MPlayer

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MPlayer is a popular movie player for GNU/Linux. It has support for most video and audio formats and is thus highly versatile, even if it is mostly used for viewing videos.

Installation

Various flavours of MPlayer can be installed from the official repositories or from the AUR:

  • MPlayer — Official package
https://mplayerhq.hu/ || mplayer

Notable variants are:

  • MPlayer-VAAPI — VAAPI-enabled version
http://gitorious.org/vaapi/mplayer || mplayer-vaapiAUR
  • MPlayer-svn — Development version
|| mplayer-svnAUR
  • MPlayer2 — Fork of MPlayer
http://www.mplayer2.org/ || mplayer2AUR
Note: mplayer2 development seems to be ceased in favour of mpv, which is focused on speed and quality of development, though this breaks compatibility with old hardware and software. Be aware of its differences if you want to use it.

Frontends/GUIs

  • GNOME MPlayer — Simple GTK+-based GUI for MPlayer.
http://kdekorte.googlepages.com/gnomemplayer || gnome-mplayer
  • KPlayer — Multimedia player for KDE4 using mplayer as a backend.
http://kplayer.sourceforge.net/ || kplayerAUR
  • KMPlayer — Video player plugin for Konqueror and basic MPlayer/Xine/ffmpeg/ffserver/VDR frontend for KDE.
http://kmplayer.kde.org/ || kmplayer
  • Rosa Media Player — Multimedia player based on SMPlayer with clean and elegant UI.
http://www.rosalab.com/ || rosa-media-playerAUR[broken link: archived in aur-mirror]
  • SMPlayer — Qt multimedia player with extra features (CSS themes, YouTube integration, etc.).
http://smplayer.sourceforge.net/ || smplayer

Browser integration

If you want to let MPlayer control video viewing in your favorite web browser, install one of the following plugins for your browser.

Firefox

A browser plugin is available in the official repositories with the gecko-mediaplayer package.

Note: It depends on gnome-mplayer, which provides a complete frontend to MPlayer.

Konqueror

A plugin for Konqueror can be found in the AUR with the kmplayer package.

Note: kmplayer also provides a complete frontend to MPlayer.

Chromium

The gecko-mediaplayer plugin for Firefox also works in Chromium.

Configuration

System-wide configuration files are located in the /etc/mplayer/, whereas the user-local settings are stored in ~/.mplayer/ directory. The default files in the /etc/mplayer/ are:

  • codecs.conf - Contains configuration of codecs.
  • example.conf - Is an example of mplayer.conf, which is not automatically created after installation.
  • input.conf - Contains configuration of a hotkeys.

In the ~/.mplayer/ by default created a file with a name config.

See also: Example MPlayer configuration file, man mplayer.

Key bindings

System key bindings are configured via /etc/mplayer/input.conf. Personal key bindings are stored in ~/.mplayer/input.conf. For a complete list of keyboard shortcuts look at man mplayer.

See also: XF86 keyboard symbols

Tips and tricks

Automatic resuming from where you left off

To get this behavior, you can install the mplayer-resumerAUR package from the AUR. The package contains a Perl wrapper script for MPlayer which will allow you to autoresume playback from the point it was last stopped.

To use it, simply call the wrapper script in place of MPlayer:

$ mplayer-resumer options path/to/file

If this script is restarted within a short amount of time after closing MPayer (default 5 seconds) then it will delete the file used to keep track of the videos resume position, effectively starting the video from the beginning.

If the video file to be played is on a read-only filesystem, or otherwise lives in a location that cannot be written to, resume will fail. This is because the current implementation uses a file parallel to the video file to store the timecode.

Hardware acceleration

See Hardware video acceleration.

Enabling VDPAU

Using a configuration file

Append the following to either the system-wide (/etc/mplayer/mplayer.conf) or user-specific (~/.mplayer/config) configuration files:

vo=vdpau,
vc=ffh264vdpau,ffmpeg12vdpau,ffodivxvdpau,ffwmv3vdpau,ffvc1vdpau,ffhevcvdpau
Note:
  • The trailing commas are important! They tell MPlayer to fall back on other drivers and codecs should the specified ones not be found.
  • -vo option selects VDPAU video output driver, -vc option selects VDPAU video codecs.
Warning: The ffodivxvdpau codec is only supported by the most recent series of NVIDIA hardware. Consider omitting it based on your specific hardware. See the NVIDIA page[broken link: invalid section] for more information.
Using a wrapper script

Tango-edit-cut.pngThis section is being considered for removal.Tango-edit-cut.png

Reason: None of the following (or similar) packages are available anymore, and haven't been for quite a long time now. (Discuss in Talk:MPlayer#)

The AUR contains a trivial Bash script called mplayer-vdpau-autoAUR[broken link: archived in aur-mirror] that detects which video codec to use and when to use VDPAU as the video output.

