SMPlayer is my video player of choice. It comes with the most commonly used video and audio codecs installed and it is quite uncommon that one runs into a video that cannot be played out of the box in SMPlayer.
A great advantage of SMPlayer in my opinion is the way it stores the codecs. They are actually stored in the SMPlayer directory and not as global codecs which means it is highly unlikely that you will run into incompatibilities with other programs or in the player when you play audio or video files.
I recently discovered that a so called additional codecs package for SMPlayer, and MPlayer obviously, is available and can be installed to support additional video and audio formats. These codecs will also be installed as so called binary codecs straight into the SMPlayer folder.
The major problem that I ran into was that I was not able to find a list of the codecs that are installed this way. The only possibility that I can think of right now is to search for the filenames in a search engine which will reveal their purpose. The codec package adds 63 new files to the codec directory. I probably would only install it if I would encounter a video that I could not play properly though.
Update: Please note that you are now asked during installation of SMPlayer if you want to install the additional codecs. If you check that box, they will be downloaded and installed on your system. Existing SMPlayer users may need to run the installer again if they have not installed the extra codec pack before. I'm not sure why the codec pack is not offered anymore as a separate download.
Update 2: The codes are installed automatically alongside SMPlayer now. There does not seem to be an option anymore to install them separately. It is unlikely that you will run into many playback issues when using the player as its support for common and not so common codecs is quite good.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.