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MPlayer on Linux using the gMplayer frontend.
Developer(s) MPlayer team
Initial release 2000
Written in C
Platform Cross-platform
Available in English, Hungarian, Polish, Russian and Spanish
Type Media player
License GNU General Public License

MPlayer is a free and open source media player. The program is available for all major operating systems, including Linux and other Unix-like systems, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. Versions for OS/2, Syllable, AmigaOS and MorphOS are also available. The Windows version works, with some minor problems, also in DOS using HX DOS Extender. A port for DOS using DJGPP is also available.[1] A version for the Wii Homebrew Channel has also emerged.[2]

MPlayer supports a wide variety of media formats[3] and can also save all streamed content to a file.

A companion program, MEncoder, can take an input stream or file and transcode it into several different output formats, optionally applying various transforms along the way.

MPlayer is a command line application which has different optional GUI front-ends for each of its supported operating systems. Commonly used GUIs are gMplayer written in GTK+, MPlayer OS X Extended (for Mac OS X) and MPUI-hcb (for Windows). Cross-platform GUIs are also available, like SMPlayer (Windows and Linux). Several other GUI front-ends are also available for each platform.



Development of MPlayer began in 2000. The original author, Árpád Gereöffy (known as A'rpi / Astral in the demoscene), was soon joined by many other programmers. The project was started because A'rpi was unable to find any satisfactory video players for Linux after XAnim stopped development in 1999.[4] The first version was titled mpg12play v0.1 and was hacked together in a half hour using libmpeg3 from After mpg12play v0.95pre5, the code was merged with an AVI player based on avifile's Win32 DLL loader to form MPlayer v0.3 in November 2000.[5] In the beginning most developers were from Hungary, but currently the developers are located worldwide. Alex Beregszászi has maintained MPlayer since 2003 when Árpád Gereöffy left MPlayer development to begin work on a second generation MPlayer. The MPlayer G2 project is currently abandoned, and all the development effort is put on MPlayer 1.0.[6]

MPlayer was previously called "MPlayer - The Movie Player for Linux" by its developers but this was later shortened to "MPlayer - The Movie Player" after it became commonly used on multiple operating systems.

In 2004-2005, an unofficial Mac OS X port was released with higher version numbers than the official releases, called MPlayer OS X 2[1]. Later, OS X ports began to appear on the official MPlayer homepage. Because of the conflict of versioning schemes, the current official port of MPlayer for OS X, at version 1.0rc2, is actually based on newer and more stable code despite a lower version number. In 2008 MPlayer OSX Extended was created as an unofficial extension of the MPlayer OS X interface, and is currently the only OS X frontend being actively developed[2].

Supported media formats

File:MPlayer command line.png
MPlayer being run via command line in Microsoft Windows Vista.

Notably, MPlayer can not read ID3v2 tags in MP3 files.

MPlayer also supports a variety of different output drivers for displaying video, including VDPAU, the X video extension, OpenGL, DirectX, Quartz Compositor, VESA, Framebuffer, SDL and rarer ones such as ASCII art and Blinkenlights. It can also be used to display TV from a TV card using the device tv://channel, or play and capture radio channels via radio://channel|frequency.

Since version 1.0RC1, decent built-in support for the ASS/SSA subtitle format is present by the use of libass, though it still has issues rendering some languages (such as those requiring Complex text layout). A large number of these issues are caused by the outdated version of libass in the mplayer repository. Manually linking the latest version of libass fixes many of these issues.

Supported plugins

Legal issues

Most video and audio formats are supported natively through the libavcodec library of the FFmpeg project. For those formats where no open source decoder has been made yet MPlayer relies on binary codecs. It can use Windows DLLs directly with the help of a DLL loader forked from avifile (which itself forked its loader from the Wine project).

The combination of CSS decryption software and use of formats covered by software patents places a fully-functional MPlayer in the legal bind shared by most open source multimedia players. In the past MPlayer used to include OpenDivX, a GPL-incompatible decoder library. This has since been removed, making MPlayer use only GPL-Like or BSD-like licenses. Usage of patented codecs in free software however is a still pending potential problem affecting FFmpeg, MPlayer and similar software when used in countries where software patents apply.

In January 2004 the MPlayer website was updated with an allegation that the Danish DVD player manufacturer, KISS Technology, were marketing DVD players with firmware that included parts of MPlayer's GPL-licensed code. The implication was that KISS was violating the GPL License, since KISS did not release its firmware under the GPL license. The response from the managing director of KISS, Peter Wilmar Christensen, countered that the similarities between the two pieces of code indicates that the MPlayer team had in fact used code from KISS's firmware.[6] However, the fact that the KISS DVD player also used the identical subtitle file format that is specific to MPlayer makes Mr. Christensen's statement highly improbable. The subtitle file format was proposed and invented by an MPlayer developer in 2001 and was not released to the public until it was incorporated into the MPlayer code. Whereas the KISS player was released several years later in 2003.[6]

See also


External links

bar:MPlayer bs:MPlayer ca:MPlayer cs:MPlayer da:MPlayer de:MPlayer et:MPlayer es:MPlayer fr:MPlayer gl:MPlayer ko:엠플레이어 hr:MPlayer id:MPlayer it:MPlayer hu:MPlayer nl:MPlayer ja:MPlayer no:MPlayer pl:MPlayer pt:MPlayer ro:MPlayer ru:MPlayer sk:MPlayer sr:MPlayer fi:MPlayer sv:MPlayer tr:MPlayer uk:MPlayer zh:MPlayer

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