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Old 12-17-2003, 11:06 AM   #1
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MPlayer vs. Xine: What do you think?

Hello all,

Now, I do /know/ not to mess with my computer on a movie night, but sometimes I "neglect to remember" that I shouldn't. My girlfriend and I don't own a TV, so the computer is really our only choice for watching DVD's. I am sad to report that upon re-compiling a kernel I rendered xine useless for this purpose. More precisely, xine would, for whatever reason, not play encrypted DVD's. I was in big trouble ! I spent several hours trying to fix whatever I had done, but to no avail.

I knew that xine wasn't my only choice -- there was mplayer. I had heard so many great things about mplayer, from all over the net, that I decided to give it a go (before spending several more hours trying to figure out why xine would not do the job with either the new or old kernel running...). Mplayer was a bit of a beast to install, but I did get it working rather quickly. I was also surprised at how quickly I downloaded the source on my painfully slow connection.

Well, I must say that playing DVD's with mplayer is not all that fun. I tried working it at the command-line, and it worked, but we couldn't see any of the "special features" of the DVD (because we couldn't find the tracks...). I tried the GUI and we found them, but it was a less than pleasant expierience all around. I know mplayer doesn't come with menu support, so I was already longing for xine. I should also note that I actually prefer tools with a CLI over a GUI -- but more importantly I prefer tools with a simple and effective UI to ones that don't.

The next day, when I had some more time, I was able to get xine working again. The cause was, of course, something silly that I had done regarding the kernel headers. Whoops. I re-compiled and was off and running again in no time. I was, however, left with a sense that I had... missed something with mplayer. There has to be /some/ reason why everyone loves it so much. There are, for example, entire distros (mainly designed to work in set-top boxes) that seem to be built around mplayer.

So, my question to you all is: Which do you use and why? I'm not really looking for a reason to switch -- xine seems to fill all my current video needs -- but I would like to better understand why folks prefer the one over another. So, let me know what you think.
Old 12-17-2003, 11:23 AM   #2
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Personally, I hate mplayer AND it's developers. The reason so many people love mplayer is
1)No gui.
2) elitest mentality
Since it does not have a gui and the developers tend to think they're gods, the users begin to feel the same way. Peopl can talk all the crap they want about "improved codec support", but I have yet to find anything that mplayer could play and xine could not. In fact, up until mplayer 1.0, there were several files xine could play but mplayer could not.

Don't worry, you didn't miss anything with mplayer. Oh, and if you ONLY use it for DVD, try checking out Ogle. It's a dvd player only, with nice dvd menu support. Since it doesn't play files, all of the codecs are not included with it, which makes the download and installation MUCH smaller.

OK, after I read my post, I realize I may be insulting mplayer users. I'm not, just the developers. It's a matter of personal preference. The reason some people like it better is the same reason people prefer vim over gvim. Linux users feel big when they don't use a mouse.

Last edited by cexshun; 12-17-2003 at 11:26 AM.
Old 12-17-2003, 12:42 PM   #3
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funny..........I've got a gui !!!! could'nt get xine to do Divx wheras I can with Mplayer.
Old 12-17-2003, 01:19 PM   #4
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the Gui is optional with mplayer.
Old 12-17-2003, 01:33 PM   #5
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I have used both.

The reason I prefer mplayer over xine:

- all actions can be controlled,
- gui is optional,
- can handle encryption,
- handles more codecs then Xine.

I haven't updated Xine for a while and do have the new mplayer, so the last reason I gave can be untru by now (although I doubt it ).
Old 12-17-2003, 01:47 PM   #6
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mplayer... just works better for me and I don't like using a gui player, I'm not all into looks, I like the quality of picture and sound.
Old 12-17-2003, 03:21 PM   #7
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although things have a moved on a lot since, at the start of the year it was pretty fair to class them as follows:

MPlayer - a stable core with an alpha gui
Xine - a stable gui with an alpha core

i know which one i would prefer... go hungarians.

I totally refute the whole "elitism" tag too. people just seem to have a huge amount of trouble accepting the possible view point that things are so so so so so so so so much quicker and easier if you don't use a pointless gui. hotkeys and console parameters just make things so much simpler its unreal.
Old 12-27-2003, 02:27 AM   #8
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I'm finding both Xine and MPlayer to be buggier than an anthill. Xine gives me endless segfaults and hangs, occasionally crashing X itself. MPlayer does annoying things like suddenly going silent when playing DVDs with surround sound.

Does anybody know of a DVD player that actually WORKS?
Old 12-27-2003, 05:47 PM   #9
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Try Ogle if your just going for DVD playback.
Old 12-27-2003, 07:08 PM   #10
Mega Man X
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Ogle for DVD playback rules. Go sweds...

Well, I also don't like the developers of Mplayer. I've tried to join them once and, for an open source development, which most likely welcome peoples to help a project grows, they are pretty rude. Although, Mplayer is a good player, DVD playback is useless with it. In my case, when I buy a swedish DVD, I've the option to choose between 4 languages to display text, swedish, finish, norwegian and danish. To make this work under Mplayer, with or without gui is a pain... Most of the cases, I've to set up Finish to display Swedish... This is because the so called developers do not agree with standard DVD's playback. Pretty lame of them actually ...

Anyway, Ogle = DVD's, Xine/aviplayer = DivX, Mplayer = If nothing else works... the developers do not deserve much of attention...

Last edited by Mega Man X; 12-27-2003 at 07:09 PM.


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