UI components

This documentation may be out-of-date. Please refer to the documentation for the latest ExoPlayer release on developer.android.com.

An app playing media requires user interface components for displaying media and controlling playback. The ExoPlayer library includes a UI module that contains a number of UI components. To depend on the UI module add a dependency as shown below.

implementation 'com.google.android.exoplayer:exoplayer-ui:2.X.X'

The most important component is StyledPlayerView, a view for media playbacks. It displays video, subtitles and album art during playback, as well as playback controls.

StyledPlayerView has a setPlayer method for attaching and detaching (by passing null) player instances.


StyledPlayerView can be used for both video and audio playbacks. It renders video and subtitles in the case of video playback, and can display artwork included as metadata in audio files. You can include it in your layout files like any other UI component. For example, a StyledPlayerView can be included with the following XML:


The snippet above illustrates that StyledPlayerView provides several attributes. These attributes can be used to customize the view’s behavior, as well as its look and feel. Most of these attributes have corresponding setter methods, which can be used to customize the view at runtime. The StyledPlayerView Javadoc lists these attributes and setter methods in more detail.

Once the view is declared in the layout file, it can be looked up in the onCreate method of the activity:

protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
  // ...
  playerView = findViewById(R.id.player_view);

When a player has been initialized, it can be attached to the view by calling setPlayer:

// Instantiate the player.
player = new ExoPlayer.Builder(context).build();
// Attach player to the view.
// Set the media item to be played.
// Prepare the player.

Choosing a surface type

The surface_type attribute of StyledPlayerView lets you set the type of surface used for video playback. Besides the values spherical_gl_surface_view (which is a special value for spherical video playback) and video_decoder_gl_surface_view (which is for video rendering using extension renderers), the allowed values are surface_view, texture_view and none. If the view is for audio playback only, none should be used to avoid having to create a surface, since doing so can be expensive.

If the view is for regular video playback then surface_view or texture_view should be used. SurfaceView has a number of benefits over TextureView for video playback:

  • Significantly lower power consumption on many devices.
  • More accurate frame timing, resulting in smoother video playback.
  • Support for secure output when playing DRM protected content.
  • The ability to render video content at the full resolution of the display on Android TV devices that upscale the UI layer.

SurfaceView should therefore be preferred over TextureView where possible. TextureView should be used only if SurfaceView does not meet your needs. One example is where smooth animations or scrolling of the video surface is required prior to Android N, as described below. For this case, it’s preferable to use TextureView only when SDK_INT is less than 24 (Android N) and SurfaceView otherwise.

SurfaceView rendering wasn’t properly synchronized with view animations until Android N. On earlier releases this could result in unwanted effects when a SurfaceView was placed into scrolling container, or when it was subjected to animation. Such effects included the view’s contents appearing to lag slightly behind where it should be displayed, and the view turning black when subjected to animation. To achieve smooth animation or scrolling of video prior to Android N, it’s therefore necessary to use TextureView rather than SurfaceView.

Some Android TV devices run their UI layer at a resolution that’s lower than the full resolution of the display, upscaling it for presentation to the user. For example, the UI layer may be run at 1080p on an Android TV that has a 4K display. On such devices, SurfaceView must be used to render content at the full resolution of the display. The full resolution of the display (in its current display mode) can be queried using Util.getCurrentDisplayModeSize. The UI layer resolution can be queried using Android’s Display.getSize API.

Overriding drawables

We don’t guarantee that the customizations described in the following section will continue to work in future versions of the library. The resource IDs may change name, or some may be deleted entirely. This is indicated by the resource IDs being marked ‘private’.

StyledPlayerView uses StyledPlayerControlView to display the playback controls and progress bar. The drawables used by StyledPlayerControlView can be overridden by drawables with the same names defined in your application. See the StyledPlayerControlView Javadoc for a list of control drawables that can be overridden.

Further customization

Where customization beyond that described above is required, we expect that app developers will implement their own UI components rather than use those provided by ExoPlayer’s UI module.