Tag Archives: media

peerflix: Straight to video

I don’t recall where I got the link for peerflix, but I daresay if I had a better (better meaning faster and more reliable) Internet connection, it would be a fun toy.


The other half of what peerflix does isn’t really visible there; out-of-frame, peerflix spawned a media player, and the video file that’s downloading (I am not familiar with the title; it was the example from the home page) is already playing.

It’s a clever shortcut from the “traditional” download-then-watch model that we all know.

Whether or not you adopt it depends on your connection (as in my case) or if you find yourself needing to decide-download-and-watch in the space of minutes. Your sense of urgency, in other words. ๐Ÿ˜‰

peerflix supports several different media players, but seems partial to vlc. I have no problem with that, and it’s just as easy to select mplayer as any of the others.

On top of that, peerflix has a number of options you might ordinarily associate with torrent clients. Pay close attention; there are a few there that might come in handy for subtitles or other support files.

I’m going to give peerflix a thumbs-up, mostly for being an unusual tool that seems to do the job well. And it has color. Can’t forget that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

mplayer and alsaplayer: A text-only twofer

I’m going to throw two together this time, mostly because they both handle audio files without any graphical interface.

2013-07-25-v5-122p-mplayer 2013-07-25-v5-122p-alsaplayer

But also because neither one has much of any interface at all.

mplayer, like vlc, has a text-only version, and will handle audio files. The standard controls for video playback seem to work for cli audio too, which is good.

alsaplayer is similar; this again is an application that is designed to run primarily in a graphic environment, but can do much of the same work with the -i text flags.

Controls for alsaplayer are a little more obscure. There are keypresses for the GTK version, but they don’t seem to have an effect on a running instance at the command line.

In a pinch, either of these could suffice as an audio player in a text-only form. But I almost never use them.

Not that there’s anything wrong, it’s just that there are better options available, that’s all. ๐Ÿ˜

cvlc: Surprise of the week

No, audio week is not over. I have a small surprise for you.


That’s cvlc, a text-based companion to vlc that comes equipped with a lovely ncurses interface.

You probably didn’t know that was there, did you? Well, if you have been around since the end of 2009, you might have seen it on (ahem) some other blog.

If you’re a vlc fan or user, cvlc might be something you already know and love. For anyone else, you can pluck this little gem from the ether with a terse cvlc -I ncurses in your favorite command-line interface.

Press h for a help screen; the list there will show you how to use both the playlist and media browser.

Honestly this is just as effective and useful as almost any audio player we’ve talked about so far.

The downside of the thing, if I must be plain, is that I know of no way to separate cvlc from vlc. In other words, install one, and you have to get the other.

Maybe that’s not a problem for you; in all seriousness it’s not a problem for me on this system.

On the other hand, if you’re working on a pure text-only system, you don’t want the unnecessary baggage. Qt, graphics libraries, blah, blah, blah.

If you’re better versed in cvlc/vlc than I, and you know of a way to cleave the two, please speak up. I for one am dying to know. … ๐Ÿ˜