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MPlayer logo
MPlayer with the GMPlayer user interface
Basic data

developer The MPlayer Project
Publishing year 2000
Current  version 1.4.0
(April 18, 2019)
operating system Linux , macOS , Windows , DOS , FreeDOS , AmigaOS 4, FreeBSD etc. a.
programming language C.
category Media player
License GNU GPL 2.0 or later
German speaking Yes

MPlayer is under the GNU GPL license standing Media Player . It is characterized in particular by its broad support of file formats and its platform independence.

The program runs alongside Linux , the operating system of its origin, on Windows , macOS , DOS / FreeDOS , FreeBSD , MorphOS , OS / 2 and many other platforms. It supports a large number of video and audio codecs , including platform exclusive ones , which means that Windows Media can also be played outside of Windows. He also supports DVB . A special fault tolerance enables the award-winning player to play defective files. Another strength is the elimination of any installation, so that MPlayer does not collide with already installed codecs and can be easily integrated into other programs as an output program (" viewer ").


MPlayer in the command line under Microsoft Windows

MPlayer is command line oriented . A graphical user interface and MEncoder , a program that can convert all playable files and data streams into other formats, for example from MPEG-1 to MPEG-4, are optionally available .

When starting, the program itself uses the format library it has brought with it, from which a suitable decoding algorithm is selected. This reservoir is based on FFmpeg's libavcodec , which developers from the MPlayer project are involved in programming, as well as a few other, mostly exotic codecs. There is also the possibility of binary codecs to play proprietary formats to use as Windows 32 bit - DLLs and macOS libraries.


The binary codecs used in the program are highly controversial in terms of licensing law in the open source scene. The GPL expressly requires that the complete source code must be supplied with the distribution of the program, which is not possible if programs under this license are mixed with proprietary programs. As a result, a user or a distribution cannot redistribute MPlayer without violating the GPL. The developers vehemently contradict this interpretation of the license. These codecs are only available for download as separate packages ( essential or all ) and are not required to operate MPlayer.

User interfaces

MPlayer itself has no graphical user interface other than video output. It is operated using the keyboard. However, there are a number of additional programs (front ends) that extend MPlayer with a graphical user interface. This includes:

program Operating systems description
Gnome MPlayer Linux uses GTK +
GMPlayer Linux , Windows uses Visual Basic .NET
SMPlayer Linux , Windows uses Qt , offers a lot of functions (similar to VLC media player )
KMPlayer Linux uses Qt
ROSA media player Linux , Windows is based on SMPlayer, but is more limited / lightweight
MPlayerX macOS a malicious version of the Mplayer for macOS that distributes malware

Use in other projects

There are a large number of projects that are based on the source code of MPlayer. For example MPlayer has been ported to the Xbox ( XBMC Media Center ) and the Amiga . The MoviX distribution includes bootable Linux including MPlayer and is burned onto a CD with the film.


There are several spinoffs from MPlayer. This includes:

Web links

Wikibooks: Linux-Praxisbuch: _MPlayer  - Installation and use of the MPlayer under Linux
Commons : MPlayer  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. MPlayer 1.4.0 released
  2. "Video Codecs" in the documentation on the project page, 2012.
  3. "Audio Codecs" in the documentation on the project page, 2012.
  4. GMPlayer
  5. SMPlayer
  6. KMPlayer
  7. ROSA Media Player
  9. mpv
  10. MPlayerXP
  11. mplayer2
  12. MPlayer-WW ( Memento of the original from January 4, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /