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File Date Author Commit
 debian 2001-09-02 Siggi Langauf Siggi Langauf [5ef9fe] debianization for 0.5.2
 doc 2001-09-01 James Courtier-Dutton James Courtier-Dutton [4b107c] README updates.
 include 2001-09-01 Guenter Bartsch Guenter Bartsch [84ffc5] big demuxer clean, demux_ts should work again.
 m4 2001-08-19 Daniel Caujolle-Bert Daniel Caujolle-Bert [3e2d59] Use aalib-config intead of aainfo (using old aa...
 misc 2001-08-26 Siggi Langauf Siggi Langauf [7e8a09] added debianization to dist tarball,
 src 2001-09-02 Guenter Bartsch Guenter Bartsch [492236] resample.* is no longer needed in audio_out
 AUTHORS 2001-09-01 Guenter Bartsch Guenter Bartsch [bfaf35] getting ready for 0.5.2
 COPYING 2001-04-18 Daniel Caujolle-Bert Daniel Caujolle-Bert [819815] Initial revision
 ChangeLog 2001-09-02 Guenter Bartsch Guenter Bartsch [b36bed] Changelog update
 INSTALL 2001-04-18 Daniel Caujolle-Bert Daniel Caujolle-Bert [819815] Initial revision 2001-09-02 Siggi Langauf Siggi Langauf [5ef9fe] debianization for 0.5.2
 NEWS 2001-04-18 Daniel Caujolle-Bert Daniel Caujolle-Bert [819815] Initial revision
 README 2001-09-01 Guenter Bartsch Guenter Bartsch [bfaf35] getting ready for 0.5.2
 TODO 2001-09-01 Guenter Bartsch Guenter Bartsch [6889a1] TODO list updates
 acconfig.h 2001-08-30 Siggi Langauf Siggi Langauf [b99d3f] added FPM_M68K define. Someone needs to provide...
 automake.diff 2001-06-14 Daniel Caujolle-Bert Daniel Caujolle-Bert [837da0] Kill the recurrent problem with MDK. 2001-09-01 Guenter Bartsch Guenter Bartsch [bfaf35] getting ready for 0.5.2 2001-07-17 Guenter Bartsch Guenter Bartsch [97b2d2] first define srcdir, then use it ;>

Read Me


     a free video player

scope of this document:

this is the end-user docu for xine-lib and xine-ui. You'll
find more documentation in the doc/ directory of both

about xine:

xine is a free gpl-licensed video player for unix-like systems.
We support mpeg-2 and mpeg-1 system (audio + video multiplexed) streams,
mpeg elementary streams (audio/video only, e.g. mp3 files) and 
AVI files (using win32 codec dlls).

xine plays the video and audio data of the stream and synchronizes
the playback of both. Depending on the properties of the stream,
playback will need more or less processor power, full frame rate
for mpeg-2 has been seen on a 400 MHz P II system.

xine can play Video CDs, SVCDs and DVDs directly. Unfortunately the legal
status of encrypted/locked DVD playback is uncertain in some countries
so we cannot include any DVD unlock/decrypt code with xine. To play back
such DVDs you'll need external programs or something like a
xine_dvd_plugin that can handle DVD authentification/descrambling.

As of xine 0.5 we have introduced a new architecture featuring
flexible plugins for various tasks so we can support various
other stream types and output devices in the future.

supported platforms / requirements:

- xine needs a X11 server of 15, 16, 24 or 32 bit depth for video output
- aaxine uses aalib for output and can run on nearly any terminal
- xine can detect and use the MIT X video and X shared memory extension
  for better playback performance
- if you can't get Xv to run on your platform you should use 16bpp 
  colordepth for speed. Xv seems to work nicely for 16 and 24bpp.
- if you have a mga 200 / 400 graphics adaptor you can optionally
  use the sybcfb/teletux video ouput driver. See README.syncfb for 
- for audio playback OSS, ALSA, ESD and ARTSD are supported.
- to build xine fairly recent gmake, gcc and binutils are required
- xine-ui requires libpng and zlib

xine has so far been sucessfully used on the following systems:

- Linux on a Pentium III 667
  using XFree86 4.01 on a nVidia Riva TNT 2
- Linux on a Pentium II 400
  using XFree86 3.3.6, 4.0, 4.01 and 4.02 on a nVidia Riva TNT
- FreeBSD 4.1-Release on a Celeron 400
  using XFree86 3.3.6 and 4.0.1 on a Matrox G400
- Linux on a Pentium 120 (no MMX)
  using XFree86 3.3.5 on a Trident 9660
- Linux on an AMD K6-266
  using XFree86 3.3.5 on a ATI AIW M64-8Mb PCI
- Linux on an AMD K6-III 450
  using XFree86 3.3.6 on a ATI RageII 8MB
- Linux on a Celeron 633
  using XFree86 4.0.1 on a ATI AIW Rage128-16MB
- Linux on a Amd K7@550
  using Xfree 4.0.1 on a Ati Rage 128 16 Mb 
  (Xv is working on this configuration with drivers from GATOS project)
- Linux on a Celeron 667
  using XFree86 4.0.2 on a Riva TNT 16Mb 
  (Xv is working on this configuration with closed-sources drivers
  version 0.9.5 from NVidia).
- Linux on a Amd K6-2@475
  using XFree86 4.1.0 on a 3dfx voodoo3 2000 PCI 16Mb 
  (Xv is working on this configuration)
- Solaris 8 on Intel
  using Xsun on a ATI Xpert@Work & Xpert98 (3D RAGE PRO)
  see README.solaris for more infomation

non-intel platforms:
- Solaris 8 on SPARC
  using Xsun on a Creator-3D framebuffer
  see README.solaris for more infomation
  audio support is still missing on this platform yet


You can start xine without any command line parameters or you can 
specify one or more input streams directly. xine tries to detect wheter 
it can use the Xv extension and will fall back to XShm, but that 
detection might fail. You specify the video output plugin by using the
"-V" option, e.g.

xine -V XShm

will force xine to use XShm or plain X11. 

If you want to send the sound over a network with ESD, set the ESPEAKER
environment variable before starting xine.

The input stream can be a filename or something we call 
"MediaResourceLocator" MRL, which looks similar to a URL. First you
specify an input source which is followed by "://" and an input-source
specific identifier. What input sources you can use depends on the
input plugins you have (for plain files you can omit the input-source
identifier). Try 

$ xine --help

to get the complete usage.

xine supports the xdnd protocol (Version 3) so if you have a file browser 
application supporting that protocol (e.g. gmc) you can drop video files
on xine for playback.

Playing track 3 from a VCD:

$ xine vcd://3

Example for direct DVD access:

$ xine dvd://VTS_01_1.VOB

Keyboard shortcuts:

Key           action

RETURN        play
SPACE, P      pause
Up/Down       fast forward / slow motion

0             seek start of current stream
1-9           seek to 10-90% of current stream
Left/Right    seek -+ 15 sec (+CTRL: 60 sec)
PgUp/Prior    jump to previous playlist entry
PgDown/Next   jump to next playlist entry

F             toggle fullscreen mode
A             toggle aspect ratio (AUTO/16:9/4:3/DVB)
I             toggle interlaced mode
< >           modify output window size
+ -           change audio channel
, .           change subtitle channel
n m           adjust a/v sync
home          reset a/v sync

Q             quit

more to come.

Click right on the video window to toggle panel visibility.

selecting audio channels:

Supply the -a option to select the desired audio track:

xine -a 3 test.mpg

plays the third available audio track (and the video, of course).

selecting subtitles:

Subtitles are embedded in different tracks like audio. In general,
track 0 is the default language subtitle. Use the -u option to 
select the desired subtitle track:

xine -u 0 test.vob

displays the subtitles from stream 0.

controlling xine via CORBA:

[ FIXME: corba support is not known to work as of xine 0.5 ]

xine implements a CORBA server interface to enable remote control and
scripting. For this, you need ORBit which should already be installed if
you are using GNOME. Otherwise you can get it from

Any version of ORBit >= 0.4.0 should work fine.

To enable the CORBA interface, you need to supply the "--enable-corba"
argument to the ./configure script and recompile xine.

The xine server interface definition can be found in "corba/xine.idl" which
gets installed to "/usr/share/idl/xine.idl" by default.

To communicate with xine via CORBA, you need to get its IOR (Interoperable
Object Reference). Upon startup, xine writes it to the file ~/.xine.ior
where you can read it from. If the ORBit name service is running, xine
also registers itself there under the name "Xine". Unfortunately, the
ORBit name server is usually not activated by default. You have to run
it manually like this:

  orbit-name-server >/tmp/name-service-ior &

See the ORBit docs for more information.

Two example client programs are provided:
  1. "xine-remote" is an example client written in C which can be used to
     send play/stop/pause commands to a running instance of xine
  2. "" is a small Python script that demonstrates how to easily
     control xine from a scripting language

using LIRC with xine:

xine can be remotly controlled with by IR. For this, you should have
LIRC installed (, you should get latest CVS snapshot
if you're running latest Linux kernels (2.2 or 2.4 series). 

You should add some entries in your ~/.lircrc, like this:
	remote = SAMSUNG
	button = Button_Play
	prog   = xine
	repeat = 0
	config = PLAY
	remote = SAMSUNG
	button = Button_Src
	prog   = xine
	repeat = 0
	config = DVD
	remote = SAMSUNG
	button = Button_1
	prog   = xine
	repeat = 0
	config = 10%

All valids strings orders are:

 - for quiting:
 - for set the current position in current stream playback:
      0%, 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90% 
 - for play or stop:
 - for pausing:
 - for eject:
 - for next/previous MRL in the playlist:
      next, prev
 - for next/previous audio track selection:
      audio+, audio-
 - for next/previous sub-title selection:
      spu+, spu-
 - to get the playlist from a DVD/VCD:
      dvd, vcd
 - to hide/show the GUI, the output video window:
      hidegui, hideoutput
 - to toggle the output video window<->fullscreen

All of orders are not case sensitive.

used software:

xine uses software from the following free software projects:

- liba52 by Aaron Holtzman / Michel Lespinasse
- libmpeg2 by Aaron Holtzman / Michel Lespinasse
- libmpg123 of the mpg123 project by Michael Hipp
- libmad by Robert Leslie
- various decoders from the ffmpeg project by Gerard Lantau

...without these great pieces of software xine would of course not
be where it is now.

also many thanks to the Linux Video and DVD Project "LiViD"
(, where the original ideas for the xine
video player came from.

active developers of xine:

  main xine developer:
    Guenter Bartsch

  various suggestions, bug and build fixes, alsa plugin, gui
    Daniel Caujolle-Bert 

  contributes great libmpeg2 and liba52 hacks:
    Michael Lespinasse

  solaris port and lots of bugfixes
    Juergen Keil various other contributors, see the AUTHORS file

contacting the xine project:

  the xine project website is

  feedback or offers for help are greatly appreciated, please contact

       the xine user mailing list <>