There was a time when MX Player was one of the best apps for watching videos downloaded to an Android phone or tablet. But these days there are plenty of other options, including the excellent VLC media player from Videolan, which happens to be a free and open source application with versions available for most popular operating systems.

But while MX Player may not be king of the Android hill for local video playback anymore, it looks like the app may have a second life as the basis for a video streaming platform.

Indian digital media organization Times Internet acquired a controlling stake in MX Player earlier this summer, for about $140 million. Now Beebom is bringing us an early look at the company’s plans for the app: Times Internet wants to build a Netflix rival for the Indian market.

There’s already a beta version of the new MX Player available for download, and it brings an updated user interface with an emphasis on streaming media. Right now the selection is limited and xda-developers notes it mostly consists of YouTube videos and a few popular movies and TV shows. But in the future Times Internet plans to add more content, including about 40 original shows, 100 thousand hours of existing content, and support for live TV streams.

Contnt will b available in English, Hindi, and a number of regional languages spoken throughout different parts of India. And MX Player will use a freemium model, with ad-supported and paid content tiers.

Future versions MX Player are also expected to use neural networks to make recommendations, helping users sift through all that content. And the developers plan to account for the fact that Internet connectivity isn’t always reliable in some parts of India by optimizing content so that it can be streamed even when network conditions aren’t great.

All of which is to say that while you can certainly continue using MX Player to watch videos stored locally on your device in any part of the world, the future of the app seems very India-specific. So if you happen to still be using the app in another region, you might want to check out VLC or look into other alternatives.

via xda-developers

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5 replies on “Android video app MX Player is becoming a streaming video platform for the Indian market”

  1. Ive been using MX Player since Android 2.3. The onscreen gesture controls are originally what attracted me. Now every app has copied them, including Samsung’s own video app. I’ll have to try a few alternatives

  2. It still has features not available on many other players. I like audio synchronization feature. You can even set a default audio synchronization to use when a Bluetooth devices is connected (thereby eliminating the normal last when using Bluetooth headphones/speakers without needing to adjust it every time). The speedup truck for software decoding actually make a difference as well.

  3. > the future of the app

    Scary… MX Player is still far and away the best video player on Android, imho. Sometimes I’ll use it with a BT keyboard and these guys have built great support for this as well. Very polished Android application with built-in volume amp, smooth forward/backward controls, logical gestures, feature-rich customization, useful file explorer (with deletion of items, even on SD card).

    I hope they don’t overload it with cloud-based features or go the way of ES Explorer. Would be a sad day indeed…

    1. Which is why I’llbe making a backup of the current version of the paid app. That way ad long as I use it with my account I can reinstall it and retain current functionality at least.

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