A crucial step in delivering media using the MPEG-DASH streaming protocol is to test your MPD streams and playlists using a MPEG-DASH player (also referred to as an mpd video player). These players are typically hosted in a webpage (HTML) and you can generally go to these websites, enter the URL of your MPD file/playlist and press play. If everything goes well, the video will playback, and if not, you can inspect the error messages to debug your MPEG-DASH MPD files.
Note: if you are new to streaming, then read our beginner’s articles on VOD, ABR, and use our repository of free MPEG-DASH streams (mpd) to brush up your knowledge (What is ABR Video Streaming?, What is OTT?)
If you know of any other MPEG-DASH/mpd players that we should add to this list, then let us know and we’ll get in touch!
Interested in MPEG-DASH and video streaming? You’ll be interested in these articles for sure!
Without further ado, here is our list of free MPEG-DASH/mpd players to test your mpd streams online. And note, that this list is in no particular order!
The DASH.js reference player is one of the best MPEG-DASH online players to play your mpd files for free, in my opinion. It comes with a very simple-to-use interface and provides you with a ton of handy and critical information to debug your streams.
It provides handy information such as buffer levels, tells you which renditions are being used, gives you a timeline of all the statistics, and much more! It is powered by the open-source dash.js player and is continually updated to the latest version so that you can always use the latest to debug your mpd streams.
An excellent option to test your MPEG-DASH mpd streams is Bitmovin’s free test player. Bitmovin is a media company that powers the world’s largest OTT online video providers with their suite of Encoding, Player, and Analytics products. Their video players are top-rated and robust across HTML, Android, iOS, and other streaming platforms. They also won a Technology and Engineering Emmy award in 2020!
To test mpd streams, Bitmovin provides a free mpd testing player here. This is what the settings panel in Bitmovin’s free online player looks like –
The really nice part about Bitmovin’s testing player is that you can test four different protocols using the same player – HLS, MPEG-DASH, Microsoft Smooth Streaming, and even Progressive files (not using ABR video streaming).
You can also schedule up to 3 ads in your playback, and this simplifies the testing of ad-insertion (also known as AVOD. Read more about AVOD in our explainer post). Bitmovin’s free player also provides statistics on the player’s buffer levels and bitrates requested over the playback period.
THEOPlayer is another popular video player software company that’s won several awards for its video playback technology. They have excellent video players (HLS, DASH, MSS, etc.) for the web (HTML), Android, iOS, and other streaming platforms.
THEOPlayer has a free MPEG-DASH HTML player that you can use for free to test your MPEG-DASH streams. Here is what the interface looks like. You have to enter the URL of your MPEG-DASH stream (mpd file) and click on the big, yellow button for the player to play it back.
THEOPlayer’s demo player provides a bunch of useful information next to the video itself that is useful in keep track of the playback and debugging issues if they arise. There is also some information below the player that talks about the different player events being sent, and the active audio and video tracks (i.e., what is being played back).
Another cool feature of THEOPlayer’s demo player is the option to use DRM while testing. This is very useful, indeed, as DRM is a critical part of the video delivery pipeline.
JWPlayer is a top-rated video streaming platform that also provides stand-alone video players across a wide range of streaming platforms. They also provide a free MPEG-DASH mpd online player for testing mpd files. JWPlayer’s free MPEG-DASH player also lets you test different DRMs such as Widevine, PlayReady, Fairplay, and ClearKey DRM.
All you need to do is enter the URL of your mpd/DASH manifest and you can start testing.
NexPlayer is a provider of video playback technology and has over 15 years of experience in video streaming and playback of HLS and MPEG-DASH across all devices! NexPlayer provides a fantastic free online MPEG-DASH player for testing mpd files. It comes with many options, such as testing your stream with DRM, Ad Insertion, and testing Low-Latency streams and 360/VR streams.
The user interface is very simple to use and is packed with options! All you need to do is enter the URL of your stream and then choose either the DRM or Ad Insertion options (if you want to) and then go!
There are so many ad insertion options in NexPlayer’s free online mpd player as seen below. Great, huh?
Akamai is a top-rated and famous CDN provider, and they also provide a free MPEG-DASH video player for stream validation and testing. This also ranks as one of the best free online mpd players. Here is the URL of the Akamai mpd testing player.
Below is a screenshot of their interface. Right off the bat, you have two options. You can provide your own mpd stream URL or choose from one of Akamai’s pre-built MPEG-DASH mpd streams.
When you hit “Play Stream,” the video begins to playback, and Akamai’s player provides you with a lot of useful information. You can see the segment information and the bitrates in the mpd files.
Advanced information provided by the Akamai video player
All of this information and statistics makes the Akamai player one of our favorite players to use for testing mpd streams online.
That’s it, folks!
With that, we come to the end of our round-up of the best free online MPEG-DASH players to test your mpd streams.
Do you have a favorite that you prefer? Which one is it? Do let us know in the comments section and until next time, take care and happy streaming!