Saturday, 27 May 2006, michuk
MPlayer is a standalone console program which can use different ways to output the video (it doesn’t even require the X server to be running). It can be used in a traditional way as well as using a graphical frontend – GMPlayer which is a modern, configurable multimedia player.
MPlayer can play almost everything: audio, video, different multimedia streams, as well as DVD-s and cable TV (if the TV-card is configured). Mplayer is also very configurable. Some of the key options of the program are:
- Fantastic speed – it’s the leader in this category amongst all multimedia players (of all operating systems), it can play DivX movies even on some very old hardware like Pentium II 300Mhz
- Skins – if we don’t like the default looks of GMplayer we can always use a different skin
- Different output options (using the X-server, SDL or even pure output to VGA, without X)
- Subtitles support – with different fonts, sizes and localtion (i.e. below or above the displayed video)
- ASCII mode using the aalib output – a very interesting effect
- It can play all the commercial and free formats, including RealVideo, QuickTime and WMA) thanks to the mplayer-codecs package
- It plays DVDs and VCDs. Unfortunalety, in stable version ther’s still no support for DVD menus (it’s available in the devel version). For the time being, Xine is the better choice for DVD playback.
- Support for a remote control (using lirc)
- Intuitive navigation using keyborad (arrow keys, PgUp, PgDn, space for pause and lots of other shortcuts)
MPlayer has its weaknesses as well. The user interface isn’t a killer (although it’s fast and functional). Configuration can be tricky (especially things like setting national charsets for the subtitles) but almost everything is possible
GeexBox – a multimedia LiveCD uses MPlayer as its key component. It’s a nice way to have a somewhat portable video player supporting all the major codecs (it’s a real pain to get some codecs to work on friends’ computers).
More about MPlayer:
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