mplayer is my favourite movie player for Linux by far, but the thousands-of-lines long manual page can be a little daunting. Here I've compiled a list of some options that you may or may not know, that I find useful in day-to-day movie playing.
- Sets the cache (buffer) size to 8192 kilobytes. Useful when playing over a network connection that occasionally hiccups, like mine.
- Start fullscreen playback right away. Especially useful when playing multiple movies in a single command, to prevent dropping back to windowed mode at each new movie.
- If your monitor has non-sqare pixels (e.g. 1280 by 1024 on a 4:3 monitor), you can specify the physical aspect ratio of your monitor in this way.
- Use ALSA for sound playback. Should be the default in any decent distro, but in case it doesn't work, try this (or, heaven forbid,
- Disable LIRC support. Gets rid of the annoying “Failed to open LIRC support.” message.
- The default subtitle size is
5, but I prefer mine to be a little smaller.
- Overrides the aspect ratio of the movie. Some useful values are
- For movies with black bars around them. This detects the black bars in the image and prints out the correct argument to crop them off, such as
-vf crop=656:288:0:0. One of mplayer's coolest features.
Options can also be put into a file ~/.mplayer/config if you leave out the initial
- and replace spaces by
= characters (e.g.
monitoraspect=16:9). Saves a lot of typing!