SMPlayer - Frequently Asked Questions
Sometimes I read SMPlayer, others MPlayer, what are they? are they the same?
No, they are two different applications. MPlayer is a multimedia player developed initially for linux and then ported to other OS. It's very good, it plays almost every everything, and it has for instance a lot of filters and so on. But most users may find it hard to use it.
Fortunately MPlayer can work together with another application (the video window can be embedded in the other application GUI, it obeys commands sent by the application). So SMPlayer is just a front-end which uses MPlayer to actually play the videos.
SMPlayer is the window you see, the menus, the preferences dialog... (along with other things you don't see, like functions to control MPlayer). But SMPlayer knows nothing about playing files. It doesn't even know what a codec is. MPlayer on the other hand, opens the files, decodes them, displays the video and plays the audio. Subtitles are also read, parsed and displayed on screen by MPlayer.
DVD menus, where are they?
Currently SMPlayer doesn't support DVD menus... but it's under development. Anyway, even there are no DVD menus, you can still select your desired title, chapter, audio track, subtitles... in the SMPlayer menus.
Output drivers (directx, xv, x11, gl, alsa, oss...) what are they? Which one is the best?
MPlayer has several output drivers, for video and sound. SMPlayer allows you to select the one you want among all of them (Preferences -> General -> Video/Audio).
For video it's recommended that you use xv (linux) or directx (windows). They use hardware acceleration and give the best performance. The inconvenience about directx for Windows Vista users is that it disables Aero.
x11 and directx:noaccel are drivers without hardware acceleration. They give the worst performance. Moreover directx:noaccel gives a bad quality in fullscreen mode.
gl and gl2 will use 3D acceleration from the graphic card. They will give better performance than directx:noaccel and x11 but no so much as directx or xv. gl/gl2 can be useful for Windows Vista users.
For sound, you should usually use oss or alsa in linux. I don't like esd or arts, they use to use more CPU.
In windows the sound drivers are dsound and win32. I read that dsound can cause sometimes audio-video sync problems. If you notice that problem try win32 instead.
Other drivers allows you to save the video as image files or write the sound to the disk. These drivers are not officially supported by SMPlayer. Use them only if you know what you're doing.
I try to make a screenshot but the option is disabled, why?
You didn't choose a folder for storing the screenshots. Do it in Preferences -> General, and the screenshot option will be enabled.
I try to change the audio track but it doesn't work, the audio remains the same. I have to stop the video and play it again to actually change audio. Why?
With some formats (ike mp4 or ogm), MPlayer can't change the audio track at runtime. By unchecking the option "Fast audio track switching" (Preferences -> Performance) you'll be able to change the audio in those formats.
How can I change the key shortcuts?
Preferences -> Keyboard and mouse. You'll be able to change most key shortcuts.
I've read something about Qt, what's that?
SMPlayer is being developed by using Qt, which is a C++ library that allows cross-platform development. The same source code can be compiled on Windows, Linux and Mac OS. More info: http://qt.nokia.com/products/
With some video formats I only get audio, but not video. Why? Do I need some codecs?
MPlayer can player most common formats "out of the box". But for codecs that haven't been yet implemented natively, it's necessary to install a package with binary codecs. You can get it from the MPlayer download page.
On Windows, install the codecs in the mplayer/codecs subdirectory. On linux distros the package may be available as a regular package, maybe with the name of w32codecs or something like that.
What's the difference between Open -> Close and Open -> Quit? Do they do the same?
If the option "Show icon in system tray" (in menu Options) is not checked, then yes, the two options do the same: quit the application.
But if that option is enabled, then Open -> Close will just hide the application (and stop the current file), but SMPlayer is still running. Open -> Quit really quits the application, no matter if the system tray icon is enabled or not.
How can I play an audio CD?
Support for audio CDs was added in version 0.5.18.
Under Windows it's not possible to play audio CDs yet.
Where is the bookmark?
Not implemented yet.
I try to play a file but nothing happens. Why?
Probably MPlayer couldn't play the file. Open the mplayer log (Options -> View logs -> MPlayer), you'll probably find an error message in the latest lines.
On Windows is quite common that some MPlayer builds fail because they have been compiled with no support for some feature that SMPlayer tries to use. The error message could give you a clue. If it complains about cache, try disabling the cache in Preferences -> Performance. If it complains about fontconfig try to use a ttf font instead of a system font.
Are you going to add support for TV?
That would be nice, but TV support is not planned for now. Currently I don't have a TV card, so I can't implement it.
A lot of menu options make the video to go blank for a moment. Why?
Some options require to stop the MPlayer process and start it again with new parameters. That's why playing interrupts for a moment.
SMPlayer crashed, but the audio didn't stop, why?
SMPlayer crashed, but MPlayer is still running. Kill the MPlayer process in the task manager.
Anyway if SMPlayer crashes, it's a serious bug that should be fixed. Report it.
When I'm playing a playlist, when a file ends SMPlayer doesn't play the next file automatically, why?
Be sure you're using at least SMPlayer 0.6.5 and MPlayer SVN r28066.
What version of MPlayer is recommended?
I recommend to use at least MPlayer SVN r25843 (from 2008-01-23), although a recent version from SVN would be better.
SMPlayer will try its best to work with older versions, but some options may not work.
I want the subtitles to be displayed on the black border instead of the image, how can I do it?
Video filters -> Add black borders
I want the subtitles to be displayed on the black border for ALL videos, is it possible?
You can add a video filter like expand=:::::4/3 in Preferences -> Advanced -> Options for MPlayer.
- check Add black borders on fullscreen in Preferences -> General -> Video
- Add add_letterbox true in actions list field in Preferences -> Advanced
(Windows) The video is displayed only in the 1st monitor but not in the 2nd, why?
When you use directx as video driver (Preferences -> General -> Video) the video can only be displayed on one monitor. If you use instead gl, gl2 or direct3d the video will be displayed in any monitor.
Anyway if you prefer to use directx you can choose the screen which will be display the video in the menu Video -> Screen.
The screensaver doesn't turn off, why?
If you use a recent version of MPlayer you may need to add a line like this in your ~/.mplayer/config:
heartbeat-cmd="gnome-screensaver-command -p &"
Please take a look at the MPlayer manpage for more info.
The volume is too loud at the beginning of the videos, how can this be fixed?
Check the option Change volume just before playing in Preferences -> General -> Audio.
This option requires at least MPlayer SVN r27872.
(Windows) I'm using Windows Vista and every time I play a video Aero is disabled, why?
This happens when you're using directx as video driver (Preferences -> General -> Video). You can change it to gl, gl2 or direct3d.
Where is the configuration file?
SMPlayer uses two ini files: smplayer.ini and smplayer_files.ini. Both are stored according to your OS:
|Windows 2000/XP||C:\Documents and Settings\<your_username>\.smplayer|
You can also see it in the SMPlayer log (Options -> View logs), look for a line like this:
* ini path: '/home/ricardo/.config/smplayer'
smplayer.ini stores the SMPlayer configuration while smplayer_files.ini stores the settings of the files you have played.