MPlayer

MPlayer is a small, fast and lightweight, cross-platform Open Source media player (with focus on Video). It is able to play many different formats without requiring additional codecs. In general, it is a command line player and tool (but there are GUIs, for sure).

Installation

Ubuntu

10.04 Lucid and above

Simply install the following package(s):

After installation, you can start the program on the command line via mplayer.

There are some additional packages, providing special functionality:

  • mplayer-skin-blue (multiverse) – Recommended default GUI. If installed, you can start the program by clicking “Applications→Sound & Video→GNOME MPlayer”.
  • gecko-mediaplayer (multiverse) – Plugin to use MPlayer for playing videos within Firefox.1)
  • mplayer-fonts (multiverse) – Additional fonts for subtitles and the On-Screen-Display (OSD)
  • mplayer-doc (multiverse) – Offline Documentation in English.

Windows

XP and above

Simply download the Windows installer (→“Binaries”) and execute it with administrator privileges. The binary “MPlayer SVN Windows with SMPlayer GUI” is recommended for common usage cause it ships MPlayer with a useful GUI. “MPlayer SVN Windows” brings the command line tool only.

Tips and tricks

Download video streams

Open a terminal and run mplayer with the -dumpstream and -dumpfile parameter. Example:

mplayer mms://example.com/stream.wmv -dumpstream -dumpfile ~/local-path-where-you-want-to-store-example.wmv

This should work for all supported streaming formats.

See also

1) I recommend this even for VLC users to play video in Ubuntu's Firefox. I'm no MPlayer fanboy, but the browser-plugin is far better than the VLC one. It does not have the “waiting for video” issue on 64bit systems, is more stable and faster.
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