This article is about the open source media player. For Microsoft's media player (mplayer2.exe), see Windows Media Player. For the online gaming community, see

MPlayer on Linux using the gMplayer front-end
Developer(s) MPlayer team
Initial release 2000 (2000)
Stable release 1.3.0 (February 16, 2016 (2016-02-16)) [±]
Preview release SVN snapshot [±]
Written in C
Platform Cross-platform
Available in English, Hungarian, Polish, Russian and Spanish
Type Media player
License GNU GPLv2[1]

MPlayer is a free and open media player software. The program is available for all major operating systems, including Linux, macOS and other Unix-like systems, as well as for Microsoft Windows. Versions for OS/2, Syllable, AmigaOS, MorphOS and AROS Research Operating System are also available. A port for DOS using DJGPP is also available.[2] Versions for the Wii Homebrew Channel[3] and Amazon Kindle[4] have also been developed.


Development of MPlayer began in 2000. The original author, Hungarian Árpád Gereöffy, started the project because he was unable to find any satisfactory video players for Linux after XAnim stopped development in 1999.[5] 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.[6] Gereöffy was soon joined by many other programmers, in the beginning mostly from Hungary, but later worldwide.

Alex Beregszászi has maintained MPlayer since 2003 when Gereöffy left MPlayer development to begin work on a second generation MPlayer. The MPlayer G2 project was abandoned, and all the development effort was put on MPlayer 1.0.[7]

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 other operating systems.

Video acceleration

There are various SIP blocks that can do the computations to decode video in certain formats, such as PureVideo, UVD, QuickSync Video, TI Ducati and more. Such needs to be supported by the device driver, which in turn provides one or multiple interfaces, like e.g. VDPAU, VAAPI, Distributed Codec Engine or DXVA to end-user software like MPlayer to access this hardware and offload computation to it.

Capabilities and classification

MPlayer can play a wide variety of media formats,[8] namely any format supported by FFmpeg libraries, and can also save all streamed content to a file locally.

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

Media formats

MPlayer being run via command line in Microsoft Windows.

MPlayer can play many formats, including:[9]

MPlayer can also use a variety of output driver protocols to display video, including VDPAU, the X video extension, OpenGL, DirectX, Direct3D, Quartz Compositor, VESA, Framebuffer, SDL and rarer ones such as ASCII art (using AAlib and libcaca) 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, Mplayer can decode subtitles in ASS/SSA subtitle format, using libass.

Available plugins

Interface and Graphical front-ends

Like GStreamer, MPlayer is a command-line application and there are a couple of front-ends available, which use GUI widgets of GTK+, Qt or some other widget library. When not using these front-ends, mplayer can still display video in a window (with no visible controls on it), and is controlled using a keyboard.


mplayer2 was a GPLv3-licensed fork of MPlayer, largely the work of Uoti Urpala, who has been ejected from the MPlayer project on May 30, 2010 due to "long standing differences" with the MPlayer Team.[13] The main changes from MPlayer were improved pause handling, Matroska support, seeking, and support for Nvidia VDPAU; enabling multithreading by default; and the removal of MEncoder, the GUI interface, and various video drivers and bundled libraries, such as ffmpeg, relying instead on shared libraries.[14][15] The developers also indicated intentions to enable MPlayer2 to use libav as an alternative to ffmpeg.[16] The first release, 2.0, was published in March 2011. There have been no subsequent stable releases.

mpv[17] is a GPLv2-licensed fork of mplayer2 and effectively its successor. Since June 2015, mpv starts the work to relicense as LGPLv2.1 or above.[18]

MPlayer, MPlayer2 and mpv all use incompatible EDL formats.[19][20][21]

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, 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 indicate that the MPlayer team had in fact used code from KISS's firmware.[22] However, the KISS DVD player, released in 2003, used a subtitle file format that is specific to MPlayer, which was designed by an MPlayer developer in 2001.[22]

See also


  2. "Index of /pub/micro/pc-stuff/freedos/files/util/user/mplayer". Retrieved 2012-01-01.
  3. Erant. "libdi and the DVDX installer". Retrieved 2012-01-01.
  4. "kindlebrew". Gitorious. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
  5. "The XAnim Home Page". Retrieved 2012-01-01.
  6. History
  7. "MPlayer - The Movie Player". Retrieved 2012-06-24.
  8. "Codec Status Table". Retrieved 2012-01-01.
  9. "MPlayer Features". Retrieved 2012-01-01.
  10. "README". Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  11. "What about the GUI?". Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  12. "MPlayer OSX Extended". 2011-12-09. Retrieved 2015-01-23.
  13. "Is MPlayer2 a viable fork of MPlayer?". Phoronix. 2011-03-24. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  14. "mplayer2 differences from mplayer". 2011. Archived from the original on May 4, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  15. "Did You Know there was a Fork of MPlayer?". 2011-03-22. Retrieved 2011-11-29.
  16. "Libav going to be default provider for your codec experience (comment)". January 16, 2013.
  17. "". Retrieved 2015-01-28.
  18. "Possible LGPL relicensing". Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  19. "3.7. Edit Decision Lists (EDL)". Retrieved 21 Jul 2015.
  20. "EDL: add support for new EDL file format". MPlayer2. Archived from the original on 16 Mar 2014.
  21. "EDL files". mpv. 25 Oct 2014. Retrieved 21 Jul 2015.
  22. 1 2 "MPlayer - The Movie Player". 2004-01-10. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
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