaSourceFactory implementation, for example to support creation of a custom media source type. The factory’s createMediaSource(MediaItem) will be called to create a media source for each media item that is added to the playlist.

Media source based playlist API

The ExoPlayer interface defines additional playlist methods that accept media sources rather than media items. This makes it possible to bypass the player’s internal MediaSourceFactory and pass media source instances to the player directly:

// Set a list of media sources as initial playlist.
exoPlayer.setMediaSources(listOfMediaSources);
// Add a single media source.
exoPlayer.addMediaSource(anotherMediaSource);

// Can be combined with the media item API.
exoPlayer.addMediaItem(/* index= */ 3, MediaItem.fromUri(videoUri));

exoPlayer.prepare();
exoPlayer.play();