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MPlayer is a powerful command-line media player.

MPlayer is not very actively maintained anymore, but still alive. However, its fork MPV is active and it comes with some extra features too.


USE flags

USE flags for media-video/mplayer Media Player for Linux

a52 Enable support for decoding ATSC A/52 streams used in DVD global
aalib Add support for media-libs/aalib (ASCII-Graphics Library) global
altivec Add support for optimizations for G4 and G5/ppc970 processors global
aqua Include support for the Mac OS X Aqua (Carbon/Cocoa) GUI global
bl Blinkenlights video output local
bluray Enable playback of Blu-ray filesystems local
bs2b Enable Bauer stereophonic-to-binaural headphone filter local
cddb Access cddb servers to retrieve and submit information about compact disks global
cdio Use libcdio for CD support (instead of cdparanoia) local
cdparanoia Enable cdparanoia (audio CD ripper) support global
cpudetection Enables runtime CPU detection (useful for binpkgs, compatibility on other CPUs) local
dga Add DGA (Direct Graphic Access) support for X global
dts Enable DTS Coherent Acoustics decoder support global
dv Enable support for a codec used by many camcorders global
dvb Add support for DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting) global
dvdnav Use forked libdvdnav, navigate menus in GUIs local
enca Enables support for charset discovery and conversion local
faac Use external faac library for AAC encoding local
faad Use external faad library for AAC decoding local
ftp Add FTP (File Transfer Protocol) support global
ggi Add support for media-libs/libggi (non-X video api/drivers) global
ladspa Enable the ability to support ladspa plugins global
libass SRT/SSA/ASS (SubRip / SubStation Alpha) subtitle support global
libcaca Add support for colored ASCII-art graphics global
libmpeg2 Build support for mpeg2 over media-libs/libmpeg2 rather than using ffmpeg. local
live Enables streaming media support local
lzo Enable support for lzo compression global
md5sum Enables md5sum video output local
mng MNG input support local
nas Add support for network audio sound global
network Enables network streaming support local
nut Enables support for the NUT container format local
openal Add support for the Open Audio Library global
opengl Add support for OpenGL (3D graphics) global
osdmenu Enables support for on-screen display (OSD) menus local
png Add support for libpng (PNG images) global
pnm Add PNM video output option, to create PPM/PGM/PGMYUV images local
pvr Enable Video4Linux2 MPEG PVR local
radio Enable V4L2 radio interface and support local
rar Enable Unique RAR File Library local
rtc Enables usage of the linux real time clock. The alternative is software emulation of rtc local
rtmp Enables RTMPDump Streaming Media support local
shm Enable support for shm local
speex Add support for the speex audio codec (used for speech) global
tga Enables Targa video output local
theora Add support for the Theora Video Compression Codec global
toolame Enable toolame MPEG-2 encoding local
tremor Enable internal support for Vorbis local
twolame Enable twolame MPEG-2 encoding local
unicode Add support for Unicode global
vcd Enables VCD support local
vdpau Enable the Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix acceleration interface global
vidix Support for vidix video output local
vorbis Add support for the OggVorbis audio codec global
x264 Enable h264 encoding using x264 global
xinerama Add support for querying multi-monitor screen geometry through the Xinerama API global
xv Add in optional support for the Xvideo extension (an X API for video playback) global
xvid Add support for's open-source mpeg-4 codec global
xvmc Enables X-Video Motion Compensation support local
yuv4mpeg Enables yuv4mpeg video output local
zoran Enables ZR360[56]7/ZR36060 video output local


Install media-video/mplayer:

root #emerge --ask media-video/mplayer


GUI tools

There are a number of different GUI's for MPlayer with different levels of functionality. Some notable ones include:


Streaming videos from websites

MPlayer has the ability to stream videos from websites. As a prerequisite, media-video/ffmpeg must have the openssl and gnutls USE flags enabled. To do this, simply enter the command:

user $mplayer url

Where url is the URL of the video.


Disable screensaver while playing a video

Using qdbus (Qt/KDE):

FILE ~/.mplayer/config
heartbeat-cmd="qdbus org.freedesktop.ScreenSaver /ScreenSaver SimulateUserActivity"

For systems using xscreensaver alone:

FILE ~/.mplayer/config
heartbeat-cmd="xscreensaver-command -deactivate >&- 2>&- &"

See this FAQ entry for more informations.


My video won't play!

MPlayer uses USE flags to enable and disable support for various codecs. If a particular type of file will not play in MPlayer, first check which USE flags MPlayer was emerged with. Update the USE flags to support for the format you are trying to play and recompile.