Xine is one of the oldest video players available on Linux, with its roots in a time when playing DVDs required referring to a HOWTO. Unlike the all-in-one VLC, Xine follows a modular philosophy and separates the core engine from the functionality of add-ons, which are bundled as plugins.
The core handles tasks such as synchronising audio and video, and maintains communications between the various Xine modules. Then there are input plugins that act as abstraction layers between the real video source (DVD, VCD and so on) and Xine.
USER EXPERIENCE: Xine bases configuration on user experience, ranging from Beginner to Master of the Known Universe
The demuxers and decoders decide how to handle the various file formats, before passing data on to Xine for playback. These decoders are optimised for various CPU extensions. Xine uses libraries from other projects such as liba52, libmpeg2, FFmpeg, libmad, FaaD2, and Ogle, and gets binary Windows codecs from w32codecs.
The player comes with a graphical UI and there are lots of other front-ends as well. Using the intuitive UI, you can select files available locally or on various optical media. You can also play streams and access files over Samba shares.
Xine can be controlled entirely using the keyboard, and every option is also accessible via the right-click context menu. It'll also follow your orders via a LIRC-compatible infrared remote and can pipe output to multiple monitors via the now-deprecated Xinerama.
One of the best features about Xine is that it automatically tries to correct sync issues with damaged videos, and does a pretty good job of it. It's also got a self-diagnostic script that you can run if you have trouble with video playback. Like its peers, Xine has elaborate configuration options.
Verdict Xine Version: 188.8.131.52
Price: Free under GPL
For users who need a polished yet powerful GUI that offers complete control at the click of a button.