Another simple wrapper is mplayer-vdpau-shell-gitAUR[broken link: archived in aur-mirror], which can recover from a VDPAU FATAL error. This wrapper uses the "-include" option to include a VDPAU configuration, so it will ignore any VDPAU specific settings in your ~/.mplayer/config file.

Enabling VA-API

This requires mplayer-vaapiAUR from the AUR.

$ mplayer -vo vaapi -va vaapi foobar.mpeg
  • -vo - Select vaapi video output driver
  • -va - Select vaapi video decoder driver

MPlayer based players:

  • gnome-mplayer: To enable hardware acceleration: Edit > Preferences > Player, then set Video Output to vaapi.
  • smplayer: To enable hardware acceleration: Options > Preferences > General > Video, then set Output driver to vaapi.

Translucent video with Radeon cards and Composite enabled

To get translucent video output in X you have to enable textured video in MPlayer:

$ mplayer -vo xv:adaptor=1 file

Or add the following line to ~/.mplayer/config:

vo=xv:adaptor=1

You can use xvinfo to check which video modes your graphic card supports.

Watching streamed video

If you want to play a video stream (e.g an ASX link) use:

$ mplayer -playlist link-to-stream.asx

The -playlist option is necessary because these streams are actually playlists and cannot be played without it.

DVD playing

To play a DVD with MPlayer:

$ mplayer dvd://N

where N is the desired title number. Start at 1 and work up if unsure. To start at a specific chapter use the '-chapter' flag. For example, adding '-chapter 5' to the command starts the dvd playing at chapter five of the title.

Mplayer checks /dev/dvd by default. Tell it to use /dev/sr0 with the dvd-device option at the command line, or the dvd-device variable in ~/.mplayer/config.

To play a DVD image file:

$ mplayer -dvd-device movie.iso dvd://N

To enable the DVD menu use:

$ mplayer dvdnav://
Note: You use arrow keys to navigate and the Enter key to choose.

To enable mouse support in DVD menus use:

$ mplayer -mouse-movements dvdnav://

To find the audio language, start MPlayer with the -v switch to output audio IDs. An audio track is selected with -aid audio_id. Set a default audio language by editing ~/.mplayer/config and adding the line alang=en for English.

With MPlayer, the DVD could be set to a low volume. To increase the maximum volume to 400%, use softvol=yes and softvol-max=400. The startup volume defaults to 100% of software volume and the global mixer levels will remain untouched. Using the 9 and 0 keys, volume can be adjusted between 0 and 400 percent.

alang=en
softvol=yes
softvol-max=400

DVB-T Streaming

See DVB-T for more info.

JACK support

To have MPlayer audio output directed to JACK as its default behavior, edit ~/.mplayer/config and add:

ao=jack

If you do not have JACK running all the time, you can have MPlayer output to JACK on an as-needed basis by invoking MPlayer from the command line as such:

$ mplayer -ao jack path/to/file

Advanced Subtitles

In order to get Advanced SubStation Alpha (ass) or SubStation Alpha (ssa) formatted subtitles to display properly you need to either edit ~/.mplayer/config and add:

ass=true

or add -ass to the command line:

$ mplayer -ass path/to/subtitledVideo.mkv

One possible indication of needing to enable this flag is if you get numbers appearing with your subtitles. This is caused by the positioning information being interpreted as something to be displayed. Mplayer will also complain about subtitles being either too long or having too many lines.

Enabling ass also enables any embedded fonts. As per the note in the mplayer's man adding embeddedfonts=true is unneeded if fontconfig is version 2.4.2 or newer. Fontconfig will also be used to select which font to use when there are no embedded fonts. This may result in a different font being used than the OSD subtitle renderer.

