I would like to hear experiences with other media player "channels" for Roku. The Roku-supplied app is "adequate" and plays media from a USB drive, but are there apps that are more like Black Player (an Android app) or WInamp (A Windows media player from back in the day) ? In other words, a different user interface than the files-and-folders UI of the Roku Media Player?
PLEASE: do not muddy the discussion with your dislikes, or discovery of bugs, if any, related to RMP. I'm trying to learn more about other apps, if they exist. Thanks.
They are in the Apps category: https://channelstore.roku.com/browse/apps
That's where Roku Media Player is, as well as Emby, Plex, Jellyfin, and other apps. There is other stuff that's not what you're after, but what you're after should be in there. Personally, I use Plex.
EDIT: I stand corrected. You and @atc98092 are right. I mis-read, even though you clearly stated your requirements, I did not give you an answer to your question. Any such apps would be in that category, but I can't say with certainty which will play as you asked.
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Thanks. I was aware of Plex but I thought it only played streams from my home network? Right now my entertainment devices are not on my computer network, and vice versa
Correct, Plex will only play media streamed from a Plex server. It can't connect to a USB drive connected to the Roku. It's been so long since I've played with Emby I can't remember if it will play from a USB drive, but I'm thinking it too is only for server streaming. There's one other player app I can think of that will play video from a connected USB drive, and it's called Chaneru. I used to help the developer long ago, but then RMP because more practical to stream from my DLNA server. I'm not certain how well supported Chaneru is any longer, as it still seems to be the same version from many years ago.
I am aware of a few other USB drive players, but I believe they are all music only, and can't play video files.
The reason a central server might make more sense is that it provides a single source that can be accessed by every playback device on your network. Using my Serviio DLNA server, I can stream to all of my Smart TVs, Roku devices, and any other media streaming player on my home network. It might be worth the effort to build a main media server, and it doesn't have to be an expensive computer that runs it.
Thanks. I was aware of Plex but I thought it only played streams from my home network?
I'm currently in a hotel more than 1000 miles from home, but I use Plex to watch my media as if my server was here with me. That is the primary reason I still have Plex on my media server, the remote access. You can naturally get higher quality when the server and the Roku are on the same network, as your network speed would be much faster than your Internet speed, with a few exceptions of course. My home Internet is 800 Mbps down, but only 25 Mbps up, so I can't stream out of my network at the full bitrate of any of my HD/UHD content. But since I'm usually only on a hotel TV that's around 40", I don't miss the quality.