How To Play Videos In Ubuntu Default Media Player

If you are using Windows and recently moved to Ubuntu (Linux), you may initially encounter some errors. One of most common problem you may face just after Ubuntu installation is regarding media player. In this post, we are going to short out this problem. So keep reading to know how to play videos in Ubuntu or how to install VLC media player in Ubuntu.

By default, Ubuntu uses Rhytmbox as music player and media player for videos. Though default media player supports video formats (like .webm), but it fails to support widely used media format (like.mp4).

So if you install Ubuntu on your PC and plan to watch your favorite movie tonight, you may encounter ERROR. When we try to play videos in Ubuntu it throws off error message “the playback of this movie requires a MPEG-4 AAC decoder plugin which is not installed”. After that it takes you to Ubuntu app store and stuck there.

This problem can be solved either by upgrading your existing media player app or installing new one. We would recommend first method if you are not comfortable with Ubuntu terminal. However if you are out of space or using bootable USB then you must go with second method.

Method1. Install New Media Player

Easiest solution to run videos in Ubuntu would be to install new media player. There are many open source video players available for Ubuntu. But we suggest to go with VLC media player because Windows users are familiar with it. If you are curious to try something new, you can try kodi, Mplayer, Gnome videos or Miro media player.

#1 Install VLC media player in Ubuntu

  • Open ubuntu app store then navigate to audio and video section.
  • Select VLC media player and install it.

Alternatively, you can install VLC by running below command in terminal.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install vlc

#2 Play videos using VLC

  • Locate your media file, right click on it and select “open with other application” option.

Play with VLC

  • Select VLC and enjoy your video.

#3 Set VLC as default media player

  • Select media file, right click on it and go to properties.
  • Select default media player as VLC under Open With tab. Save and restart video.

Set VLC default

Method2. Upgrade your default media player

Another option is to upgrade your existing video player by downloading some additional files. You just need to install extra Ubuntu package of about 12-13mb.

#1 Install microsoft packages

  • Open terminal, run below command and grant root permission.

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

  • Accept Eula using direction button and enter.

Eula Microsoft

Now you had successfully upgraded video player. Your default media player is ready to play almost all known video formats.

#2 Uninstall downloaded packages from Microsoft

Now it is optional weather you want to purge downloaded packages or not. Run below commands to remove them.

sudo apt-get purge ubuntu-restricted-extras
sudo apt-get remove ubuntu-restricted-extras

Order Your Popcorn!

So using above two tricks you can play videos in Ubuntu. Now you can enjoy your movie in World’s best open source OS Ubuntu. Alternatively you can dive in Ubuntu store and select your own favorite video player. Don’t forget to comment your preferred one.

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