Internet radio

Here is an example of a script for an easy start/stop of playing a predefined radio station. [1]

#!/bin/bash
XX="X"$1;
PLAYIT='mplayer  -loop 0 -playlist http://*.*.*.*:8000/listen.pls';

if [ "$XX" == "Xstop" ]; then
  killall mplayer;
else
  if [ 'EX' == 'EX'"$(pidof mplayer)" ]; then
    if [ "$UID" -ne 0 ]; then 
      nohup $PLAYIT &> /dev/null & disown;
    else 
      echo The "root" user is not allowed to run this script.
    fi
  else
    echo mplayer is already running by user: $(ps -eo user,comm | grep -i "mplayer"$ | sed 's/ mplayer/,/m') | sed "s/ ,$/./m";
  fi
fi

For more details on a running mplayer instance:

$ ps -eo pcpu,pid,user,comm | grep -i "mplayer"$ | sed  "s/ mplayer$//m"

Troubleshooting

MPlayer fails to open files with spaces

MPlayer can fail to open a file with spaces (e.g. 'The Movie') by saying that it could not open the file file:///The%20Movie (where all spaces are converted to %20). This can be fixed by editing /usr/share/applications/mplayer.desktop to changing the following line from:

Exec=mplayer %U

to:

Exec=mplayer "%F"

If you use a frontend/GUI for MPlayer, enter its name in Exec=gui_name "%F".

MPlayer has black or strange colored font for OSD and Subtitles

There appears to be an issue with OSD and Subtitle colors when using vdpau output, which mplayer may be using by default. You can get around this issue by using xv instead of vdpau:

As a command line option:

mplayer -vo xv

Adding the following line to your ~/.mplayer/config file:

vo=xv

See the original forums thread for details.

SMPlayer: No video issue

SMPlayer may have trouble opening some MP4 (and probably FLV) videos. If it plays only audio without any video, a possible fix is to add the following lines to your ~/.mplayer/config file:

[extension.mp4]
demuxer=mov

If problem persists after doing so, it is because SMPlayer is keeping settings for that specific file. Deleting the settings for all the files that SMPlayer is keeping will solve this problem:

$ rm -rf ~/.config/smplayer/file_settings

SMPlayer: fail to resume playback after pause

SMPlayer might stop playing a video after pausing it if your audio output driver is incorrectly set. You can fix this by specifically setting your audio driver. For example, if you use PulseAudio, this can be done by starting MPlayer with the -ao pulse argument or by adding the following to your ~/.mplayer/config file:

ao=pulse

You can also change this from SMPlayer by going to Options > Preferences > General > Audio and setting the Output Driver option to pulse.

SMPlayer: no video when using transparency in GNOME

This problem may arise under GNOME when using Compiz to provide transparency: SMPlayer starts with a transparent screen with audio playing, but no video. To fix this, create (as root) a file with the contents:

/usr/local/bin/smplayer.helper
export XLIB_SKIP_ARGB_VISUALS=1
exec smplayer.real "$@"

Then do the following:

# chmod 755 /usr/local/bin/smplayer.helper
# ln -sf /usr/local/bin/smplayer.helper /usr/local/bin/smplayer

SMPlayer: OSD font too big / subtitle text too small

Since SMPlayer 0.8.2.1 (with MPlayer2 20121128-1), the ratio of the subtitle font to the OSD font is very strange. This can result in the OSD text filling the whole screen while the subtitles are very small and unreadable. This problem can be solved by adding:

-subfont-osd-scale 2

or to the extra options passed to MPlayer from SMPlayer. These options are found in Options > Preferences > Advanced > Options for MPlayer. This can also be achieved by adding the following line to ~/.mplayer/config:

subfont-osd-scale=2

Mplayer shows question marks for some characters on subtitle

If the codepage of the subtitles is utf8, try using:

-subcp utf8

You can find the codepage of the subtitles with:

file subtitles.srt

See mplayer-shows-question-marks-for-some-characters-on-subtitle.

Choppy audio CD playback

CDDA playback may be interrupted every few seconds as the CDROM spins down the CD. To get around this you need to cache or buffer in advance using the -cache option:

mplayer cdda://:1 -cache 1024

The :1 is to lower the CDROM speed for a constant spin and less noise.

See also