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Distribution: Slackware (mainly) and then a lot of others...
Even I prefer media players that do not use too much resourses - I use mp3blaster and even pogo for audio. Xine is another one of the better video players but I must say vlc player here as it has the capacity to play anything thrown at it. I do not use the _latest_ version though. I prefer the default one that comes with debian 0.8.6. The bleeding edge vlc player is run as windows executable in wine .
For videos, MPlayer, or more specifically, Gnome MPlayer. Never had a problem with it so far on any of my setups, and it plays everything I throw at it.
For audio, I use Rhythmbox. I'm not really a huge music lover, so it does everything I need. I tend to listen to audio-books (.m4b) more than music, but I'm not aware of an app that would handle them any better than RB.