Media player (software)

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MPlayer, an example of a cross-platform media player

A media player is a computer program for playing multimedia files. Media players display standard media control icons known from physical devices such as tape recorders and CD players. Examples of these icons are Media-playback-start.svg(play), Media-playback-pause.svg(pause), and Media-playback-stop.svg(stop).

Mainstream operating systems have at least one built-in media player. For example, Microsoft Windows comes with Windows Media Player while Mac OS X comes with QuickTime Player. Linux distributions may also come with a media players, such as SMPlayer, Amarok, Audacious, Banshee, MPlayer, Rhythmbox, Totem, VLC, and xine.

General-purpose media players can play both audio and video; special-purpose players, however, focus on providing extended playback features for one media type. Such players are known as either audio players or video players and often have a user interface tailored for the specific media type. For example:

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