mplayer: At the framebuffer, or without

I’m jumping out of order slightly, but only for a day. mplayer is next, and I promised it to you a few weeks ago, when I mentioned mencoder.

I’ll keep this short. I’d hate to lump mplayer in with every other text application, because it’s an apples-and-oranges comparison.

Yes, technically it will run without X, and it sends a good deal of its status information to plain text. It will throw a movie up against the framebuffer, and it’s a clever trick.

It will also pipe images through the aa and caca video output, meaning you can actually watch a movie in textmode, albeit with a little loss of detail.

I’d hoped to show that here but fbgrab can’t really keep up, and the results are scrambled — very scrambled.

So you’ll have to take my word for it. Of course, it’s probably something you’ve seen done before. If you haven’t done it yourself.

I think that’s all I should say about mplayer right now. Configuring it and using it are two twin arts in their own right, for as complex and powerful a program as it is.

My advice is to seek out a mid-range laptop with some graphical oomph, and see if you can send a low-res, easily encoded file through to the framebuffer. If it works, great. If not … well, maybe next time.

It’s definitely worth trying though. 😉

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26 thoughts on “mplayer: At the framebuffer, or without

  1. Jon Doe

    mplayer -vo help| grep file
    png PNG file
    jpeg JPEG file
    pnm PPM/PGM/PGMYUV file
    convert videos, use -ss and -endpos for cutting out a short sequence

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