once more into the breach: the linux video self-abuse kit

If you are:

  • Using Fedora Core 2;
  • Able to watch and listen to MPEG files (libmpeg2);
  • Able to watch and listen to WMV 9 files (WMV 9 win32; MS WM Audio 2 ffmpeg);
  • Able to watch and listen to QuickTime (Sorenson 1 ffmpeg; QDesign Audio v2) using the same program;

then please tell me everything you had to install to make that work, and you will be my hero.

If this does not describe you exactly, then please do not respond. Really: if you are not a user of FC2 who has all three of those problems solved with a single player program, then I am completely uninterested in what you have to say. Don't make me ban you.

<LJ-CUT text="What I have tried: --More--(46%) ">

What I have tried:

  • xine:
    xine-0.99.2-1.1.fc2.fr, xine-lib-1.0.0-0.14.rc6a.1.fc2.fr
  • mplayer:
    mplayer-1.0-0.11.pre5.1.fc2.fr, mplayer-fonts-1.1-2.fr, mplayer-skins-1.4-1.fr
  • totem:
  • vlc:
  • codecs:
    all-20040916.tar.bz2 into /usr/lib/win32/
    (I also tried only essential-20040922.tar.bz2, same results.)


  • xine:
    • MPEG: works.
    • WMV9: dumps core at startup ~90% of the time (that is, if I run it 10x on the same file, it works once, and dumps core every other time.)
    • QT: unsupported audio codec QDesign Audio v2 QDM2.
  • gmplayer:
    • MPEG: works.
    • WMV9: dumps core at startup.
    • QT: works.
  • totem:
    • MPEG: works.
    • WMV9: dumps core at startup.
    • QT: no audio.
  • vlc:
    • MPEG: works.
    • WMV9: no video.
    • QT: no audio.

Here are a couple of short test files: test.wmv, test.mov.

Update: I was able to get gmplayer to work with "execstack -s /usr/bin/mplayer", but I still can't get xine to work. I would rather use xine (or totem or vlc) because I hate gmplayer's UI way more than all the others.

Tags: , , , ,

25 Responses:

  1. anonymizer says:

    Not using FC2 - but just adding another player you've not listed. The VLC player works pretty well for the media I've tried. Can't say much about FC2, as I'm not running.

    • jwz says:

      VLC can't play WMV9 video, or QuickTime audio:

        no suitable decoder module for fourcc `WMV3'.
        no suitable decoder module for fourcc `QDM2'.
  2. ark_lj says:

    I'm using FC2 and freshrpms, so I think I have a very similar setup to what you've described. (I also use a few other repositories like fedora.us and kde-redhat, but those don't seem to really matter in this case.)

    This FAQ on mplayer's web page helped me get mplayer to play wmv9 files. I also dropped the -R flag from its suggested change as that was suggested on other pages I came across in my searching. Xine still segfaults on WMV files, and I'm not sure why, but I've gotten you a step closer in your quest.

    • jwz says:

      My /etc/sysconfig/prelink already contained

        PRELINK_OPTS="-mR --no-exec-shield"

      because that was also the only way to get WINE to work. However, doing

        execstack -s /usr/bin/mplayer

      does seem to have made gmplayer be able to play WMV9! Yay!

      That same trick does not seem to fix xine, however (or totem, obviously, since that's a different problem.) This makes me sad, because gmplayer has far and away the crappiest user interface of all of them.

      • ark_lj says:

        You know what, in my dinking around, I think I ended up doing that too and forgot about it. Although, I think I undid it when I didn't get any good result. The prelink is what made the most difference for me.

        What's the output of
        execstack -q /usr/bin/mplayer
        look like?

        From what I'm seeing, I don't have that set and its working.
        [780]:execstack -q =gmplayer
        - /usr/bin/gmplayer

        I agree with your call on (g)mplayer having the worst UI. I'd much rather have xine go. What's weird is that the xine plugins that seem to call the win32 code already have execstack -s /usr/bin/mplayer

        • jwz says:

          execstack -q /usr/bin/mplayer /usr/bin/xine \
              /usr/bin/totem-xine /usr/bin/vlc
          X /usr/bin/mplayer
          X /usr/bin/xine
          - /usr/bin/totem-xine
          - /usr/bin/vlc

          • ark_lj says:

            Okay, I just got xine working, and I think I figured out the magic with xine. Here's what I did:

            execstack -s /usr/bin/xine
            execstack -s /usr/lib/xine/plugins/1.0.0/xineplug_dmx_asf.so

            Without xine being -s or xineplug_dmx_asf being -s it fails.

