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What does mplayer show as VO in the console output? Does it freeze during the initialization of VO device? have you tried playing with mplayer -vo x11? Sometimes MPlayer freezes when another video is already playing in the specified device (especially Xv, which in most cases, is not able to provide more than one client at a time). It may also be an audio device issue, where another app is using the audio device and it doesn't have hardware mixing capability (and software mixing is not configured).
Does mplayer also freeze when you run from console? You may want to run gmplayer from console and take note where it freezes (paste the console output here)
To find out the VO device mplayer uses when you run it as root, run mplayer like this
mplayer vcd://2|grep VO (add other -cdrom options you have)
If you find that gmplayer is freezing when initializing audio device then check whether you have artsd/esd running (e.g. ps -ax|grep arts). You may have to use the -ao arts option (or esd) in that case.
Ok, I made a huge mistake with my last post an apologize for it. I had forgot to swap the audio cd back out with the vcd. Here is the correct output from running mplayer from the terminal
MPlayer 1.0pre8-4.1.1 (C) 2000-2006 MPlayer Team
CPU: AMD Athlon(TM) XP 2100+ (Family: 6, Model: 6, Stepping: 2)
CPUflags: MMX: 1 MMX2: 1 3DNow: 1 3DNow2: 1 SSE: 1 SSE2: 0
Compiled with runtime CPU detection.
93 audio & 211 video codecs
Linux RTC init error in ioctl (rtc_irqp_set 1024): Permission denied
Try adding "echo 1024 > /proc/sys/dev/rtc/max-user-freq" to your system startup scripts.
(<unknown>:4218): Gtk-WARNING **: Locale not supported by C library.
Using the fallback 'C' locale.
track 01: adr=1 ctrl=4 format=2 00:02:00 mode: 9
track 02: adr=1 ctrl=4 format=2 00:08:12 mode: 9
ioctl dif1: Invalid argument
ioctl dif1: Invalid argument
MPEG-PS file format detected.
VIDEO: MPEG1 352x240 (aspect 12) 29.970 fps 1130.8 kbps (141.3 kbyte/s)
Opening audio decoder: [mp3lib] MPEG layer-2, layer-3
AUDIO: 44100 Hz, 2 ch, s16le, 224.0 kbit/15.87% (ratio: 28000->176400)
Selected audio codec: [mp3] afm: mp3lib (mp3lib MPEG layer-2, layer-3)
It seems there is no Xvideo support for your video card available.
Run 'xvinfo' to verify its Xv support and read DOCS/HTML/en/video.html#xv!
See 'mplayer -vo help' for other (non-xv) video out drivers. Try -vo x11
My last guess would be to change the read cache size of GMplayer to the value mplayer is using (from the global mplayer conf /etc/mplayer.conf). If you have a big cache_size (e.g. 8192) try changing it to something small (e.g. 4096, 1024) or just turn it off (cache="no")
Remember, GMplayer uses a seperate conf file called gui.conf, which should be in ~/.mplayer/ or in /etc/mplayer/ (not sure).
Anyway, if you have any ideas on how to get the video any larger or what that error is feel free to let me know.
Unfortunately, X11 doesn't support hardware accelerated scaling/zooming like xv, so you have to use the -zoom option (not sure), which is CPU intensive. You can also try using other video out devices like gl2 (OpenGL based), xvidix, etc. (try mplayer -vo help), or update Xorg or install the proprietary drivers if you have Nvidia or ATI cards.
Also try turning on/off DMA for your cdrom device (hdparm -d 1 /dev/cdrom where -d 1 means DMA on -d 0 means DMA off).