Even though there are hundreds of options for Android media players, VLC Media Player and MX Player seem to be the most popular choices. But if you have to choose between the two, which one should you go for, and what features would you miss or get when you select one?

    In this comparison guide, I will tell you the core differences between MX Player and VLC Media Player for Android.

    The Better Choice

    MX Player offers a more aesthetic UI and utility features like OTT content and video downloader but contains ads, requiring you to pay for a subscription. On the other hand, VLC Media Player offers more technical features that you can use to customize your media consumption experience.

    The Basics

    MX Player is a popular Android app that lets you play video and audio files. It is a freemium (free &  premium) app and works ad-supported. You can eliminate the ads and gain some premium features by upgrading to the paid version. MX Player advertises itself as a modern media player that can handle multiple codecs and file types that you might come across on Android.

    Basics of MX player vs. VLC  player

    On the other hand, VLC Media Player for Android is the official Android version of the classic VLC Media Player. This free and open-source video player can handle multiple file types on Android. It offers additional features such as an equalizer and built-in media library support. You also benefit from the simple UI that VLC is famous for.

    Now, I shall compare MX Player and VLC Media Player based on some popular criteria.

    User InterfaceTop of Form

    MX Player for Android has what we call a truly modern user interface. From the moment you start using the app to video playback, everything is smooth and intuitive to navigate. Even if you are using Android for the first time, you won’t have trouble getting started with MX Player. For instance, the UI automatically recognizes the media folders on your device and displays them in an aesthetically pleasing way. The in-player UI is also impressive.

    The user interface of VLC Media Player, however, focuses on functionality. This is not to say it’s a lousy user interface, but you might find the design somewhat rudimentary. It is also slightly more difficult to get started with because the automated scanning capabilities are not as advanced in VLC Media Player. While it can play almost all files you throw at it, VLC may have trouble setting up a user-friendly interface for you initially. And it could be a slight learning curve when you get started.

    👉 Our Pick: MX Player

    Viewing Experience

    There are two aspects I wanted to consider when comparing the viewing experience on MX Player and VLC Media Player. First, the viewing experience should be intuitive, providing easy access to control and basic customization options. Second, the viewing experience must be uninterrupted by advertisements and other pop-ups, which is where the deal-breaker comes in, if you ask me.

    Viewing experience

    While MX Player offers a beautiful viewing experience thanks to its great UI, which I mentioned earlier, it comes with many advertisements. When you pause your video, you are bombarded with ads that can be distasteful. These advertisements are present even in other parts of the app. For instance, your media library page may have one or two ads.

    Watching Big Buck Bunny

    On the other hand, because VLC Media Player is open-source and ad-free, you can enjoy a clean viewing experience regardless of the content you are watching. This remains true even when using VLC Media Player to stream online content. The simple lack of advertisements makes a massive difference in the overall user experience of the media player.

    👉 Our Take: VLC Media Player

    Compatibility

    MX Player offers decent compatibility with almost all media formats out there. Even if you come across a relatively rare media file, the MX Player app can easily handle it. In some cases, you may have to install additional codecs, which are readily available. Overall, the compatibility of MX Player is satisfactory for most people. The only issue arises when using advanced media options such as Blu-ray discs or DVD folders.

    VLC Media Player, on the other hand, is a beast when it comes to file format compatibility. It can be easily used for all media types, including audio and video. I cannot say this about MX Player because you get far fewer options when you use the MX Player app to handle audio files. Similarly, VLC Media Player does better with DVD volumes and Blu-ray discs.

    👉 Our Pick: VLC Media Player

    Additional Features

    You should consider these extra features if you are looking for more than standard video/audio playback.

    MX Player

    MX Player for Android is a great option for additional features, easily surpassing what VLC Media Player or other apps can offer.

    Let’s start with the playback options. You get support for Ultra HD video up to 8K quality if your device can handle it. Because hardware acceleration is enabled by default, you get the best speed and power efficiency. When you start playback, you can use intuitive gestures to control how it works.

