November 16, 2006

Playing those downloaded videos

I mentioned Video Ook! in a previous post. What I neglected to mention is that might need an additional player for the preponderance of FLV(flash video) movies out there. Here's a small standalone FLV player. There are others, of course, but I chose this one because it works on pre-2000 versions of Windows.

If you're interested in something far more robust, I'd like to suggest MPUI/Mplayer. Mplayer is the GNU media players, while MPUI adds a GUI frontend, with a number of usable skins.

MPlayer is arguably the best media player application of the world. Is is almost strictly monolithic, which means that it mainly consists of a single 7 MB executable that already contains all necessary codecs – for most files, it does not need any external codecs to be installed. If you want to know more about this wonderful program, please visit the MPlayer homepage.

The roots of MPlayer are in the Unix environment, and it shows in the way MPlayer is used: There is no graphical user interface, or at least none worth mentioning. Instead, MPlayer completely relies on a well-crafted command line interface and powerful keyboard shortcuts. While this is perfectly OK for Unix enthusiasts, Mac and Windows users prefer nice and more or less colorful graphical interfaces. There is already a »semi-official« OS X port, but up to now, no such project exists for the Windows platform.

This is where MPUI comes into play. It is a small program for Windows that takes the command-line hassle off you. Instead, you will get a no-frills, straight-to-the-point GUI that resembles the venerable Windows Media Player 6. It does not support every feature of MPlayer – there are just too many of them – but it is a solid »workhorse« media player tool suitable for most, if not all, everyday needs.

Note: "No installation is required to use MPUI/MPlayer. Simply copy the two .exe files into a directory of your choice an run MPUI. "

Posted by: Physics Geek at 08:39 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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