Yah, after posting about VLC, now it is SMPlayer. What is so good about SMPlayer? SMPlayer, playing the RMVB file is smoother than VLC. I don’t know why. Next, playing the f4v file (Flash video), the video is also smoother than VLC.

So, because of the needs or watching RMVB movie and f4v movie, that is why I use SMPlayer frequently.

But under Linux, there is a small problem about SMPlayer to play the video with a separate subtitle with Chinese encoding, namely GBK. To play the video in the Unicode locale, the subtitle will shows the characters with underline only. To get the locale of your Linux, enter “locale” in the command-line, it will show something like this,


To play the video with GBK encoded subtitle, enter the following command,

env LANG=zh_CN smplayer

However, if the file name contains some Unicode or GBK, the file might not be able to be opened. In such case, enter the following command,

env LANG=zh_CN.gbk smplayer

But make sure the OS allows the locale mentioned above. The above commands are worked on Arch Linux.



Actually I am using two movie players in my Linux. One is VLC, the other is SMPlayer.  Both are cross platform. Comparing VLC and SMPlayer, each of them has its own advantage, that is why I use both.

The features that VLC can do, which SMPlayer cannot do, is that VLC can play the MIDI file with the SoundFont. This is something nice in Linux. Because playing MIDI file in Linux unlike Windows, need a SoundFont file and some configuration.

VLC is able to run the video capture device, such as webcam. This is what SMPlayer cannot do.

The next reason I use VLC is because, I don’t know what reason, sometimes SMPlayer pause the movie, then resume doesn’t work, but need to at least click the time navigator to resume.

For Windows, there is another superior application. So, I use VLC mainly for Linux.