On Linux, Smplayer often gets overshadowed by VLC due to how popular it is. The reality is that Smplayer has some seriously impressive, unique features that make it worth using, noteworthy of which is that you can use it to stream media from Linux to mobile.
This streaming feature is called “Casting.” With this, users can load up any video or audio file into the player and output the playback over a local network to any mobile phone or tablet. It even works on desktop computers!
Before going over how to use Smplayer to cast to Smartphones and Tablets from Linux, you’ll have to install it. Thankfully, the Smplayer video application is quite popular. As a result, many Linux distributions have the app in their primary software sources. So, installing Smplayer on many Linux distributions will not be an issue.
In this installation section, we will go over how to get the Smplayer app working on Ubuntu, Debian, Arch Linux, Fedora, and OpenSUSE. If you do not use any of these Linux-based operating systems, we highly recommend going to the Smplayer website. It may have information on how to get it working for your OS. Or download the source code and build it from scratch.
sudo apt install smplayer
Smplayer is available for Debian users, but be warned: due to how out of date packages tend to be on Debian Linux, the version of Smplayer you install may not have the casting functionality that we cover in this article. Before continuing, we highly recommend enabling backports for the release of Debian Linux you use. Then, install Smplayer with the Apt-get command below.
Note: if Backports aren’t your style, consider upgrading your release of Debian instead.
sudo apt-get -t stretch-backports install smplayer
sudo pacman -S smplayer
Fedora Linux’s default software repositories do not contain the Smplayer video application. Instead, Fedora users looking to use this program must first install the RPM Fusion Free software repository.
To enable the RPM Fusion Free software repository, launch a terminal window and use the Dnf package manager to install the RPM file. Be sure to replace X in the commands with the release number of Fedora you are using.
Note: as SMplayer is a video app, you should also enable the non-free RPM Fusion repo, as it contains several video codecs not traditionally found on Fedora Linux.
sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-X.noarch.rpm -y
sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-29.noarch.rpm -y
Install Smplayer on Fedora with:
sudo dnf install smplayer
sudo zypper install smplayer
Stream media to mobile
Smplayer streams video to mobile by creating a small web server, then pushing the content out to an accessible IP address. So, to start a stream, launch the Smplayer application on your Linux PC. Then, find “File,” click on it, then select “open.”
Browse for a video file and import it into the video player. Be sure to immediately press “pause” to stop it from playing right away.
Right-click on the video and hover over “Play” in the menu. After that, find “Cast,” followed by “Smartphone/Tablet” and click on it.
Take out your mobile device and scan it the QR code on it to start playback on your mobile device. Alternatively, if you’re having some issues using with scanning, take the URL provided under the QR code, copy it, send it to your mobile device, and access the stream that way.
Want to stop streaming to your mobile device from Smplayer? Click the stop button in the play bar.
Stream media to a PC
Smplayer’s mobile casting feature works great on most mobile phones and tablets, but that’s not the only place it can be used. Did you know that you can use this feature to stream to a remote PC on your local network? To do it, ensure you have a modern browser installed that can handle Mp4 video playback (Chrome and Firefox usually work best).
Once you’ve got a compatible browser working, launch it and open up a new tab. Then, go back to the Smplayer app on a separate machine, right-click on the video, click “Play,” followed by “Cast,” and then click on the “Smartphone/Tablet.”
Note: when using the stream feature on the desktop, keep in mind that playback may look a bit off, because the video stream is intended for smartphones and tablet computers, and not full-fledged desktop computers.
Clicking the “Smartphone/Tablet” option will open up a pop-up. From here, ignore the QR code and select the URL below it. Then, share it to the remote PC looking to watch the remote stream of the video. To stop the stream, click the stop icon in the Smplayer play bar.