            In total, of xine related files, here's what I seem to have with -s: /usr/bin/xine /usr/lib/xine/plugins/1.0.0/xineplug_decode_qt.so /usr/lib/xine/plugins/1.0.0/xineplug_decode_w32dll.so /usr/lib/xine/plugins/1.0.0/xineplug_dmx_asf.so

            • jwz says:

              All of those are "X" for me, and xine still dumps core on WMV9.

              • ark_lj says:

                The only difference we really seem to have at this point is the -R flag for prelink. Other than that, I'm stumped. Sucks we haven't figured it out for you, but its working for me now.

                Sorry I can't be more help.

                • jwz says:

                  I took out the "R" and re-prelinked, and xine still crashes most of the time (but not always, so I had a moment of hope, dashed.)

        • scosol says:

          just cause i'm curious, why do you think mplayer's gui is so bad?

          i dunno about you, but i generally use a video player to do really only 2 things- play single videos or play a playlist of videos-
          from there it's all about how quickly i can fullscreen it, or move around to where i want to be in larger videos.
          i'm guessing its the ui functionality that you dont like?
          (there are skins for the actual look and feel)
          i love the ui personally- arrow keys jump forward and back, f key goes fullscreen- what more do you need?

          • jwz says:

            The thing I hate most about gmplayer is that when I resize the window, the aspect ratio of the video changes. That's just idiotic. Yeah, I could just always watch videos either default-sized or full-screen, but I often want something inbetween -- but without it going all funhouse-mirror on me.

            • scosol says:

              different strokes for different folks i guess- i've always considered that a super feature-
              if im resizing something that would be annoying to look at in an improper aspect ratio, it's not a big deal because i can just visually look at it and decide if "her head is too fat" or whatever- like- can't you just visually tell if things look stretched either way?
              then for other stuff, like particle animations etc, i'm glad that it can use the full screen without being confined to an aspect ratio- sometimes i do video projection for events and stuff so its really handy there

            • thomtoffner says:

              that actually depends on what output method mplayer is set up to do.
              i cant actually vouch for gmplayer, becuase its a pile of shit, but if you were to not use gmplayer, and just used regular old mplayer and did each of the following:

              mplayer video.mov -vo x11
              mplayer video.mov -vo sdl
              mplayer video.mov -vo xv

              very different things would happen. if your card supports it i suggest xv, it will resize with the proper aspect ratio and be nice and fast. i noticed when using x11 for output i could change the aspect arbitrarily by dragging, which is in fact very very annoying. xv wont do it tho. i know this doesnt really help your problem, but i find that using mplayer is much much nicer than the others simply for the LACK of gui. arrow keys, f for fullscreen, p for pause, what more do you need?

  3. crackmonkey says:

    You don't happen to have a few links to places that have each of these formats? I know I can play quite a few different formats, but I can't seem to find movies that match what you're looking for.

    In fact, it might net you better results if you linked to the a few and said "If you can play these, message me".

    • jwz says:

      The only examples I have are gigantic. The WMV9 is a copy of the John Stewart Crossfire thing (and I don't remember where exactly I got it), and the QT is a music video from in here somewhere.

      • ark_lj says:

        Haha, the Crossfire clip is exactly what I was using to test.

      • crackmonkey says:

        Well, I can consistently play WMV files well, but QT is still hosed in most cases. And I'm on the wrong distro for you, so I'll fade into the background.

    • jwz says:

      I put up some truncated test files (see update above.)

      • thegsusfreek says:

        Dude, I use xine and it works fine for me. I play wmv9 and quicktime video. The only trouble I've noticed (so far, of course) is that one of the trailers that I have in a .mov format makes xine exit with an error at one particular point. It didn't do this the first several times I watched it, so it may be corrupted.

