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The Best MPEG-DASH Open Source Players & Tools

May 26th, 2015
Christopher Mueller is the CTO and Co-founder of Bitmovin. He leads Bitmovin's long-term technology vision, and is responsible for overseeing product development, industry thought leadership and advanced technology incubations.

More and more open source projects are available today around or supporting MPEG-DASH and as it is always good, and handy, to have some of these tools ready during development, we collected the following list of publicly available and open source MPEG-DASH tools:

  • libdash MPEG-DASH Reference Library
    libdash is the official reference software of the ISO/IEC MPEG-DASH standard and is an open-source library that provides an object orient (OO) interface to the MPEG-DASH standard. It comes together with a C++/Qt-based sample player as well as comprehensive online documentation.
  • VLC Player
    The VLC Player was the first media player to implement the MPEG-DASH support (that was in 2011). Since then, it has been updated to today’s version of the standard.
  • Online MPD Conformance Validator
    The Online MPEG-DASH MPD validator is based on the draft international standard of the conformance and reference software for DASH. It works for links, uploads and copy+paste of DASH MPDs. The latest version of the MPD validator supports the recent additions to the MPEG-DASH standard ISO/IEC 23009-1:2012 (ISO/IEC) and ISO/IEC 23009-1:2012/COR.1 (ISO/IEC).
  • dash.js
    This is a HTML5-based MPEG-DASH player from the DASH Industry Forum to show the possibilities of the standards and for conformance testing of the DASH-IF guidelines, as well as having the aim to establish a production quality framework for building video and audio players that play back MPEG-DASH content using client-side JavaScript libraries leveraging the Media Source Extensions API set as defined by the W3C. Also our Bitmovin MPEG-DASH output is compatible with this player. As a commercial product alternative, Bitmovin provides its HTML5 Adaptive Streaming Player
  • ExoPlayer: MPEG-DASH & HLS Player for Android
    ExoPlayer is an application level media player for Android which is mainly provided by Google, but also has a big developer community around it. It provides an alternative to Android’s MediaPlayer API for playing audio and video both locally and over the Internet. ExoPlayer supports features currently not supported by Android’s MediaPlayer API (as of KitKat), including DASH and SmoothStreaming adaptive playbacks, persistent caching and custom renderers. Unlike the MediaPlayer API, ExoPlayer is easy to customize and extend and can be updated through Play Store application updates.
  • MP4Box & GPAC Tools
    This multimedia packager is available as part of GPAC – a much larger suite of multimedia tools. It supports the packaging of MPEG-DASH content as well as the MPD generation (we recently posted a tutorial on the MPEG-DASH content generation with x264 and MP4Box). Further GPAC tools for DASH include MP4Client – a media player, e.g., supporting also HEVC playback – as well as DASHcast for live DASH streaming.
  • DASH @ ITEC Tools
    The open source tools of the Institute of Information Technology (ITEC) at the Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt, is one of the best sources for MPEG-DASH information and tools on the web. It includes a lot of publications on the topic, as well as tools for content generation, MPD validation, DASH players for C++ and HTML5/JavaScript, different datasets, and lots more. Check it out yourself and be impressed!
  • Bento4 MP4 & MPEG-DASH Library
    Bento4 is a C++ class library and tools which support MPEG-DASH packaging and MPD generation. In particular, this tool supports the MPEG-CENC compliant packaging/encryption of DRM-protected MPEG-DASH content very well. One can also test this content on our DRM Test Area.
  • DASH Live Edge Calculator
    This is a very helpful tool to calculate the live edge for MPEG-DASH segment template based streams. This is needed, as live streams often have configuration problems at the beginning, which is sometimes hard to analyze without a tool like the LiveEdgeCalculator. It can be used to analyze segment template based MPEG-DASH MPDs.

We hope that this list provides you with a good overview of the most important available open source tools and libraries around MPEG-DASH and helps you in your development and testing phase of your DASH projects. Please feel free to send us additional MPEG-DASH-related open source tools. We are happy to extend the list and let it grow! Please also let us know if one of the sites is no longer online, so that we can remove it from the list.

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