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F14 Multimedia-Based Applications & Setup Mplayer, etc.

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Associate Professor Gregory R. Kriehn
F14 Media Players (Banshee, MPlayer, Xine, VLC)

There are 4 popular media players for Linux:  Banshee, MPlayer, Xine, and VLC. For the most part, mplayer is *the* movie player for Linux. It is the holy grail for multimedia applications, as it can be used for DVDs, Quicktime movies, Windows Media Files, MPEG files, etc., etc., etc. mplayer is available in several repositories, and has matured significantly over the past couple of years that I feel confident in using RPM Fusion to install it, as outlined very nicely by Mauriat Miranda. Mauriat's notes are much more complete than those presented here, so if you have a problem, I suggest surfing over to his website.

Please note that you need to have the RPM Fusion repository enabled to install MPlayer. We will be installing the command line interface, the GUI, an encoding tool called mencoder, and a web plugin in addition to the necessary codecs.

NOTE:  There seems to be a bug in the 64-bit version of MPlayer that is currently preventing it from playing DVDs correctly (perhaps this is a problem with the NVIDIA driver). Xine and VLC both play DVDs correctly however, and mplayer seems to be working for everything else.

1.  Install Media Players

Install Banshee, Mplayer, Xine, and VLC through yum:
~> sudo yum install banshee gstreamer-plugins-ugly gstreamer-plugins-bad gstreamer-ffmpeg mplayer mplayer-gui gecko-mediaplayer mencoder lsdvd ffmpeg-libs xine xine-lib-extras xine-lib-extras-freeworld vlc
Press 'y' when asked to install the packages and any dependencies.

Please note that mencoder is optional, but provides many encoding functions, gecko-mediaplayer is a replacement for mplayerplug-in, lsdvd is a program to list the contents of a DVD, and ffmpeg-libs provide audio libraries. For additional notes, see
Mauriat Miranda's website.

2.  Install libdvdcss for DVD playback

For DVD playback, we need to also install the libdvdcss package, which, unfortunately, is the one package that did not make it over to RPM Fusion from Livna (probably as a result of legal reasons due the country where the RPM Fusion server is located). So, head over to Livna, and download the RPM file directly:


Click on the  libdvdcss-1.2.10-1.x86_64.rpm file. Once downloaded, use rpm to install it:
~> sudo rpm -vhi ~/Downloads/libdvdcss-1.2.10-1.x86_64.rpm
DVD playback should now be enabled.

3.  Install Win32 Codecs

Please note thate are some additional codecs available on mplayer's website that are used to read formats that do not have an open source decoder. These include Win32 codecs for Windows Media, Quicktime, Real, etc.  Go to:


Click on the all-20100303.tar.bz2 link, which is the latest version of the codecs (at the time of this writing).
Next, create a directory to install the Win32 codecs under /usr/lib/codecs:
~> sudo mkdir -p /usr/lib/codecs
Then untar the codecs into the directory:
~> sudo tar vfjx ~/Downloads/all-20100303.tar.bz2 --strip-components 1 -C /usr/lib/codecs/
The Win32 codecs are now installed.

NOTE:  If you are running a 64-bit version of Fedora, these codecs will not work on your system unless you choose to install the 32-bit version of MPlayer instead of the 64-bit version.

4.  mplayer Skins

In install some skins for the GUI, go to:


Scroll down, and you will eventually come to the mplayer skin section. The skins are required if you want to have a GUI for mplayer. You will need at least one skin. I typically download the BlueHeart, proton, and PowerPlayer skins, with the PowerPlayer being my preferred choice. At the time of this writing, the latest versions are BlueHeart-1.5.tar.bz2, proton-1.2.tar.bz2, and PowerPlayer-1.1.tar.bz2.

The On Screen Display (OSD) and Subtitles need to have fonts properly installed. To do this, setup a symlink from one of your msttcorefonts fonts, assuming you have installed them (if not, see the MSFonts page):
~> ln -s /usr/share/fonts/msttcore/arial.ttf ~/.mplayer/subfont.tff
To install the skins, copy the source tarballs you downloaded into the appropriate directory:
~> sudo cp ~/Downloads/BlueHeart-1.5.tar.bz2 /usr/share/mplayer/skins/.
~> sudo cp ~/Downloads/PowerPlayer-1.1.tar.bz2 /usr/share/mplayer/skins/.
~> sudo cp ~/Downloads/proton-1.2.tar.bz2 /usr/share/mplayer/skins/.
Change into the skins directory:
~> cd /usr/share/mplayer/skins
and decompress the source files (again using the 'j' option):
~> sudo tar vfjx BlueHeart-1.5.tar.bz2
~> sudo tar vfjx PowerPlayer-1.1.tar.bz2
~> sudo tar vfjx proton-1.2.tar.bz2
Once the package has been decompressed, delete the source files:
~> sudo rm *.bz2
And finally, choose one of the skins to be your default. This can be done by creating a softlink from the directories to "default":
~> sudo rm default
~> sudo ln -s PowerPlayer default
With that, mplayer is finally ready for use. To launch the graphical version, type the following in a terminal window:
~> gmplayer
To test the plugin for Firefox, restart the application.

4. Remove the totem-mozplugin

The crudy player (totem) that comes with Fedora 14 will still take precedence over the mplayer plugin in Firefox. To undo this, type:
~> sudo yum remove totem-mozplugin totem
That's it. If you want to try it out, surf over to Apple's site, and take a look at their movie trailers (http://www.apple.com/trailers/). Click on a trailer, and you should be able to watch it embedded directly within the web page (assuming that it is not a QuickTime 7 file)! The more you use it, the more you will realize just how powerful mplayer really is.