How to Install MPlayer


Allows for use of the X11 video output driver, required if using options like “-fs, -novm, wraparound and fontconfig”.

Extends the display to full screen – useful when using an X screensaver.

Provides information about which format to use (‘le’ for little-endian, ‘be’ for big-endian and ‘ne’ for neo-endian). This option only makes sense with MPlayer built using libavformat.


MPlayer offers an abundance of features that make it a comprehensive media player. It supports all the main video and audio codecs used by Libav (MPEG-4, Xvid and PCM), all common audio codecs and formats and RTSP streaming as well as subtitling options (MicroDVD SubRip OGM Sami and Sami subtitles, decoding DVD audio track audio; also DVD subtitles (MicroDVD SubRip SubRip OGM Sami), subtitling features (MicroDVD SubRip OGM Sami), subtitles (MicroDVD SubRip OGM and Sami), DVD audio decoding; also contains complete filter system that performs various transformations – such as cropping/scaling/cropping horizontal/vertical mirroring/flipping to create letterboxes; postprocessing; hue/saturation autolevel noise reduction as well as several ways of de-interlacing and reversing telecine de-interlacing and reversing telecine de-interlacing/reversing de-interlacing and reverse telecine).

It features an attractive onscreen display to show status information, large antialiased shaded subtitles and visual feedback for keyboard controls. It can display up to four subtitle tracks simultaneously and can read them both from standard file formats as well as its own internal format. Furthermore, this software supports many fonts including European/ISO8859-1,2 and Cyrillic fonts, as well as providing an unexpectedly sophisticated text viewer capable of scrolling and highlighting currently selected text as well as offering an advanced character map function.

Multiple graphic output drivers are supported, including SDL-based output for hardware acceleration as well as more traditional XVideo. Users can select which display device MPlayer will use when rendering its output; you can even force packed YUV output if more efficient in certain circumstances; additionally, with the -fs option they can force MPlayer only write out changes to shared memory buffer instead of immediately showing them; useful for slow systems.

The -geometry option sets the initial position of the video window when entering fullscreen mode, making it useful in multimonitor setups like Xinerama. You can also use it to specify a screen you would like fullscreen output to use; its default value of -1 will always use whatever screen the current video window is currently occupying.

Mac OS X users have the option to enable the Quartz video output driver for MPlayer, and to limit DVD read speed as necessary – by default 1350KB/s is supported; higher values may also be available depending on your drive’s capabilities.

Supported Formats

MPlayer can play various media formats and save streamed content directly into local files. MEncoder, its companion program, can take an input stream or sequence of picture files and transcode them into various output formats for MPlayer to play back.

An integrated video output driver with hardware acceleration capabilities. Use -vo to select it.

Optionally specify an audio device other than the default /dev/mixer as your controller device for audio control (for example master, line or pcm). For more details refer to SOUND_DEVICE_NAMES in /usr/include/linux/soundcard.h.

Establishes a resampling filter to compensate for differences between media’s sample rate and sound card output sample rate. You can customize its type with the -af-adv option.

Resampling to a specific frequency may help to reduce noise in low quality media.

Sets an explicit audio device (rather than using the default of /dev/aplay). This may help avoid issues when misconfiguring systems lead to MPlayer using an incorrect ALSA resampling filter that cannot be automatically selected by its algorithm.

Provides details for TV teletext display device selection; otherwise MPlayer will default to using its standard XVideo driver as its fallback solution.

Establishes a priority list of subtitle languages to use with an audio track. Different container formats use various language codes; DVDs use ISO 639-1 two letter codes while Matroska employs three letter codes and OGM allows a free-form identifier; should any language not available be selected first in this list then English will be chosen instead.

Overriding the A/V sync value used by the AVI parser may help fix damaged files.

Sets the MD5 sums of all frames to a specific value and writes them to an output file, helping determine which frame may be causing issues when files do not play correctly.

Force the non-interleaved AVI parser (requires MEncoder). This may help avoid A/V desync issues in certain AVI files.


MPlayer is a free and open source program available on Linux, OS X and Microsoft Windows (it also supports AmigaOS Syllable AROS and DOS operating systems), designed to play most MPEG/VOB, AVI, ASF/WMA/WMV files including Realmedia Nut FLI yuv4mpeg FILM RoQ files. MEncoder serves as its companion program allowing any input stream to be transformed and saved out in multiple output formats using transforms.

Gnutella comes with a command line interface, but there are various front-ends which utilize GTK/Qt to add GUI widgets for controlling it – most notably gtkmplayer, smplayer and kmplayer; there are also front-ends written in Python and Java that may also provide access to this software.

Most front-ends provide a user interface for controlling MPlayer using mouse and keyboard commands, however it can also be run directly from the command line without any front-ends or textual user interfaces if none exist. At its heart is a core library containing basic functionality required for decoding and playing multimedia streams complemented by plug-ins which support various codecs or add other features.

The plug-ins most critical for audio and video formats support are included with the standard distribution, while others can be downloaded from MPlayer’s website or even compiled from source and installed as separate plug-ins.

This release includes many enhancements and speedups contributed by the FFmpeg project, such as a new subtitles API, support for additional file formats and codecs (including HDV and Blu-ray), improved audio playback quality, better synchronization between sound and picture playback quality, as well as many other improvements.

Changes were also introduced into the MPlayer GUI: it now requires version 2 of GTK+ and GLib; some special GUI slave commands such as gui_* were removed along with any related keybindings; additionally -lirc_flags was introduced as an option to configure LIRC setup – this sets the FIFO size buffering key events; by default it is set at 7, which could potentially result in stuck mouse buttons.


If you experience errors or issues, use these troubleshooting steps:

Verify your system settings. Make sure that the appropriate fonts are installed, video format is compatible, kernel supports codecs you are trying to use and that ALSA is configured properly (you can do this by opening a terminal and typing “dmesg | config”) so as to obtain a list of active sound output drivers.

If you experience issues with the default ALSA driver, an alternate audio output driver may be useful. To activate it, use the -ao alsa option with MPlayer command line.

MPlayer provides support for an extensive array of output drivers, including X11, XV, DGA, OpenGL SVGAlib fbdev AAlib DirectFB as well as VESA compatible cards without X11. In addition, Matrox, 3Dfx and ATI cards typically support software or hardware scaling for full screen playback.

This version provides new formats and codes, bug fixes, cleanups, and improvements brought about by FFmpeg 1.0rc4. It should serve as a useful upgrade for distros that rely on FFmpeg 0.6.

Mencoder’s automatic skip of frames during decoding, which may resolve A-V desync in certain bad AVI files, can be disabled using -mc 0.

Enable/disable VDPAU hardware acceleration for decoding video and audio on certain cards.

MPV’s audio driver can be more complex than its ALSA OSS counterpart and requires additional configuration for optimal functionality. If you are having difficulties with MPV, consider switching to another Linux-based media player like MPV or KDE’s video player as options may exist to better meet your needs.

Ubuntu’s mplayer-gui package can sometimes be unreliable and fail to start at all, so I recommend trying an open source fork of MPlayer called MPV instead. With its improved user interface and availability in the universe repository, MPV may work better for recent Ubuntu releases than mplayer-gui. Plus it’s available for other linux distributions without access to universe and those who prefer GUI based applications!

Press ESC to close