How to build a video player application using React Native?

If you are using the React Native framework for a while[1] , you must know that React Native can be used for cross-platform app building criteria. Moreover, the support of third-party React libraries by the framework is what makes them more popular. Here, we will learn how to use a particular React Native package and build a video player application with less coding.

Before starting with the prime segment of the blog, let’s discuss the pre-required criteria.


What is the pre-required knowledge?

As we have already discussed, you need the React Native framework to build the project. So for any app development framework, you should set the environment of the same framework. A similar case is applicable to the React Native framework. First, you have to set up the environment. For this, you need software like Node.js, Android Studio, and a Code editor. Here, I am using Visual Code Editor. Also, in this current project, I will use Expo CLI, a React Native app-building tool. There are other software that you have to consider for Expo CLI while undertaking the setup steps.

You also have to learn the basics of the app development process using the RN framework. This will give you a fair idea of how the app-building procedures are executed. You will learn about the React Native components and creating objects. If you are confused about finding a reliable learning resource, you can look for a free YouTube tutorial easily available on the can also take assistance from a reliable React Native app development company.


Embedding expo-av package in the current project

This is the section that I want to emphasize as it is the most significant. It is due to third-party library support that building an app simplified. You don’t have to design components. If it is already available in any libraries other than the native React Native library, you can simply import the required component and use it further in your application.

However, before importing the components, you have to get the library.

So, for the current case, you have to install the expo-avlibrary using the npx statement. Using this library, you can get both the Video and Audio components. Since you want to build a video player application, you have to use the Video component from the library.

Now, let’s understand how you can install this package and embed it into your project.

Create a terminal from your app. You can do this from the Visual code editor.

Pass npx expo install expo-av.

It will install and automatically link the expo-av package with the project you want to develop.


Framing the app.js folder

We will start the codebase by introducing the required components of React Native. You can do this by using the import statement. Refer to image 1.


The asterisk mark * in the first line implies all the components. So, basically, the code imports all React Native components from the react library. Next up, you have to import Button, StyleSheet, and View components from react-native library.

Lastly, get the Video component from expo-av. As you have already installed the expo-av in your project, you can import and use the Video component further.

As you can see in the code snippet in image 2, specify a function named App. Also, use the export statement to make the App function available in other folders or files. However, while using this App function in other files, you have to import the same and give the storage path of the component.

Here, useRef and useState are React Native hooks. useRef is used to build the required video element and also a reference to the same element. It is later used to access and control this video element.

On the other hand, useState React Native hook is used to hold the video status. It introduces status, a state variable. Using setStatus in the codebase will allow you to track the video status, i.e., whether the video is playing or it is paused.


The code syntax is designed in a way to present the video on the screen. A specific video source is attached to the code. It is in mp4 format. You can change the video playing on the video player app by adding a different mp4 file source. The Component Video is nested into the View.

The code uses a property useNativeControl to activate the native controls. This means that the user can use the volume up and down button, and pause and play button on their device. The value of resizeMode is ‘contain’. This means that the media player is designed in a way that it will fit in the main container of the Video component.

The code indicates that the video playing on the screen will be looped every time it ends. Lastly, the prop onPlaybackStatusUpdate is used to track the video status.

As you can see in image 6, it is about styling the object buttons, video, and container. You have to use the Stylesheet component for this. The styling element used for the container is flex, backgroundColor,and justifyContent. On the other hand, for video, the styling elements such as height, width, and alignSelf are used. Lastly, I have used alignItems, justifyContent and flexDirection for the video object.

Congratulations, you have built the project and now you have to run the applications.


How to run the Video player application?

This segment comprises a few steps. You have to pass two commands. Create an app terminal. Open the code editor from your app and click on the terminal to create a new one.

Run npm install and then npx react-native run-android. After some time, your virtual device will be activated.

Refer to image 7 for the app output on my virtual device.

This is a part of the video scene of the mp4 file I have provided in the codebase.

Now play with the app. Use the pause/play button to change the status of the video.

Creating an app using React native framework is not that complicated. What it takes is the correct approach and basic understanding to start with.

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