    This is a great way to keep track of your media while binge-watching a series or streaming content you like on the platform. Some other features are:

    • Hardware acceleration
    • Multi-core decoding
    • Gesture controls
    • Extensive subtitle support
    • Kids Lock
    • Audio boost
    • Screen-casting
    • Night mode

    More importantly, MX Player has started including utility applications within the main app in recent years. For instance, you get an Instagram video downloader, which lets you download Instagram reels or videos from the platform. You can use the app to manage and organize your media as well. It also doubles as a storage management tool, visualizing how your space is consumed.

    Instagram Video Downloader

    There’s also something called MX Originals, a platform for web series and short films you can watch on demand, though these are available through a subscription. MX Player also offers podcasts on the platform; you can download all this content as you wish.

    Overall, MX Player is designed to be a super media app for all media consumption, whether it’s a file stored on your phone or something you want to access from network storage. These additional features may appeal to some users, especially if you keep all your entertainment sources in a single space.

    VLC Media Player

    Because VLC for Android is a full-sized port of the VLC Media Player, you get some ultra-technical features you cannot find on some other devices. Here’s a quick list:

    • Full-sized port of desktop VLC Media Player
    • Network stream and shared drive playback
    • Multiple audio track switching
    • Hardware decoding control
    • HDMI output support
    • Chromecast compatibility
    • DVD ISO playback
    • Network streaming protocol support (RTSP, RTP, RTMP, MMS)

    There is built-in support for subtitles, including embedded and external subtitles, and you can easily switch between multiple audio tracks or subtitle tracks as needed. You also get some control over hardware decoding, which is great if you want to fine-tune your video experience on an Android device. But perhaps, the built-in equalizer is the most popular feature on VLC Media Player.

    VLC media player built-in equalizer

    Even though MX Player also comes with an equalizer, the one you get on VLC Media Player is significantly better. You can customize it according to your needs and choose between frequencies from +20 decibels to -20 decibels. The number of presets available with the VLC equalizer is also impressive, as you can select something that works well with different types of audio playback.

    VLC Media Player for Android offers a superior experience when streaming content to third-party devices. For instance, you can connect your smartphone to a device using an HDMI cable, and playback becomes simple. On the other hand, this feature is not available on MX Player or most other media players. You also get Chromecast support, which is a standard feature these days.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the disadvantage of VLC?

    VLC has a relatively simple design that may seem a little unappealing. There is also a slight learning curve if you want to use all its features.

    Which player is best for 4K?

    You should go for MX Player if you want out-of-the-box support for 4K content. But if you need better format support and control, VLC Media Player is the better option.

    Is MX Player a Chinese app?

    MX Player is not a Chinese app; it is owned by MX Media and Entertainment, a video streaming and platform company from India.

    Can VLC play everything?

    VLC Player can play almost everything in that it supports popular and rare media file formats.

    Final Call

    Since we have compared the different aspects of MX Player and VLC Media Player for Android, let me make the selection easier.

    If you want a complete entertainment app that can help you stream content, play offline content, and watch OTT videos, you should consider MX Player. It has a more appealing user interface and features for social media downloading. However, you must tolerate ads or pay a subscription fee.

    On the other hand, if you are looking for playback quality and maximum control over the process, VLC Media Player for Android is a better option. You get better support for file formats and additional features like HDMI output.

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    Rajesh Namase is one of the top tech bloggers and one of the first people to turn digital marketing and blogging into a full-time profession. He has unwavering passion for technology, digital marketing, and SEO. With a penchant for exploring the digital world, Rajesh covers a wide range of topics, from Android to the intricate universe of the internet, including WiFi, YouTube, and more.

    2 Comments

    1. Veda Cannon on

      I’ve been using VLC since 2012. I love the feature that it has additional volume adjustment aside from the video volume itself. very convenient when the video volume is low.

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