        So, here's a list of the files you need and where to get them.

        Site: http://tettnang.freshrpms.net/

        Site: http://www1.mplayerhq.hu/MPlayer/releases/codecs/
        Files: windows-essential-20040916.zip

        *OPTIONAL: I Haven't tried this yet*

        *OPTIONAL: if you want another skin, get it here*
        Site: http://xinehq.de/index.php/skins

        (I know it's a lot of files, but it's only about half of what I had to download when I tried MPlayer)

        Place all of the rpms in a single folder. Open a bash there. Type the following:
        $su [enter]
        $(root password) [enter]
        $rpm -Uvh *.rpm [enter]

        It will now figure out which order the rpms need to be installed in and install them. Unzip the windows-essential zip and place all of the files from that zip into "/usr/lib/win32" (Create the directory if it doesn't exist). Place any skins into "~/.xine/Skins/(skin name)/". Now open a shell and type:


        Configure xine (you don't need to worry about most of the options), and you should be good to go.

        Hope this helps!

        • jwz says:

          No, it doesn't help at all, because as you'd have known if you had actually read what I wrote, I have all that shit installed already. Do you think I'm new at this? People who begin their comments with "it works fine for me" make me want to kill. I assume it works fine for everyone else. That's usually the case. That information does not help me.

  4. andrewducker says:

    Next time someone says that Linux is easy to use I'm pointing them here...

    • edge_walker says:

      Personally I didn't have any problems getting MPlayer to work, but then I compiled from source. It is a pain to go through the motions if you want support for as many things as possible without using some l337 d1str0 like Gentoo with m4d portage sk1lz, but it's a a straightforward, if longwinded procedure.

      Once done, it's always worked perfectly for me — plays every file I've thrown at it. In case of some WMA videos I have to tell it to use a different audio codec than the one it picked itself (otherwise it just shows a still image, without crashing though), but that's it.

      The GUIs — sure, they're deplorable. But I think back of all the fun I had on Windows, hunting down yet another codec, then praying that it won't screw up my system installation, and it makes me point to MPlayer as a shining example of Just Works™. Maybe it's not exactly Just Works™ after all, but my perception has been severely skewed forever.

  5. thegsusfreek says:

    No, it doesn't help at all, because as you'd have known if you had actually read what I wrote, I have all that (expletive removed) installed already.

    Yes it should help. I did actually read what you wrote. If YOU actually read what I wrote, you'd see that I told you to download:


    YOU have tried (according to the top of your page):


    1.0 is not 1.1. I use to have 1.0 and I couldn't play WMV9 files. I just upgraded yesterday and they work fine (with the codec).

    As for your error:

    QT: unsupported audio codec QDesign Audio v2 QDM2.

    you need: qtmlClient.dll. I haven't tried those two codec packs you downloaded 'cus I'm on a dial-up and those are pretty large files. Perhaps those packs didn't come with that file?!?! You can get JUST the necessary dlls by downloading "qt6dlls-*.tar.bz", extracting in your /usr/lib/win32/ folder and restarting xine.

    People who begin their comments with "it works fine for me" make me want to kill.

    Really?! That is sad. That is really sad. You need to get a life or something. ...seriously. ...chill, dude.

    Actually, if it makes it any better, it doesn't work fine for me. It doesn't work at all. Actually, my mobo fries as my hardrive disc breaks loose and flies across the room and my modem melts.

    =P It's a joke.

    I assume it works fine for everyone else. That's usually the case.

    Oh, okay. That hasn't been the case for me. Most problems I've had with linux I've been able to solve via several forum/google searches. Sorry.

    That information does not help me.

    Well, this post might help a little more then. If you actually read it, download that libxine-1.1 rpm (note that you'll need to re-install the gui after you install the lib. Don't know why, that's just how it works I guess), make sure you have that wmv9dmod.dll and qtmlClient.dll files in your /usr/lib/win32 directory, you should get at least wmv to play properly.

    Oh, yeah. And you might try running "/sbin/ldconfig" from a shell as root. It will configure all of your runtime dependencies (possibly updating the codecs. I didn't have to run it personally, but I don't know; you might need to.