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I need video player for Linux, that:

  1. Plays many video formats
  2. If it can't play some format, it
    • doesn't just continue playing without sound or video
    • doesn't just say it can't
    • it should honestly report in error message, which codec it doesn't support and why
  3. If it has any other problems, it should report them in clear error messages, no hanging, stalling, freezing, image jumping etc.

It is not VLC of course.

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There are three major video players on Linux:

  • VLC, which you've indicated you don't want,
  • MPlayer and forks (MPlayer2, MPV)
  • Xine and assorted frontends (GXine, etc.)

All three of them meet the "plays many formats" criteria. All three will stall, jump, or otherwise act poorly if the CPU is overloaded or for some types of video corruption. This leaves handling unrecognized formats. I compiled both MPV and GXine without support for AV1 compression, opened an AV1 video in each, and got the following results:

MPV: Failed to initialize a decoder for codec 'av1'.

GXine: assert: load_plugins.c:2257: _x_get_video_decoder: Assertion `stream_type < DECODER_MAX' failed.

It looks like MPlayer or a fork thereof is the video player you want.

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