You don’t need super-powers to predictthat most linux users use VLC as their default media player.
‘I wanted a video player that was a little less …there’
In fact, if I wereto you all what video player youuseon Ubuntu I’d be cowered by the collective cryof ‘VLC’!
And quite right too. VLC is open-source,obscenelypowerful and plays dang well near everythingyou chuck at it,
But a few weeks ago I switched to mpv ,an alternative to VLC.MPV Video Player
mpvis a free, open-sourceand cross-platformmedia player available forwindows, macOS, Linux and even BSD!I’ll skipover the family tree of whereMPVcomesfrom (short version: it’s a fork ofafork of player).A Decent VLC Alternative
My main reason behind switching to mpv player is that I wanteda video player that was a little less …there.
Don’t get me wrong:VLC can look pretty and minimal, like with theArc theme VLC Skin, but by default, especially on Ubuntu, it’s… a little of its time.
My video needs extend to playing a video and …Er, that’s it. A video payer that opens a video as quickly as possible and keeps out of my way is of more use to me. And mpv does that perfectly.
Another few pluses(for me, at least) is smoothseek-barscrubbing, MKV chapter support, subtitle support,and (once again for emphasis) its super speedy start-up times.
As mpv is primarily a CLI application itlacks a traditional interface (though there are various front-ends available for it). Most of the time you’ll open the app by double-clickingon a video files, but there is a ‘stock’ GUI if you launch the app traditionally:
When playing a video you can wiggle your mouse to access asmall OSD controller with a modest set of options: pause, skip, seek, toggle subtitle and audio tracks, and so on.
If you’re looking for a GPUaccelerated video player for Ubuntu mpv player is a worthy contender. It offershardware acceleration viaFFmpeg, withsupport for VDPAU and VAAPI (plus DXVA2 on Windows, and VDA and VideoToolbox video on macOS).Powerful Features
It’s also just as powerful as VLC but doesn’t put all of thetoggles, levers and switches forthat power in yourface by default. Bubbling below the austereUI isa veritable NASA dashboardof command line options and advanced configuration capabilities.
Like VLC, mpv can play internetradio streams, video streams, apply various audio and video filters ‘live’, adjust quality, framerate, do color management, frame timing, interpolation…
The list quite literally goes on ― for 445 lines, no less.
looks can be deceiving: mpv hides powerful featuresShould You Switch?
Is therea compelling reason to use mpvover VLC?
That depends on your needs.If you’re just looking for something that can play whatever you throw at it, is lighter on system resource usage, and keeps out of the way ― all thereasons I had ― mpv makes a solid alternative to VLC.Install MPV Player on Ubuntu
You don’t need to add a PPA, fiddle about with Flatpaks, or slap in a Snap command as mpv is available to install fromthe Ubuntu repos ― hurrah!
The version you get depends on your distro release. Ubuntu 16.04 LTS offers mpv0.14.x, Ubuntu 16.10 offers 0.18.x, and Ubuntu 17.04 (daily) version 0.23.x.The latest stable releaseof the player hasa slightly different UI to the one you see in thescreenshots.
Click to install mpv player from Ubuntu Software
Have you tried mpv? Do you roll your own insanely complex customisedconfiguration with it? Share yourfors and againsts in the comments!
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