MPlayer 1.0pre8 Released

After almost 14 months, the MPlayer developers put out a new release: 1.0pre8 (I doubt 1.0 will ever happen). The official announcement was made on the mailing list on Monday. The mailing list had implied a release was pending.

In the meantime, Fedora Core 4 came and went and Fedora fans are on FC5. The good news is that MPlayer properly supports GCC4.x (which FC4 and FC5 use). Anyone who has used a development build already knows these improvements. Additionally the long overdue GTK2 update for the GUI was available. However the most significant changes will be in the background with many improvements in file format support as well as DVD and MPEG updates.

As always, I updated my MPlayer compile guide for Fedora. It never ceases to amaze me how many people actually read it and use it. For the more practical users, most repositories should be coming online soon with updates for yum. Simply run:

# su -c 'yum update mplayer'

I’ve checked Livna, FreshRPMs and ATrpms, none seem to have the update yet. So yum users will have to wait.

MPlayer Fedora Guide Updated

I updated my guide to compiling MPlayer on Fedora. Of course, this guide is no longer necessary to most people, since RPM’s are available, however seeing as the software is a bit complex I compile it to suit my own needs. I’ve received many emails from NON Fedora users who have found the guide useful. So I will maintain it.

Some things have changed in the past 7 months. LIVE.COM, which provided streaming library support for MPlayer, was renamed to LIVE555. No doubt having to do with Microsoft purchasing Live.com. Additionally XviD finally release v. 1.1 after almost a year since their last release, and they support GCC4 now. Other than that, there were some minor URL’s which required changes.

There has been a great deal of development in MPlayer behind the scenes, and I wait patiently for the next major release. The CVS builds are pretty slick for the more daring.

Yahoo Launch on Firefox in Fedora

Fedora users can access full Launch.Yahoo music videos with Firefox. The basic trick is to use the GreaseMonkey Firefox Extension and making use of MPlayer and it’s browser plugin and encoder system.

Watching Streaming Music Videos

1. First make sure you have MPlayer installed in your Fedora and the mplayerplugin-in working correctly. You can check by going to: about:plugins in Firefox.

2. Install the GreaseMonkey Firefox Extension.
If you are using Firefox 1.0.x, install version 0.5.3.
If you are using Firefox 1.5.x, install version 0.6.4.
Once installed, the GreaseMonkey icon will appear in the bottom right of the FireFox window.

3. Install pkLaunch.
To install Right-Click over “Open pklaunch-0.8.user.js”, and select Install User Script….
A window will open showing pkLaunch and that “launch.yahoo” and “music.yahoo” have both been added as “Included pages” for this script.

4. Click on any music video at Yahoo Music.
A window will open titled “data: – Yahoo Music”.

Done!

Saving Music Videos to Disk

The following works with some degree of success. Since you are streaming, the quality may not be perfect or there may be some “hiccups”.

1. As stated above, make sure you have MPlayer installed, as well as MEncoder. MEncoder is extra component in the MPlayer package that allows you to convert audio and video.

2. In Step #4 above, when the video window opens, Right-Click in the video and select Copy URL.

3. Open a command terminal with a Paste option. I recommend either gnome-terminal in Gnome or konsole in KDE.
(Note: if you prefer xterm you need to paste to a text editor first and highlight before continuing.)

4. In the command terminal window enter the following but do NOT hit [Enter]:

mencoder -ovc copy -oac copy -o myvideo.wmv “

Note: the the ending quotes. Then paste the text copied in Step #2. It will be long! After pasting, close the command with a set of quotes: ” … and hit [Enter].

This will copy the data from the server. Since it is streaming, it will take at least as long as it takes to view the content (> 3Min).

When done, you should be able to play the video file in MPlayer. I do not know if the file will be viewable in Windows.

Tested Versions:
FF 1.0.4, FF 1.0.7, GM 0.5.3, MPlayer 1.0pre7, mplayerplug-in 3.14
Should work with FF 1.5, but I haven’t tested it yet.

Merry Christmas from Macromedia Flash

The most current version of Flash for Linux is version 7.0 while Windows users are already on 8.0. However Macromedia has officially stated that there will be an upcoming version 8.5 for Linux. However it will be shipped after the Windows version becomes available. Even though that post states that no 64bit version is being planned, another engineer has stated that there is some work being done towards a 64bit version.

In the end, it’s good news to see Macromedia/Adobe putting forth some effort to support Linux .

MPlayer from CVS in FC4

I’ve been following along with the improvements made by the MPlayer development team through their mailing list. When Fedora Core 4 came out there were some (I think many) issues with the choice to use GCC4 (the GNU Compiler). Many applications, such as MPlayer, were not yet supported. There were patches from other groups, but the MPlayer team did not officially support it. As usual I compiled from source, but I used GCC3.2. I’ve never had any problems.

A week ago I pulled a CVS snapshot through their website and decided to compile and test a developmental version to see anything new. I installed along side my current version of MPlayer v1.0pre7. (I used ----prefix=/opt/mplayercvs/ during the configure step.) It all seemed to work perfectly with GCC4. Some basic things I noticed were better support for some media formats and full support for many output plugins that didn’t work with the GCC3.2 workaround. Finally they also have ported the GUI to GTK2. The forever old (and still very poor) gui was using GTK1.2 and has now been deprecated. Although I don’t see any new features in the GUI, it is nice to finally have a consistent GTK/Gnome interface – fonts, themes and all.

Basically good progress, but not recommended for average users. I am looking forward to the new release, even though lately it seems Xine has seemed like a better alternative.