mpv is a movie player based on mplayer and mplayer2. It supports a wide variety of video file formats, audio and video codecs, and subtitle types. A comprehensive (although admittedly incomplete) list of differences between mpv and the aforementioned players can be found here.
- 1 Installation
- 2 Configuration
- 3 Tips and Tricks
- 3.1 Hardware Decoding
- 3.2 High quality video output
- 3.3 Automatically resuming from where you left off
- 3.4 Volume is too low
- 3.5 Quickly cycle between multiple aspect ratio
- 3.6 Drawing to a root window
- 3.7 Always show GUI
- 3.8 Use as a browser plugin
- 3.9 Improving mpv as a music player with Lua scripts
- 3.10 Twitch.tv streaming over mpv
- 3.11 youtube-dl and choosing formats
- 4 Vapoursynth
mpv provides an elegant User Interface called OSC which appears when moving the mouse. To ease casual users, other graphical interfaces exist:
- Baka MPlayer — Free and open source, cross-platform, libmpv based multimedia player (Qt 5).
- bomi — Powerful and easy to use multimedia player (Qt 5).
- https://bomi-player.github.io/ || AUR, AUR
- GNOME MPV — A simple frontend for mpv (GTK+ 3).
- https://github.com/gnome-mpv/gnome-mpv/ || AUR, AUR
- SMPlayer — Qt multimedia player with extra features (CSS themes, YouTube integration, etc.) (Qt 5).
- xt7-player-mpv — Qt/Gambas gui to mpv with a rich set of configurable options including filters and drivers, ladspa plugins support as well as library/playlist managment, youtube, online radios, podcasts, dvb-t and more.
mpv's configuration is read from the files
input.conf (key bindings), and
lua-settings/osc.conf (on screen display). For a full list of options, see the man page or the github docs options.rst, input.rst, and osc.rst.
If the environment variable
XDG_CONFIG_HOME is not set, user configuration files will be read from the
~/.config/mpv directory. System-wide configuration files are read from the
Copying the following into
~/.config/mpv/input.conf will add a number of useful keybindings to mpv such as rotating video 90 degrees, zooming and panning.
Alt+RIGHT add video-rotate 90 Alt+LEFT add video-rotate -90 Alt+- add video-zoom -0.25 Alt+= add video-zoom 0.25 Alt+j add video-pan-x -0.05 Alt+l add video-pan-x 0.05 Alt+i add video-pan-y 0.05 Alt+k add video-pan-y -0.05
Tips and Tricks
Unlike mplayer and mplayer2, mpv has both VA-API and VDPAU support built-in. To enable it, run mpv with the
--hwdec='method' option. You can find list of all available methods looking for
--hwdec=<api> in man page
mpv (1). To make this persistent, add the line
hwdec=method to your configuration file. When hardware decoding is used, the video output should be set to
vdpau (if using
vo=vaapi is not recommended for use anymore . If hardware decoding cannot be used, mpv will automatically fall back to software decoding. See options.rst and vo.rst for more information.
High quality video output
opengl-hq video output is an OpenGL output preconfigured with various options by the mpv developers. To make use of it, specify it in your configuration file.
This comes with a GLSL debanding filter by default, which may lead to bad performance for some users, and can reduce the visual quality of grainy content. You can disable it easily though.
Automatically resuming from where you left off
The default key to quit mpv, saving the video's current position and state, is
Shift+q. This key can be changed by adding the
quit_watch_later string in the key bindings configuration file.
To always automatically save the current playback position on quit, start mpv with a flag
--save-position-on-quit. To make option permanent, add line
save-position-on-quit to configuration file.
Volume is too low
softvol-max=value in your configuration file to a reasonable amount, such as
softvol-max=600. Additionally (or alternatively), you can utilize dynamic range compression with
Quickly cycle between multiple aspect ratio
You can cycle between aspect ratios using
Shift+a from version 0.8.0 onwards.
Drawing to a root window
Run mpv with
--wid=0 file.mp4. This tells mpv to draw onto a window with a window ID of 0.
Always show GUI
It may be useful to always show the GUI window, even for audio files, especially when mpv is not started from terminal. This can be done by using
Use as a browser plugin
Browser plugins#Video players workarounds page shows other easy ways to watch videos.
Improving mpv as a music player with Lua scripts
The development of mpv's Lua scripts are documented in DOCS/man/lua.rst and examples are shown in TOOLS/lua of the mpv repository. This blog post introduces the music.lua script, which shows how Lua scripts can be used to improve mpv as a music player.
Twitch.tv streaming over mpv
Ifis installed, mpv can directly open a Twitch livestream.
Alternatively, Livestreamer#Twitch.can be used to stream Twitch. See
Another alternative based on Livestreamer is this Lua script: https://gist.github.com/ChrisK2/8701184fe3ea7701c9cc
youtube-dl and choosing formats
bestvideo+bestaudio/besŧ. For youtube videos that have 4K resolutions available, this may mean that your device will struggle to decode 4K VP9 encoded video in software even if the attached monitor is much lower resolution.
Setting the right youtube-dl format selectors can fix this easily though. In the following configuration example, only videos with a vertical resolution of 1080 pixels or less will be considered.
If you wish to avoid a certain codec altogether because you cannot hardware-decode it, you can add this to the format selector. For example, we can additionally choose to ignore VP9 as follows:
Vapoursynth is an alternative to AviSynth that can be used on Linux and allows for Video manipulation via python scripts. Vapoursynths python scripts can be used as video filters for mpv.
To use vapoursynth filters you have to install the
vapoursynth package and compile mpv with the
--enable-vapoursynth build flag.
To use the f3k_db debanding filter installAUR and write a python script that uses the vapoursynth extension.
The following sample script can be used to enable debanding in mpv.
import vapoursynth as vs core = vs.get_core() clip = video_in clip = core.std.Trim(clip, first=0, length=500000) clip = core.f3kdb.Deband(clip, grainy=0, grainc=0, output_depth=16) clip.set_output()
Finally specify the python script in the config file or use a command line argument when executing mpv.
mpv --vf=vapoursynth=f3k_db.py <video_file>